David Cross Biography

Film Actor, Comedian, Actor, Television Actor (1964–)
David Cross is a comedian and actor who has appeared on TV's Mr. Show, The Ben Stiller Show and Arrested Development.


Born in Georgia in 1964, David Cross moved to Los Angeles in 1992 and appeared on the short-lived MTV skit comedy show The Ben Stiller Show (1993). Cross went on to co-create and star on the HBO cult hit comedy series Mr. Show (1995-1998), and then starred on the popular show Arrested Development and in several comedic movies. He has also written a book—a collection of his blog entries—and released a few DVDs of his stand-up act. In October 2012, he wed actress Amber Tamblyn.

Early Life

Comedian, writer and actor David Cross was born on April 4, 1964, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Barry and Susie Cross. Though the family moved often, Cross spent most of his childhood in the greater Atlanta area. Cross enrolled at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1983, but dropped out in 1985 to pursue a career in comedy.

'Mr. Show'

In 1992, Cross moved to Los Angeles, California. Not long after, he began appearing on the short-lived MTV skit comedy series The Ben Stiller Show (1992-1993) alongside a handful of burgeoning comedic actors, including Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick and Bob Odenkirk.

Cross and Odenkirk went on to create and star on the HBO cult hit comedy series Mr. Show (1995-1998), which featured Cross's wildly imaginative, eccentric and offbeat skits, as well as elaborate musical numbers and recurring oddball characters. The show also featured the Actor's Gang alum Jack Black, who was relatively unknown at the time, with shorts chronicling Black and actor Kyle Gass's bizarre acoustic metal duets at open mic nights as the band Tenacious D—spurring Tenacious D's unlikely rock stardom and, in turn, Black's movie career.

Despite the show's devoted following, the network never gave Mr. Show much promotional support, and the series only lasted for four seasons. However, Cross and Odenkirk took Mr. Show live on the road for the 2002 Mr. Show: Hooray For America tour, playing to sold-out houses along the pseudo-college club circuit. Also in 2002, the critically shunned Mr. Show spin-off film Run Ronnie Run!, featuring Cross in the lead role, was released on DVD.

Continued Comedy Work

In 2002, Cross signed to Sub Pop Records, a Seattle-based indie rock label, and released the double-live comedy album Shut Up You F*cking Baby, which showcased the comedian's signature conversational style and scathing sociopolitical and cultural observations. Cross released Let America Laugh, a DVD documenting his U.S. stand-up comedy tour of traditionally rock-oriented venues, in 2003.

Sub Pop put out Cross's sophomore effort, It's Not Funny, in 2004. It featured more of the comedian's scintillating pop-culture rants and ardent anti-Bush commentary. A third Cross comedy album, Bigger And Blackerer, came out in 2010. In the fall of 2013, Cross worked with Odenkirk once more on a short comedy tour.

Film and Television Projects

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Cross appeared in several small but memorable film roles, including in The Cable Guy (1996), Waiting For Guffman (1996), Men In Black (1997), Ghost World (2001), Scary Movie II (2001) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). He also appeared in semi-recurring television roles, including on The Drew Carey Show, NewsRadio and Just Shoot Me.

In 2003, Cross landed a starring role on the critically acclaimed FOX sitcom Arrested Development; he played Tobias Funke—one of his most beloved characters to date—on the show, which also featured Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman. Arrested Development ended in 2006, but Cross reprised his unforgettable role on a revived Netflix version of the show in 2013.

In between the cancellation and rebirth of Arrested Development, Cross moved on to other projects. He lent his distinctive voice to animated films such as Kung Fu Panda (2008) and its sequel, as well as the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. On TV, Cross voiced a character for the popular series Archer.

From 2010 to 2012, Cross starred in the sitcom The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. He appeared as Louis Ginsberg—father of Allen Ginsberg—in the Beat poet drama Kill Your Darlings (2013), starring Daniel Radcliffe. Cross also worked with Jenny Slate and Gaby Hoffmann in the 2014 comedy Obvious Child.

Personal Life

On October 6, 2012, Cross wed actress Amber Tamblyn, who is 19 years his junior, and has starred in such films as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. The couple dated for two years before becoming engaged in 2011.

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