Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr. Biography

Actor, Animal Rights Activist, Environmental Activist (1949–)
Actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. is known for roles on television's St. Elsewhere and in films such as Best in Show.


Ed Begley Jr. was born in 1949 in Los Angeles, California, to Academy Award–winning actor Ed Begley. The junior Begley came to prominence as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the 1980s hospital drama St. Elsewhere. He followed up with many more appearances on both the small and big screen, including in the films Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. An avid environmentalist, Begley promoted green living through a cable television show and a household cleaner line.


Edward James Begley Jr. was born into an acting family on September 16, 1949, in Los Angeles, California. His father, Ed Begley, was an Academy Award-winning character actor. Upon his decision to follow his father into the business, Ed Jr. first came to national prominence with the television series St. Elsewhere. For his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the show, Begley received six consecutive Emmy Award nominations.

Career Highlights

Comfortable on television, in film and on stage, Ed Begley Jr. has found success in all three arenas during his long career. He made his television debut on a 1967 episode of the family sitcom My Three Sons starring Fred MacMurray. During the '70s, Begley appeared on such series as Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Battlestar Galactica and Laverne and Shirley. But he's most famous for his six-year run as Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the popular medical drama St. Elsewhere in the 1980s.

Begley has remained a popular guest star on television with recurring roles on such shows as 7th Heaven, Arrested Development and Six Feet Under. The actor delved into reality TV in 2007, starring with his wife, actress Rachelle Carson-Begley, on the HGTV series Living with Ed. The show, which aired for two years, allowed the actor to showcase his passion for environmental issues. Begley has written extensively on these topics. In 2009, he penned the book Ed Begley, Jr.'s Guide to Sustainable Living.

On the big screen, Begley has appeared in such films as This Is Spinal Tap (1983), Batman Forever (1995) and Best in Show (2000). He discovered an interest in theater later in his career. Begley appeared in several productions of David Mamet's Cryptogram in the '90s, in Boston, New York City and Los Angeles.

Life Off-Screen

In addition to acting, Ed Begley Jr. remains an ardent environmentalist. He created the web series On Begley Street to provide viewers with an inside look on his efforts to create the greenest home possible. He also serves on the board of several charitable organizations, including the Coalition for Clean Air and Green Wish. Additionally, Begley is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' board of governors.

Often found on his bicycle or commuting by public transit, Begley, a vegan for many years, created Begley's Best Household Cleaner, a natural household cleaner line.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!