Born in Oregon in 1967, Ty Burrell became interested in acting as a college student. Early film work included roles in Black Hawk Down (2001) and Dawn of the Dead (2004), and he drew praise for his performance in the short-lived TV show Back to You. Burrell's big break came when he was tapped for the part of Phil Dunphy on the sitcom Modern Family, for which he won Emmys in 2011 and 2014.
Tyler Gerald Burrell was born on August 22, 1967, in Grants Pass, Oregon, and grew up in the nearby towns of Ashland and Applegate. Although he had no exposure to acting as a child, he enjoyed creating skits with younger brother Duncan and entertaining his parents Gary and Sheri.
Burrell played football at Hidden Valley High School and considered going into sports broadcasting at the University of Oregon before dropping out. It took his father's death in 1989 for him to reexamine his life and focus on performing, and he went on to earn a degree in theatre arts from Southern Oregon University and an MFA from Penn State University.
Acting Career and 'Modern Family'
Burrell moved to New York City and worked odd jobs as he struggled to make his mark as an actor, eventually landing a part in a Broadway production of Macbeth in 2000. He soon found his way onto the small screen with appearances in The West Wing and Law and Order, and landed roles in the films Black Hawk Down (2001) and Dawn of the Dead (2004).
Quietly building a solid portfolio, Burrell starred as Nicole Kidman's husband in Fur (2006) and appeared in the big-budget flicks National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) and The Incredible Hulk (2008). He also drew praise for his supporting roles in the sitcoms Out of Practice and Back to You. However, both shows were shortlived, and the actor gave serious thought to pursuing other career avenues.
In 2008, Back to You creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd reached out to Burrell about a new sitcom character written with him in mind. The show, Modern Family, became a huge hit after premiering in 2009, and Burrell was hailed for his standout performance as the earnest but oft-inept dad Phil Dunphy. He became a regular Emmy Award nominee, scoring Best Supporting Actor wins in 2011 and 2014.
The ascent to fame opened more doors in the industry, and Burrell went on to star in the comedies Butter (2011) and Muppets Most Wanted (2014). He also lent his voice to the Disney/Pixar Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, scheduled for a 2016 release.
Burrell has been married since 2000 to wife Holly, a former actress turned pastry chef. They have two adopted daughters, and split the year between their homes in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Los Angeles neighborhood of Culver City.
Burrell remains close to brother Duncan, with whom he continues to develop writing projects and owns a bar in Salt Lake City.
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