Nick Offerman is a multi-faceted American actor, comedian, writer, musician and woodworker. He is perhaps best known for his role in NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, where he played the role of Ron Swanson, stoic libertarian and director of the Parks and Recreation department.
Born in Joliet, Illinois, Offerman attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. He co-founded the Chicago theatre company, Defiant Theatre, named the “Best Experimental Theatre” by Chicago Magazine before the company disbanded in 2004. While living in Chicago, Offerman participated with multiple theatre companies, working as fight choreographer and master carpenter at Steppenwolf. In 2003, he began making small television appearances on Will & Grace, The King of Queens, and The West Wing.
In 2009, Offerman was offered the regular supporting role of Ron Swanson, opposite Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation. Though he received countless nominations for this performance, he was recognized in 2011 by the Television Critics Association with the award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, and in 2012 was awarded the Peabody Award. While he has continued to appear in television series such as Children’s Hospital, Axe Cop, and DEVS, he has also made notable appearances in music videos, such as FIDLAR’s Cocaine, and The Decemberists, Make You Better video. He has taken on film roles in 21 Jump Street, reprising his role in 22 Jump Street two years later. In the 2013 comedy We’re the Millers, he played Don Fitzgerald, and in 2014 he made his appearance as Karl Weathers in Season 2 of the dark comedy crime drama, Fargo.
Offerman’s most recent appearance as Bill in the HBO series The Last of Us garnered critical acclaim, praising it as the best performance of his career. He has also released four semi-autobiographical novels, the first of which was titled Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living, highlighting his love for woodworking. He owns his own woodworking business, the Offerman Wood Shop, where he builds custom furniture and other structures, such as canoes and boats. In 2017, adding to the many hats he wears, he became a ULC ordained minister.
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