Also Credited As:William Hader
|Actor, Producer, Writer, Below The Line|
|William Hader on June 7, 1978 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA|
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Born on June 7, 1978, Hader was raised in Tulsa, OK, the oldest of three children of a dance teacher mother and a blue collar father who dabbled occasionally as stand-up comedian on the side. There was always plenty of laughing at the Hader house, and the family's only boy was a big fan of comic books and a voracious movie watcher, making his own comedy shorts with friends while in high school. After a few years studying film at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Hader moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the film business and kept busy at a succession of low-level production jobs in film and television. At night, he hung around comedy theaters such as Second City, and performed with a four-man improv group. It was while performing a backyard show with Animals of the Future that Hader impressed party guest Megan Mullally, of "Will and Grace" (1998-2006) fame. She arranged an introduction with "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels, and literally within a few months, Hader went from being a production assistant with no acting credits whatsoever to a sketch performer employed by the most sought after comedic institution on television.
Hader debuted as a featured player on "SNL" in the fall of 2005 and quickly established himself as a world-class impressionist, building a sizable repertoire of recurring personalities and characters on the show, including a dead-on Vincent Price and the chain-smoking Italian talk show host, Vinny Vedecci. He was promoted to regular cast member in the fall of 2006, the same year he began to make inroads with his film career. He had a small role in that year's "You, Me and Dupree" (2006), a predictable romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson that was warmly embraced by theatergoers to the tune of over $130 million, but nailed by critics. Most importantly, Hader formed a friendship with "Dupree" cast mate Seth Rogen that led to Hader's being cast as a hilarious enabler cop in "Superbad" (2007), written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg and directed by Greg Mottola. The high school geek experience starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera became an instant classic, pleasing theatergoers as well as critics. Hader followed-up in another surprise hit, Judd Apatow's "Knocked Up" (2007), which starred Seth Rogen as a slacker who impregnates a rising young on-air journalist (Katherine Heigl). Ironically, Hader's role as an editor at Heigl's network was shot at the same office as the cable network E! where Hader had previously worked as an editor.
Hader's third film appearance in 2007 was in the little-seen low-budget comedy "Hot Rod" (2007), featuring "SNL" star Andy Samberg as an aspiring stuntman and Hader as one of his supportive best friends. The rising comic actor returned to his Saturday night gig in the fall of 2007, where he continued to cultivate a fan base with his impressions and his appealing, offbeat characters often inspired by his love of obscure pop culture history. In the summer of 2008, Hader was again highly visible in a number of seasonal hits, beginning with "Tropic Thunder," a spoof of big budget war movies directed by Ben Stiller and starring Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. Hader had a standout supporting turn as a scurrilous film studio executive. He followed this up with a small role in the Rogen-scripted stoner buddy comedy, "Pineapple Express" (2008). The biggest hit of the bunch that summer, however, was "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," a breezy romantic comedy starring Jason Segel as a devastated recent ex-boyfriend, who is convinced by his step-brother (Hader) that he needs a vacation to get away from his ex-girlfriend's memory. This, of course, lands the bereaved ex at the same hotel as Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) and her new rock star boyfriend (Russell Brand). Though Hader was seen mainly via webcam by Segel stuck in Hawaii, he stole every scene he was in.
Making his mark as a behind-the-scenes talent as well, in 2008 Hader was tapped as a creative consultant on the long-running Comedy Central animated series, "South Park" (1997- ), which earned an Emmy the following spring. He also co-wrote a web series entitled "The Line," about the escapades of science fiction fans who line up weeks in advance of an upcoming geekfest film opening, as well as made appearances on Michael Cera's offbeat web comedy show and "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job" (2007- ). Hader returned to theaters in the spring of 2009 with "Adventureland," Mottola's well-received indie comedy about seasonal employees of an amusement park, in which he gave a charming performance as the venue's eccentric assistant manager.
In quick succession, Hader went on to appear as General Custer in the family blockbuster "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (2009) and lent his voice to the similarly huge animated hit, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" (2009). He was bumped up to first billing in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (2009), an CGI adaptation of the popular children's book in which Hader was well-cast as nerdy inventor Flint Lockwood, who unleashes a storm of problems when he creates a way to transform water into food. Filmmaker Mottola recruited Hader a third time for a supporting role in "Paul" (2010), a buddy comedy about two friends' (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost) pilgrimage to a science-fiction convention, before he and "SNL" alumni Amy Poehler teamed up to voice Hansel and Gretel in the animated film "Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil" (2010).
Meanwhile, for the first time in his "SNL" career, Hader earned an Emmy Award nomination in 2012, getting the nod in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The same year, he portrayed Andy Warhol in an amusing appearance in the alien-centric sequel "Men in Black 3" and later reprised his voice role as Flint in "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" (2013). Mere months before the animated film's release, Hader announced that he was leaving "SNL," joining frequent co-star Kristen Wiig as a high-profile departure from the venerable comedy show. Hader's next big screen appearance came in Ned Benson's art house film "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them" (2014), re-edited from a pair of films that examined a couple's breakup from each participant's perspective. Following a role in David Wain's romantic comedy parody "They Came Together" (2014), Hader garnered terrific notices opposite Wiig as despondent siblings in the drama "The Skeleton Twins" (2014).