Also Credited As:Seth Benjamin Gesshel Green
|Seth Benjamin Gesshel Green on February 8, 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA|
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Seth Benjamin Gesshel-Green was born on Feb. 8, 1974 in Overbrook Park, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. A math teacher father and an artist mother who raised him and his older sister. The acting bug bit Green early; at age six, he appeared in a summer camp production of "Hello, Dolly!" and never stopped acting from that moment on. In fact, his new-found skill provided him an outlet to deal with his parents' divorce and the difficulty of fitting in at school. Like most child stars that spend their formative years on set rather than on a playground, Green worked with some very talented and famous actors before he was a teenager. At eight years old, Green landed his first film role as Jodie Foster's oddball little brother "Egg" Berry in the 1984 comedy "The Hotel New Hampshire." At 12, Green appeared in the comedy "Radio Days" (1987), Woody Allen's semi-biographical, nostalgic nod to the golden age of radio in the 1940s. Green was impressive as Joe, Allen's young alter ego who also narrated the film.
Green was a hard worker, pursuing every avenue available to him to showcase his emerging comedic talent. In 1991, Green appeared in a series of Rally's Hamburger commercials as an irritating window cashier who yells at people who approach his drive-thru window, making famous the catch phrase, "Cha-ching!" While acting gigs came easy for him when he was just starting out, the 1990s proved to be a more challenging decade for the young actor. But he kept himself in the limelight by taking on minor roles - usually as the zany, geeky yet lovable guy who always landed in some sort of trouble - in feature films like "Big Business" (1988) starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin, the sci-fi spoof "My Stepmother is an Alien" (1988) opposite Dan Aykroyd and Kim Basinger, and the high school cult comedy, "Can't Buy Me Love" (1987), where he played Patrick Dempsey's pesky little brother.
As was wont for all struggling actors, Green also guest-starred on numerous television series through the years, including "Tales from the Dark Side" (USA, 1984-88), Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" (USA, 1985-87), "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002) and "The Wonder Years" (ABC, 1988-1993). He was a series regular on two short-lived series on ABC - "Good and Evil" (1991) and "The Byrds of Paradise" (1994) - with the latter starring then-teen queen Jennifer Love Hewitt. Green and Love Hewitt reunited in the teen flick "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998), where he played a gilded, over-the-top wannabe rapper who gets trapped in a bathroom and is reacquainted with an old friend (Lauren Ambrose). While filming "Can't Hardly Wait," Green also played Oz, a guitarist and sometime werewolf who is romantically attached to Buffy's best friend Willow on the hit TV series, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." He was originally cast in the 1992 film version of the series, but his scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor. In the TV version, Green's trademark wit and sarcastic humor was a perfect complement to his character's perplexing and mysterious storylines. Although it started as a recurring role, Green's Oz became a regular during the 1998-99 season.
It was not until Green starred in Myer's blockbuster "Austin Powers" trilogy, however, that he became a household name. It took a tremendous amount of confidence and talent to share the limelight with comic genius Myers, yet Green held his own as Scott Evil, Dr. Evil's estranged son, in all three installments of the film - "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" (1997), "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999), and "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (2002). Unlike his villainous father who perpetually concocted elaborate schemes for world domination, Scott Evil was an intelligent young man who was torn between hating his father and wanting a relationship with him. Audiences rooted for Green's character, which he made memorable with his razor sharp wit, petulant facial expressions, and angry banters with his onscreen father. The worldwide success of "Austin Powers" spawned action figures of the characters, including that of Scott Evil - of which the self-professed nerd found extremely satisfying.
After the worldwide success of "Austin Powers," Green was no longer relegated to the sidelines. He nabbed several high-profile roles in films such as the glossy action heist remake "The Italian Job" (2003), in which he was particularly winning in his portrayal of embittered gadget guru Lyle, who claims an idea was stolen from him by a major computer company and who keeps striking out with the ladies, and the suspense thriller "Without a Paddle" (2004), in a stunt-filled role that featured the versatile actor spooning with a real bear. It was Green's most physically demanding role as it required him and the cast to spend three months in isolation in different areas in New Zealand and to shoot scenes in very cold, unforgiving environments, often clad only in their underwear. He was in rare form as Duane Cody, one of two inept brothers who went off on a mishap-filled comedic adventure in "Rat Race" (2001).
In 2001, Green appeared in two more comedies; a delusional yet adorable loser in the comedy "Knockaround Guys" and an upcoming studio executive who gets involved in a disastrous film junket in "America's Sweethearts" opposite Julia Roberts and John Cusack. Critics raved about his scene-stealing performance as the witty and flamboyant James St. James in the riveting art-house film "Party Monster" (2003), based on the sensational true story of the rise and fall of New York's most famous club-kid-turned-murderer, Michael Alig (Macaulay Culkin). Green effortlessly brought to life a character who was extremely narcissistic and whose costumes were almost as outlandish as the heroin-induced life he lived as one of the city's most notorious and trendiest Club Kids. Sandwiched between film roles, Green began starring on the Fox series "Greg the Bunny" (2002), which featured puppets as talking characters. While the show, which also starred Eugene Levy and Sarah Silverman, only lasted one season, it received favorable reviews and would develop a loyal cult following.
Green never slowed down; when he was not guest-starring on a hit series like "Entourage" (HBO, 2004- ) where he made fun of himself with a hilarious self-parody, he provided voices for several animated projects and video game characters. He played Chris Griffin, the dim-witted, chubby teenage son in the animated primetime series "Family Guy" (FOX, 1999- ) about a severely wacky and dysfunctional family made up of a moronic and obese father named Peter; Lois, the sexpot mother; Chris; Meg, their whiny teenage daughter and Stewie, a homicidal baby.
In 2005, Green added the title "media mogul" to his lengthy resume by creating, directing and co-producing the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated stop-motion comedy series, "Robot Chicken," where he voiced as many as 30 to 60 characters. The frantic sketch comedy, which Green described in interviews as "'Saturday Night Live' Meets 'Nightmare Before Christmas,'" parodied pop culture by using toys, dolls and claymation to skewer everything from Transformers to Michael Jackson to "Star Wars" (1977). In 2006, Green worked with the "king of parodies" himself, Weird Al Yankovic, in the latter's "Weird and Nerdy" video parody of hip-hop stars; in it, Green proudly showed off his prized action figure collection.
In 2009, Green launched a spin-off series, "Titan Maximum," also on the Cartoon Network. Instead of the goofy pop culture mish-mash that made "Robot Chicken" a cult favorite on the network, "Titan Maximum" followed a group of teen pilots in the 22nd century and their adventures to save their version of the universe from extinction. True to form, Green spoofed the pilots' journey on an episode of "Robot Chicken.
In 2009, Green was afforded the opportunity to work with one of his idols, Robin Williams, in the Disney family fare "Old Dogs" (2009), also starring John Travolta. Green played a young executive in the global marketing firm run by Travolta and Williams' characters who suddenly find themselves taking care of seven-year-old twins. He starred in another Disney vehicle "Mars Needs Moms!" (2010), the film adaptation of the Berkeley Breathed's children's novel, in which he plays a young boy who gains a newfound appreciation for his mom (Joan Cusack) after Martians tried to abduct her. The film also reunited Green with his "Austin Powers" mom, Mindy Sterling, who portrays the alien leader who inspires terror in all those she meets.