A master of eliciting raucous laughter, Nick Offerman rose to fame as the mustachioed, government-hating bureaucrat on the comedy "Parks and Recreation" (NBC, 2009- ). The jaw-clenched character with the sarcastic deadpan on the critically acclaimed series was Offerman's ticket to fame, which had eluded him for many years that he had spent guest starring on numerous hit television sitcoms including "The King of Queens" (CBS, 1998-2007) and "George Lopez" (ABC, 2002-07); on the latter of which he played the unlikely love interest of a woman twice his age. Offerman often collaborated with real-life wife Megan Mullally, who had famously made her impact playing the martini-swilling, sharp-tongued Karen Walker on "Will & Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006). Like his famous spouse, Offerman's sardonic sense of humor earned him a scene-stealing reputation within comedy circles and a long career playing offbeat characters that explored humor in the most unexpected of ways.
Nick Offerman was born on June 26, 1970 in the small town of Joliet, IL. As a child, acting was the farthest thing on his mind; he grew up working on his grandparents' farm, where he first nurtured an interest in woodworking. He did not pursue acting until after college, graduating with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. Shortly after graduation, Offerman cofounded Chicago's Defiant Theater, an eclectic troupe dedicated to productions that featured innovative stagecraft, controversial topics, and skillful stage combat. He performed and worked as a fight choreographer for the troupe until 1997 when he relocated to New York City to hone his improv skills. One troupe that welcomed him with open arms was the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, co-founded by future "Parks and Recreation" co-star Poehler. In the early 2000s, Offerman started landing minor television roles on numerous top-rated series like "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006), and "Will & Grace," the comedy series that launched the careers of Eric McCormack and Debra Messing. The series also starred Mullally, whom Offerman began dating after working together in the play "The Berlin Circle" (2000). The couple married in 2003. Seven years later, they made headlines when they posed together in the buff, with strategically placed grapes, for New York Magazine.
Television provided a steady stream of work for the comedic actor, who was mostly cast in roles that called for guys who were physically imposing, yet had a good heart. He guest starred on several hit drama series like "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004) and "24" (Fox, 2001-2010), as well as sitcoms such as "The King of Queens" as a plumber and "George Lopez," where he played a factory worker who dated Lopez' onscreen mother Benny (Belita Moreno). Offerman also appeared in films like "Murder by Numbers" (2002) as a police officer, "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous" (2005), and "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2009), playing a bewildered soldier who is trained for psychic warfare. Offerman's breakout role arrived in the form of Ron Swanson, the cantankerous mid-level bureaucrat on NBC's "Parks and Recreation" which also starred Poehler as a local government official who works with a group of less than enthused bureaucrats. Critics and fans alike raved about Offerman's portrayal of the stoic and humorless manager who sports a bushy moustache and leads a secret life as a jazz musician. His role on the series rewarded Offerman with a nomination at the 2010 TV Critics' Association Awards for Individual Achievement in Comedy.