Nick Offerman

On this date in 1970, actor and writer Nicholas Offerman was born in Joliet, Ill., the son of Cathy (née Roberts), a nurse, and Ric Offerman, a social studies teacher. Raised Catholic, he earned a B.F.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and then participated in Chicago-area theater companies while working as a master carpenter. He became acquainted with Amy Poehler, who was heavily involved with the Chicago improv comedy scene.

He married “Will & Grace” actress Megan Mullally in 2003 and began appearing in TV roles. In 2007 he co-starred in the Comedy Central series “American Body Shop.” In 2009 he was offered a regular supporting role in the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” starring Poehler. Offerman played Ron Swanson, the deadpan, government-hating, libertarian head of a city parks department. The series ran until February 2015.

His next major TV role was as Karl Weathers in the FX series “Fargo,” scheduled to begin production of its fourth season in 2019. Offerman has also been featured in the Adult Swim series “Childrens Hospital” with Rob Corddry and Rob Huebel. He was voice of Axe Cop in the animated series of the same name.

He had roles in the movies “November” (2004), “Cursed” (2005), “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” (2005), “Sin City” (2005), “The Men Who Stare at Goats” (2009), “21 Jump Street” (2012), “The Kings of Summer” (2013), “We’re the Millers” (2013) and “22 Jump Street” (2014). He portrayed the first establisher of McDonald’s restaurants, Dick McDonald, in “The Founder” (2016).

Offerman has published three semi-autobiographical books: Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living (2013), Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers (2015) and Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop (2016).

In an interview with GQ magazine in June 2017, he was asked if he’s a libertarian like his character Ron Swanson. He answered, “While I admire the philosophy of the libertarian mindset, I think it’s proven to be ineffectual in actual governance. So no, I’m not. I’m a free-thinking American.”

Photo by David Hubelbank / Montclair Film.

Freedom From Religion Foundation