Though he lived in Los Angeles before moving to New York and founding the Court Jesters Improv Troupe, actor Alan Tudyk freely admits that he will always be a Texan at heart. Born in El Paso and raised in Plano, Tudyk was a ham even before he pursued a serious acting career at Julliard from 1993 to 1996. Frequently dressing in cowboy garb on family dinner outings and faking fainting spells in school to get a rise out of teachers, it was easy to see that Tudyk had found his calling early in life. Later, performing at the Dallas Shakespeare Festival and founding the city's Rubber Chicken Standup Improv Troupe, Tudyk moved to the West Coast and bounced to the East Coast before making his feature debut in 1997, with 35 Miles From Normal. It didn't take long before Tudyk found more roles in such popular films as Patch Adams (1998) and The Wonder Boys (2000), though his breakthrough role would come as Sandra Bullock's rehab-mate in 28 Days (also 2000). Tudyk's character was so popular with audiences in test screenings, that director Betty Thomas called him back to shoot a scene giving closure to his character within the film. Larger roles began to pour in, such as his turn in the energetic jousting adventure A Knight's Tale (2001), as well as a lead role in writer-director Joss Whedon's short-lived sci-fi series Firefly and its much-adored theatrical spin-off, Serenity.
By the early 2000's, Tudyk had become a favorite, familiar face - and voice, as well, lending his vocal talents to the cast of the animated Ice Age franchise, beginning in 2002. He would earn particular accolades for turns as the drunken Simon in the 2007 British sleeper hit Death at a Funeral, as well as the easily shaken Doc Potter in the gritty western 3:10 to Yuma that same year. Even die-hard fans might not have recognized Tudyk's comic cameo in 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon as effete and surprisingly hardcore fighting henchman Dutch. Tudyk would also find a continual home for his talents in the realm of TV, however, with recurring roles on Doll House, Good Vibes, and Suburgatory, as well as voice-acting roles on animated series like Glenn Martin DDS, Young Justice, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Never straying far from his cinematic routes, however, Tudyk would gear up for 2012 with the comedic role of historical politician Stephen A. Douglas in the comedy-centric revisionist horror-history film Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.