A popular comic turned actor who started his career on-stage as a dare, funnyman Eddie Griffin's memorable supporting roles in such films as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo have built the comedian an ever-growing fan base and a path to his first starring role in 2002's Undercover Brother. Born in Kansas City, MO, Griffin's career began when he accepted a dare to take the stage on amateur night at a local comedy club. Soon developing a personal style reminiscent of such classic comics as Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx, Griffin gained further exposure opening for comic Andrew Dice Clay on a 22-city tour and later in a series of impromptu performances at Los Angeles' popular Comic Store. Quickly following with performances on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam and a Cable Ace Award-nominated special, Griffin began branching out into acting. Roles in such films as The Last Boy Scout (1991), Coneheads (1993), and Jason's Lyric (1994) soon led to a sitcom (Malcom and Eddie) in 1996, and Griffin's film appearances became more frequent. After headlining 2001's Double Take alongside Orlando Jones, Griffin seemed poised for leading-man status, and with his role as Anton Jackson in 2002's Undercover Brother, it seemed as if Griffin had conquered not only the stage, but the silver screen as well. In addition to his comedic skills, Griffin is also a gifted dancer and choreographer. Griffin joined the cast of Scary Movie 3 the following year, and continued to perform as a stand-up comedian throughout the early 2000s. In 2005 he starred in the comedy The Wendell Baker Story alongside Luke Wilson, Andrew, and Owen Wilson, and appeared in a series of ultimately forgettable films over the course of the decade (Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Date Movie, and Norbit among them), but continues to remain popular as a stand-up comedian.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Studied dance for three years at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
- Choreographed halftime shows for the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Started professional comedy career when a cousin dared him to go on stage during an amateur open-mike night.
- Made TV premiere on HBO's Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam.
- First movie role was in the 1991 film The Five Heartbeats, but it would be 10 years before he would share top billing in the 2001 movie Double Take.
- Had a heart attack in 1998 while rehearsing a dance sequence on the set of Malcolm and Eddie.
- In 2004, was recognized on Comedy Central's list of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.