Born in Reading, England, Ricky Gervais worked in the music industry as a radio DJ, band manager, and music supervisor before getting into comedy. As a writer, he provided scripts for the U.K. television series Bruiser and The Sketch Show. As an actor, he was seen quite a bit on The 11 O'Clock Show and provided the voice of the Penguin in the animated show Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe. In 2000, he had his own show called Meet Ricky Gervais. On the big screen, Gervais appeared as the bouncer in the U.K. comedy Dog Eat Dog. He's most known, however, as the writer/director/star of the hit BBC comedy series The Office. He plays David Brent, regional manager of the Wernham Hogg paper company in the London industrial suburb of Slough. A brilliant observation of the contemporary workplace, the show has won a variety of awards over in Britain. Gervais received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy Series in 2003. Projects for 2004 include voice work on the animated film Valiant and producing an Americanized version of The Office with director Greg Daniels. He created and starred in Extras, another bitingly funny TV series, this one about a struggling actor. In 2008 he had a leading role for the first time in an American film, the supernatural comedy Ghost Town. The next year he wrote, directed, and starred in the acerbic comedy The Invention of Lying. He earned a ton of buzz in 2010 for his prickly hosting of the Golden Globes, a job he would repeat the next two years as well. In 2011 he debuted a new show he created with actor Warwick Davis, Life's Too Short.
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- Fronted the band Seona Dancing in the early '80s and briefly managed the rock group Suede.
- Met frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant while working at the London radio station XFM.
- Authored a series of children's books, including 2004's Flanimals, 2005's More Flanimals, 2006's Flanimals of the Deep and 2010's Flanimals Pop Up.
- Wrote and starred in the BBC Two series The Office. While the first six episodes of the show drew little fanfare, word-of-mouth made the following half dozen episodes one of the highest-rated series in the history of the station.
- In 2006, he became the first Englishman to write an episode of The Simpsons.
- Appeared on Time magazine's list of the World's Most Influential People in 2010.
- A passionate supporter of animal rights.