A master of improvisational comedy, tall, rangy, and rubber-faced, Ryan Stiles is best known for playing comic Drew Carey's best friend in the ABC sitcom The Drew Carey Show. Born in Seattle, Stiles entered the entertainment industry as a standup comedian in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was not the career his parents had hoped he would choose, but Stiles managed to make a living for a few years. In the mid-'80s, Stiles switched gears and joined the Second City comedy group in Toronto, renowned for its highly topical and fast-paced sketches. There, Stiles grew adept at improvising; in 1990, he transferred to the Los Angeles Second City troupe and, before long, the six-foot, five-inch redhead was working on television and in feature films. He made his film debut in Rainbow War (1986). Stiles' early television credits include guest-starring roles on Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Mad About You. Outside of The Drew Carey Show, he had his greatest success as a regular on the British improvisational series Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, which found an American audience on the Comedy Central cable network. During the show's run (1988-1993), it won four CableACE awards. The show was revised and updated, as a replacement series on ABC, in the summer of 1998. The show was hosted by Drew Carey.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Dropped out of high school to perform stand-up comedy as a teenager in the Vancouver area.
- Met his wife while performing at a comedy club where she worked as a waitress.
- Was a member of the Second City comedy troupes in both Toronto and Los Angeles.
- Has a fear of flying that prevents him from frequently traveling by air.