Ed O’Neill is an American actor and comedian who has a net worth of $65 million as of 2023. He is best known for his roles as Al Bundy on the sitcom Married… with Children and Jay Pritchett on the comedy series Modern Family. In this article, we will explore his background, career, net worth, and personal life in more detail.
Ed O’Neill’s Background and Career
Early Life and Education
O’Neill was born in Youngstown, Ohio, to Irish-American Catholic parents on April 12, 1946. Ruth Ann (née Quinlan), a housewife and social worker, and Edward Phillip O’Neill, a steel mill worker and truck driver, were his parents. Football and basketball player O’Neill attended Ursuline High School. Ohio University granted him a football scholarship to study history and join Delta Tau Delta. He quit university during his second year, saying he spent more time partying and playing sports than studying. He played defensive tackle at Youngstown State University after transferring. He finished with a bachelor’s degree in 1970 and pledged Delta Sigma Phi.
Professional Football Career
O’Neill was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 under rookie head coach Chuck Noll, but he was cut in training camp. He had to compete with fellow rookie defensive linemen “Mean Joe” Greene and L. C. Greenwood for a roster spot, both of whom became key members of the Steel Curtain defense during the Steelers’ success in the 1970s. O’Neill later said that he was not good enough to play in the NFL, but he enjoyed the experience. He also said that his brief football career inspired his character Al Bundy on Married… with Children, who was a former high school football star constantly reminiscing about his “glory days” at Polk High.
Transition to Acting
After being cut by the Steelers, O’Neill returned to Youngstown State University and joined the theater department. He also worked as a social studies teacher at his alma mater, Ursuline High School, before moving to New York City in 1977 to pursue acting full-time. He studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre School and worked as a busboy while auditioning for roles. He made his film debut in Cruising (1980), a thriller starring Al Pacino, after being spotted by director William Friedkin in a Broadway play. He then appeared in various projects, such as The Dogs of War (1980), The Equalizer (1985), Popeye Doyle (1986), and several failed pilots.
Major Career Highlights
O’Neill’s breakthrough role came in 1987 when he was cast as Al Bundy, the cynical and downtrodden patriarch of a dysfunctional family, on the Fox sitcom Married… with Children. The show was a hit and ran for 11 seasons until 1997, making O’Neill a household name and earning him two Golden Globe nominations. O’Neill also appeared in movies such as Wayne’s World (1992), Little Giants (1994), Prefontaine (1997), and The Bone Collector (1999) during and after the show’s run.
In 2003, O’Neill took over another iconic fictional policeman role, Sgt. Joe Friday, in the remake of Jack Webb’s classic crime series Dragnet on ABC. The show was canceled after two seasons due to low ratings. O’Neill then guest-starred on various shows such as The West Wing (2004), 8 Simple Rules (2004-2005), John from Cincinnati (2007), and Entourage (2009).
In 2009, O’Neill landed another successful sitcom role as Jay Pritchett, the wealthy and older husband of a Colombian woman and the father of two grown children from his previous marriage, on the ABC comedy series Modern Family. The show was critically acclaimed and won multiple awards, including five Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series. O’Neill received three Emmy nominations and four Screen Actors Guild Awards for his performance as part of the ensemble cast. The show ended in 2020 after 11 seasons.
O’Neill has also done voice work for animated movies such as Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Finding Dory (2016), Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), and Finding Nemo: The Musical (2021).
Ed O’Neill’s Net Worth
Current Estimated Net Worth
Ed O’Neill’s net worth is $65 million as of 2023. He has earned his wealth through his acting roles in movies and television, as well as his endorsements and commercials. He is one of the highest-paid actors on television, earning $500,000 per episode for Modern Family.
Sources of Income
O’Neill’s main source of income is his acting career, which spans over four decades and includes roles in popular shows such as Married… with Children and Modern Family, as well as movies such as Wayne’s World and Wreck-It Ralph. He also makes money from residuals, royalties, and syndication deals for his shows.
O’Neill has also endorsed various products and brands, such as Zyrtec, Bud Light, M&M’s, and Verizon Wireless. He has appeared in several commercials and advertisements for these companies, earning additional income from his celebrity status.
Personal Life and Relationships
Marital Status and Family
O’Neill has been married to actress Catherine Rusoff since 1986. They have two daughters, Claire and Sophia. They live in Los Angeles, California. O’Neill is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and trains regularly at the Gracie Academy.
Social Media Presence
O’Neill does not have any official social media accounts, such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. He has said that he is not interested in social media and prefers to keep his personal life private. However, he has appeared on some of his co-stars’ social media posts, such as Sofia Vergara’s Instagram account. He also has several fan pages and accounts dedicated to him and his characters on various platforms.