Paul Stephen Rudd (born April 6, 1969) is an American actor and screenwriter. He primarily appears in comedies, and is most well-known for his roles in the films Clueless, Wet Hot American Summer, Anchorman, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Dinner For Schmucks, The Object of My Affection, Role Models, I Love You, Man and How Do You Know. On television, he is also well known for his role on the NBC sitcom Friends, playing Mike Hannigan, Phoebe Buffay's boyfriend and later husband.
Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey. His parents, who emigrated from England, were Jewish, and Rudd had a bar mitzvah celebration. His ancestors had moved from Russia and Poland to England, and his family's original surname, "Rudnitzky", was changed by his grandfather to "Rudd". Rudd's father, Michael, was a historical tour guide who was formerly the vice president of World Airways, while Rudd's mother, Gloria, was a sales manager at the television station KSMO-TV. When he was ten, Rudd's family moved to Overland Park, Kansas, where he was raised. He attended high school at Shawnee Mission West and college at the University of Kansas, where he became a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He spent three months studying Jacobean drama at the British American Drama Academy based in Oxford, UK.
Rudd made his breakout performance in the 1995 film Clueless, which turned him into a minor teen idol. Additional early-career credits include Wet Hot American Summer, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The Cider House Rules, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, and The Object of My Affection. He also garnered recognition with a recurring role on Friends as Mike Hannigan, who married Phoebe Buffay. Rudd's Broadway credits include The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1997), Twelfth Night (1998), and Three Days of Rain (2006). He guest-starred as a has-been 1990s rock star, Desmond Fellows, on the television series, Veronica Mars, in an episode titled "Debasement Tapes". He has also appeared in the audiobook recordings of John Hodgman's books The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require. In 2006, he appeared in several episodes of Reno 911! as "Guy Gerricault" (pronounced "jericho"), the coach of a lamaze class, and portrayed a drug lord in the film Reno 911!: Miami.