Rainn Dietrich Wilson (born January 20, 1966) is an American actor and comedian. He is primarily known for his role as the egomaniacal Dwight Schrute on the American version of the television comedy The Office. He has also directed two episodes of The Office: the sixth season's "The Cover-Up" and the seventh season's "Classy Christmas".
Wilson was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Shay Cooper, a yoga teacher and actress, and Robert G. Wilson, a novel writer, artist, and business consultant who wrote the science fiction novel Tentacles of Dawn. Rainn showed the book and read from it on Jimmy Kimmel Live March 22nd, 2011. Wilson attended Central Middle School and Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, Washington, where he played the clarinet and bassoon in the band. He transferred to and graduated from New Trier High School after his family moved to Wilmette, Illinois to serve at the Bahá'í National Center. Wilson has a theatre background from Tufts University and the University of Washington, and has taught acting classes. He holds an MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and was a member of The Acting Company. While acting in theatrical productions in New York, he drove a moving van to make ends meet.
In addition to his starring role on The Office, Wilson has appeared as the eccentric Arthur Martin—the intern at Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home—on HBO's Six Feet Under. He has also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI, NUMB3RS, and Entourage, in the latter portraying a sleazy entertainment journalist based on Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News. Wilson guest-starred as a murderous baseball fan in an episode of Monk entitled "Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame". He appeared in the "Coyote Piper" episode of Charmed as an alchemist named Kierkan. On February 24, 2007, Wilson hosted Saturday Night Live, becoming the second cast member from The Office to host (after Steve Carell). During the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, Wilson appeared in ads for the 2007 United States women's national soccer team as public relations manager "Jim Mike." Wilson has made a guest appearance in two episodes of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim-bloc series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job. Wilson has also appeared on Reno 911.