Before becoming the power-tool-wielding star of the top-rated sitcom Home Improvement, Tim Allen suffered through comedy-club obscurity, Mr. Goodwrench commercials, prison, and even a job in advertising.
Born Tim Allen Dick in Denver, Colorado, Allen has claimed that his personality was shaped by his easily-mocked surname – self-deprecation became his only defense in the face of the persistent taunting of his peers. Allen first took to the comedy stage on a dare by one of his friends, and found he had a talent for eliciting guffaws. As his reputation as a comedian grew, Allen retooled his act – which formerly relied heavily on scatology – into a grunt-punctuated routine called “Men Are Pigs,” which focused on men’s love of hardware. Eventually, he succeeded in persuading Walt Disney Studios to use his “Men Are Pigs” routine as the basis for a sitcom, and Home Improvement was born. Allen’s first book, “Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man,” and first feature film, “The Santa Claus,” both ascended to number one at the cash register. With his television show, book and movie all under the Disney banner, Allen left behind his former lone-wolf status to become the darling of the empire; even Mickey was jealous. Allen provided the voice of space ranger Buzz Lightyear in the megahit Toy Story. Soon after, Allen published a second book, “I’m Not Really Here,” in which he ruminates on parenthood, fame, and other matters spiritual and philosophical, while puttering through his home in search of a missing 1956 Ford hood ornament.
Since then, Allen has been a frequent presence on the big screen. His recent film projects include the David Mamet-helmed Redbelt, The Six Wives of Henry Lefay, and the beloved Toy Story 3.