Johnny Knoxville life and biography

Johnny Knoxville picture, image, poster

Johnny Knoxville biography

Date of birth : 1971-03-11
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-06-21
Credited as : Actor and comedian, daredevil Jackass, film director Jackass

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Philip John Clapp, better known by his stage name Johnny Knoxville, is an American actor, comedian, daredevil, and screenwriter. He has been featured in a number of films, but is perhaps best known as the co-creator and principal star of the MTV reality series The Jackass.

At age eight, the asthmatic suffered a simultaneous bout of flu, pneumonia, and bronchitis that nearly killed him. Knoxville would later joke that surviving this period convinced him he was invincible, making possible his future vocation as a performer who would injure himself for laughs. Knoxville had originally planned to go into acting through normal channels, attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, CA. However, it was while writing for a skateboarding magazine called Big Brother that Knoxville got his big break. Working on a story about self-defense equipment, Knoxville agreed to let magazine editor Jeff Tremaine film him testing the devices on himself. Hence, Jackass was born, with Tremaine, Knoxville, and director Spike Jonze serving as co-creators. MTV won a bidding war with Comedy Central, and the show became a hit -- one quickly festooned with warning labels not to try this at home.

After a role in the little-seen indie Desert Blues (1995) (credited as Phillip John) and a blink-and-you'll-miss-him appearance in Coyote Ugly (2000), Knoxville was offered a string of film roles following the success of Jackass, as well as a stint on Saturday Night Live, which he turned down. However, his cinematic coming-out party was delayed when Big Trouble, which featured a nuclear weapon smuggled aboard a commercial airplane, was pushed back indefinitely due to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. In 2001, he was also cast in the smaller films The Tree, The Ranger, and Life Without Dick, in which he plays the title character. As if one Knoxville wasn't enought to keep fans in stitches, the death-defying funnyman turned up as a two-headed alien in Men in Black II before taking his small screen antics to the silver screen, unrestrained by the restrictions of television, in Jackass: The Movie (both 2002).

Though to this point Knoxville's fairly minimal film roles (of course excluding Jackass: The Movie) called for any true acting ability, increasingly prominant roles in such efforts as Grand Theft Parsons (2003) and Walking Tall (2004) found the likeable Jackass successfully developing a notable film career. Following a supporting performance alongside wrestler-turned-actor in Walking Tall, Knoxville landed a role in self-described "Prince of Puke" director John Waters' Baltimore-based comedy A Dirty Shame. In 2005 Knoxville made two big attempts to court the mainstream, though neither struck box office gold. He starred as Luke Duke in the big-screen version of The Dukes of Hazzard, and was the lead in the comedy The Ringer, where he played a man who pretended to be disabled so he could compete in the Special Olympics. He reteamed with the Jackass crew for a second feature film playfully titled Jackass: Number Two.

In 2010, Knoxville hosted a 3-part online video for Palladium Boots titled "Detroit Lives." The videos focus on the resurgence of creativity in Detroit.

Knoxville has a production company called Dickhouse Productions, which he owns and operates with Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze of the Jackass franchise. Dickhouse projects include The Birth of Big Air (2010), a documentary about Mat Hoffman, and The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2010), both of which have been picked up by Tribeca Films.

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