David Lawrence Schwimmer is an American actor, director, activist and producer. He began his acting career performing in school plays at Beverly Hills High School. In 1988, he graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in theater and speech. After graduating, Schwimmer co-founded the Lookingglass Theater Company. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about David Lawrence Schwimmer.
1. Schwimmer was born in Flushing, Queens, New York City, to attorneys Arthur and Arlene Coleman-Schwimmer.
2. Schwimmer is German Jewish.
3. He has an older sister named Ellie.
4. His family subsequently moved to Los Angeles, where Schwimmer had his first experiences of acting, at the age of 10, when he was cast as the fairy godmother in a Jewish version of Cinderella.
5. In 1979, Schwimmer went to a Shakespeare workshop given by English actor Ian McKellen in Los Angeles. He recalls being riveted by the experience.
6. Schwimmer then entered a contest in the Southern California Shakespeare Festival three years in a row, winning two first prizes.
7. Following his mother’s successful career as a divorce lawyer, the family moved to Beverly Hills, where Schwimmer attended Beverly Hills High School.
8. His classmates included actor Jonathan Silverman.
9. Schwimmer admitted to being an outsider during his time at the school, recalling, “When I was there I always felt: ‘This is not me, I’m surrounded by people with a different value system. And I just wanted to get out of California.'”
10. He was best at the subjects of science and math and thought he would become a doctor.
11. Schwimmer enrolled in a drama class, where he appeared in stage productions.
12. Encouraged by his school drama teacher to further his acting, he flew to Chicago for a summer acting program at Northwestern University.
13. He noted that the experience was both “enlightening and exhilarating”.
14. In 1984, Schwimmer graduated from Beverly Hills High and wanted to go straight into acting, but his parents insisted he go to college first so he would have something to fall back on.
15. Schwimmer moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern University, where he had attended a summer drama course when he was 16 years old.
16. At the university, he studied theater and was in an improv group with Stephen Colbert, the No-Fun Mud Piranhas.
17. After graduating in 1988, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater and speech, Schwimmer co-founded the Lookingglass Theatre Company. Subsequently, he returned to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
18. In 1994, Schwimmer was cast as Dr. Ross Geller in NBC’s situation comedy Friends, a series that revolved around a group of friends who live near each other in Manhattan.
19. He played a hopeless-romantic paleontologist who works at a museum and later becomes a professor at a university. Schwimmer initially turned down the role as Ross, but accepted later.
20. Executive producer Kevin S. Bright said that he had previously worked with Schwimmer, the character of Ross was written with him in mind, and he was the first actor cast.
21. On January 1, 2011, Schwimmer guest-starred on the British comedy series Come Fly With Me starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, whom he directed in Little Britain USA.
22. In 2007, Schwimmer and British artist Zoë Buckman began a relationship.
23. In March 2010, Schwimmer announced their engagement and married Buckman in a small private ceremony that June.
24. In 2011, the couple had a daughter.
25. The couple announced in April 2017 that they were “taking some time apart”.
26. In June 2006, Schwimmer won a US$400,000 defamation lawsuit against Aaron Tonken, a former charity fundraiser. Tonken claimed Schwimmer had demanded Rolex watches in order to appear at his own charity event, a claim that Schwimmer had denied.
27. Schwimmer is an active director of the Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica, which specializes in helping victims of date rape and child rape. He has also campaigned for legislation to ban drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB.
28. In November 2011, he gave the Scottish charity Children 1st permission to screen his film Trust to commemorate World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse and Violence against Children.
29. In 2012, he rebutted two longstanding rumors: one that he appeared as a soldier on a train in Biloxi Blues, saying, “No. I don’t know why that’s on IMDb, but I never was in that”, and the other that he is related to dancer Lacey Schwimmer, saying, “No, not at all. Please set the record straight. I guess it’s a natural assumption because we have the same last name, but no. I’ve never even met her”.
30. In April 2017, Schwimmer helped adapt the films of Sigal Avin for a US audience. The six short features depict sexual harassment at work by men on women.