Stephen Root

Stephen Root

Stephen Root in 2009
Born Stephen Edward Root
(1951-11-17) November 17, 1951
Sarasota, Florida, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Education Vero Beach High School
Alma mater University of Florida
Occupation Actor, voice actor
Years active 1988–present
Home town Vero Beach, Florida
Spouse(s) Romy Rosemont (m. 2008)
Children 1

Stephen Edward Root (born November 17, 1951) is an American actor and voice actor. He has starred as Jimmy James on the TV sitcom NewsRadio, as Milton Waddams in the film Office Space and as the voices of Bill Dauterive and Buck Strickland in the animated series King of the Hill.[1] His other roles have included Captain K'Vada in the Star Trek: The Next Generation feature-length episode "Unification", and Gordon Pibb in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.

Early life

Root was born in Sarasota, Florida, the son of Leona Estelle and Rolland Clair Root, a construction supervisor. Root has likened his childhood to that of an "Army brat", as his family frequently relocated while his father finished each construction project.[2] Root graduated from Vero Beach High School in Vero Beach, Florida. He received his AA from the University of Florida, and trained in the BFA acting program. The university recognized him as one of its distinguished alumni in 2008.[3]


Among his most recognized television roles are eccentric billionaire Jimmy James on the sitcom NewsRadio and as the voice of depressed Army barber Bill Dauterive and Hank Hill's skirt-chasing boss Buck Strickland on the animated television series King of the Hill (Root originally auditioned for the role of Dale Gribble). He had a recurring role on the final two seasons of The West Wing as Republican campaign consultant Bob Mayer. His most recognizable film roles to date are as the mumbling, quirky Milton Waddams in Office Space, as the mild-mannered gymrat Gordon Pibb in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Suds, a drunk sports writer, in Leatherheads, and as the dimwitted principal in the 2008 Judd Apatow produced comedy Drillbit Taylor.

Root is a favorite of the Coen Brothers. He has appeared in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Ladykillers, and No Country For Old Men. Kevin Smith wrote a role in Jersey Girl specifically for Root.

Root reunited with Mike Judge in Idiocracy and has also portrayed NASA flight director Chris Kraft in the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He took on the biographical role of Richard A. Clarke in The Path to 9/11. He has also had many guest appearances in television programs across several genres. He was Klingon Captain K'Vada in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification" in 1991. In 1992, Root appeared on the TV series Night Court as Mr. Willard. In the 1993–1994 television season, Root appeared as a series regular as "R.O." on the Beau Bridges/Lloyd Bridges comedy/western series Harts of the West on CBS.

Root guest starred on Seinfeld, playing the role of a bank manager in the episode "The Invitations", handling Kramer's hello greeting issue. He had a role in Frasier in the episode "Detour" as the father of the family helping Frasier when his car broke down. In the CSI episode "Homebodies", he played the father of a rape victim. In addition, Root had a series regular role on the short-lived CBS series Ladies Man, which starred Sharon Lawrence, soon after she left NYPD Blue. He played Raymond, a hunting store owner involved in illegal gun trading, in the 1993 In the Heat of the Night episode "A Love Lost".

Root also has an active career as a voice artist. Aside from his roles in King of the Hill, he has played various characters in animated films, such as Ice Age, Finding Nemo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. In other animated television, series regular roles include: Commander Chode in Tripping the Rift and Homebase in The X's. Additionally, he has provided guest-starring vocal talent in animated television series, like Chowder and Teen Titans. He recently lent his voice to Batman: The Brave and the Bold as Woozy Winks and The Penguin.

Recently, Root has appeared in HBO's series True Blood as a vampire named Eddie. He also had a multi-episode arc in the second season of Pushing Daisies on ABC, playing the mysterious Dwight Dixon. He appeared as Johnny Forreals, inventor of the word "boo-yah" on an episode of Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program entitled "Cangamangus". He appeared in the 2009 comedy film The Men Who Stare at Goats as Gus Lacey. In 2010, he appeared in a multi-episode arc in season 8 of the Fox television series 24 as a probation officer named Bill Prady, and in the FX television series Justified as the eccentric Judge Mike "The Hammer" Reardon. In 2011, he co-starred in Robert Redford's The Conspirator, playing John Lloyd, a key witness in the trial of alleged Lincoln conspirator Mary Surratt. In 2012 he began playing the role of Gaston Means in the HBO's acclaimed TV series Boardwalk Empire season 3.



Year Film Role Other notes
1988 Crocodile Dundee II DEA Agent (Toilet)
Monkey Shines Dean Burbage
1989 Black Rain Berg
1990 Stanley & Iris Mr. Hershey
Ghost Police Sgt.
1991 Guilty by Suspicion RKO Guard
V.I. Warshawski Mickey
Bed & Breakfast Randolph
1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Gary Murray
1993 Dave Don Durenberger
RoboCop 3 Coontz
Extreme Justice Max Alvarez
1995 Bye Bye Love Awakened Neighbor
Night of the Scarecrow Uncle Frank/The Sherriff
1998 Krippendorf's Tribe Gerald Adams
1999 Gut Feeling Kane Cohen
Office Space Milton Waddams
Natural Selection Mr. Crenshaw a.k.a. The Monster Hunter
Bicentennial Man Dennis Mansky – Head of NorthAm Robotics
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? Radio Station Man
Tripping the Rift Chode Voice only
2002 Ice Age Frank / Start Voice only
The Country Bears Zeb
White Oleander Michael (scenes deleted)
2003 Finding Nemo Bubbles Voice only
Grind Cameron
2004 Raising Genius Dwight Nestor
The Ladykillers Fernand Gudge
Jersey Girl Greenie
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story Gordon
Surviving Christmas Dr. Freeman
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie Vince Masters
2005 Just Friends KC
2006 Cook-Off! Morty Van Rookle
Ice Age: The Meltdown Aardvark Dad Voice only
Gretchen Herb
Idiocracy Judge Hank "The Hangman" BMW
The Frank Anderson John Simon
The Fox and the Hound 2 Talent Scout Direct-to-video
Voice only
2007 No Country for Old Men Man who hires Wells
Have Dreams, Will Travel Sheriff Brock
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Bubbles Voice only
Sunny & Share Love You Clive Anderson
2008 Mad Money Glover
Over Her Dead Body Sculptor
Drillbit Taylor Principal Doppler
Leatherheads Suds
Tripping the Rift: The Movie Chode Voice only
2009 Glock
Bob Funk Steve
The Soloist Curt Reynolds
Imagine That Fred Franklin
The Men Who Stare at Goats Gus Lacey
2010 Son of Mourning Senator Lewis
Unthinkable Charlie
The Conspirator Witness
Everything Must Go Elliot
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare Burt Voice only
2011 Cedar Rapids Bill Korgstad
Rango Doc and Merrimack Voice only
Red State Sheriff Wynan
J. Edgar Arthur Koehler
2012 Big Miracle Gov. Haskell
The Company You Keep Billy Cusimano
2013 Sweet Vengeance Kingfisher Sweetwater
Superman: Unbound Zor-El Voice only
The Lone Ranger Habberman
2014 Selma Al Lingo
2015 Hello, My Name Is Doris Todd
7 Chinese Brothers George
Trumbo Hymie King
2016 Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz Uncle Henry Voice role
Finding Dory Bubbles Voice role
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Burt Stangle
Looking for the Jackalope The Jackalope Voice role
2017 Infinity Baby Fenton Post-production
2018 Life of the Party Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Cross of Fire Beggs
1990 Wiseguy Bishop (1 episode, 1990)
Roseanne Peter Lundy (1 episode, 1990)
Jake and the Fatman Hastings (1 episode, 1990)
The Young Riders (1 episode, 1990)
Head of the Class Mr. Birch (1 episode, 1990)
1991 Davis Rules Porter (1 episode, 1991)
Golden Years Major Moreland (6 episodes, 1991)
Home Improvement Exterminator (1 episode, 1991)
The Torkelsons Sheriff Bobby Clinton (1 episode, 1991)
Star Trek: The Next Generation Captain K'Vada (2 episodes, 1991)
1992 Night Court Mr. Willard / Spirit of Death (2 episodes, 1990–1992)
A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story Kevin McDonald
Eerie, Indiana Mr. Chaney (1 episode, 1992)
Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter Kevin McDonald
Murphy Brown John Brophy (1 episode, 1992)
Civil Wars Mrs. Caldecott's Lawyer (2 episodes, 1992)
1993 Northern Exposure Brother Timothy (1 episode, 1993)
The Golden Palace Mr. Tucker (1 episode, 1993)
Quantum Leap John Tremaine Jr. (1 episode, 1993)
Class of '61
Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story Dr. Kirby
Sirens George Bailey (1 episode, 1993)
Blossom Louie (4 episodes, 1993)
In the Heat of the Night Raymond Mercer (1 episode, 1993)
1994 L.A. Law Atty. Brandon McCafferty (4 episodes, 1990–1994)
NYPD Blue IAB Sgt. Fulmer (1 episode, 1994)
Harts of the West R.O (15 episodes, 1993–1994)
Party of Five Football Coach (1 episode, 1994)
Sweet Justice (1 episode, 1994)
Diagnosis: Murder Charlie Lane (1 episode, 1994)
1995 NewsRadio Jimmy James (97 episodes, 1995–1999)
Chicago Hope Trumpet Playing Mental Patient (1 episode, 1995)
Cybill Phil Asher (1 episode, 1995)
Christy Clarence Sweetwater (1 episode, 1995)
VR.5 F.A.A. Negotiator (1 episode, 1995)
In the Line of Duty: Hunt for Justice Jaan Laaman
1996 Seinfeld Mr. Lager (1 episode, 1996)
The Lottery Graham Dunbar
Pandora's Clock Mark Hastings
The Road to Galveston Ed Kirkman
From the Earth to the Moon Chris Kraft (5 episodes, 1998)
Profiler Houston Plant Manager (1 episode, 1998)
King of the Hill Bill Dauterive, Buck Strickland (256 episodes, 1997–2010)
1999 Superman: The Animated Series Revered Amos Howell/Unity (1 episode, 1999)
The Sissy Duckling Big Ducky
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot Dr. Donovan (unknown episodes)
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Sheriff / Sentry #2 (3 episodes, 2000)
2001 Me & My Needs
The Andy Dick Show Manager of 98+1 Store (1 episode, 2001)
The Norm Show Mr. Sweeney (2 episodes, 2001)
DAG Senator Culpepper (1 episode, 2001)
Ladies Man Gene (30 episodes, 1999–2001)
The Legend of Tarzan Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt (1 episode, 2001)
Ed George MacPherson (1 episode, 2001)
2002 Dexter Prep Charles
The Proud Family Mr. Andrews (1 episode, 2002)
Malcolm in the Middle John Pratt (2 episodes, 2002)
Just Shoot Me! Dr. Drake Kelson (1 episode, 2002)
Justice League Cat Man (2 episodes, 2002)
According to Jim Al Crannis (1 episode, 2002)
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Michael Kirkwood (1 episode, 2003)
2004 Grounded for Life Tony Bustamante (3 episodes, 2002–2004)
Frasier Harbin (1 episode, 2004)
Brandy & Mr. Whiskers Santa Claus (1 episode, 2004)
2005 Kim Possible: So the Drama Cowboy Gambler (6 episodes, 2002–2005)
Kim Possible (Several) (6 episodes, 2002–2005)
Teen Titans Val Yor (1 episode, 2005)
2006 The X's Homebase (6 episodes, 2005–2006)
The West Wing Bob Mayer (9 episodes, 2005–2006)
The Path to 9/11 Richard Clarke
2007 Random! Cartoons Lance (1 episode, 2007)
American Dad! Dick / Dentist's Father (7 episodes, 2005–2007)
Slacker Cats Tommy (unknown episodes)
Tripping the Rift Chode (39 episodes, 2004–2007)
2008 Head Case Pat Jennings (1 episode, 2008)
Boston Legal Ethan Melman (1 episode, 2008)
Chowder Stilton/Dancer (1 episode, 2008)
The Sarah Silverman Program Johnny Forrealz (1 episode, 2008)
Pushing Daisies Dwight Dixon (5 episodes, 2008)
2009 True Blood Eddie (4 episodes, 2008–2009)
Californication Ricardo Collini (1 episode, 2009)
2010 24 Bill Prady (3 episodes, 2010)
The Defenders Judge Taylor (1 episode, 2010) "Pilot"
Justified Judge Mike Reardon (5 episodes, 2010–2012)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (4 episodes, 2010–2011)
Louie Dr. Heppa (1 episode, 2010)
2011 Adventure Time The Royal Tart Toter, Grimby, Martin (2 episodes, 2011-2015)
Childrens Hospital Owen's father (1 episode, 2011)
Thundercats Drifter, aka Hattanzo the Swordmaker (1 episode, 2011)
Fringe Raymond (1 episode, 2011)
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness Master Junjie (4 episodes, 2011-2014)
Raising Hope Cap Collins (1 episode, 2011)
2012 Gravity Falls Bud Gleeful/Additional voices (6 episodes, 2012-2015)
Young Justice Jack Haly (Episode 24: Performance, 2012)
Boardwalk Empire Gaston Means (6 episodes, 2012)
Dragons: Riders of Berk Mildew (Recurring role, 2012-2013)
2013 Out There Mr. Shooty (1 episode, 2013)
The Newsroom Former US general Stanislao Stomtonovich (1 episode, 2013)
2014 Turn: Washington's Spies Nathaniel Sackett (4 episodes, 2014–2015)
Adventure Time Martin (Finn's father) (Recurring role, 2014)
Fargo Burt Canton (2 episodes, 2014)
The Big Bang Theory Dan (Penny and Bernadette's boss) (2 episodes, 2014)
Mike Tyson Mysteries Thomas J. Watson (1 episode, 2014)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Lynn Boyle (4 episodes, 2014-2015)
Phineas and Ferb Floyd ("Doof 101" episode; voice only)
Hot in Cleveland Brian (1 episode, "The Bachelors")
2015 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Brian (voice) (1 episodes, "Blood Moon Ball/Fortune Cookies")
2016 Idiotsitter Kent Russell
All the Way J. Edgar Hoover TV movie
Workaholics Carty (1 episode, "Gone Catfishing")
Con Man Pascal
2017 Barry Fuches

Video games

Video games
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Blade Runner Early Q
2000 Deus Ex Mechanic Uncredited


  1. Ham, Robert. "Stephen Root's Funniest Characters". Paste. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  2. Harris, Will (2012-02-21). "Stephen Root · Interview · The A.V. Club". Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  3. "Distinguished Alumnus Award". University of Florida College of Arts. University of Florida. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
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