Brad Garrett
Brad Garrett.jpg
Date of Birth Bradley H. Gerstenfeld
April 14, 1960 in Woodland Hills, California
Date of Death
Character Robert Barone
First Appearance Season 1 Episode 1
Number of episodes 210 (all episodes)

Bradley "Brad" Garrett (born Bradley H. Gerstenfeld; April 14, 1960) appears on the hit CBS-TV series "Everybody Loves Raymond", as Robert Barone, Ray Barone's older brother and N.Y.P.D. cop. Brad was initially successful as a stand-up comedian in the early 1980's. Taking advantage of that success in the late 1980's, Garrett began appearing in television and film, in minor and guest roles. His first major television role was as Robert Barone. The series debuted September 13, 1996 and ran nine seasons. Garrett has won three Prime-Time Emmy awards, with three other nominations. Garrett is still prominent within stand-up comedy and is also a professional poker player. Garrett's trademarks are his height, size and deep voice (which is not is real voice, but he uses for performance only).

Early life[edit | edit source]

Garrett was born Bradley H. Gerstenfeld[1] in Woodland Hills, California, the son of Barbara (née Colton), a homemaker, and Al Gerstenfeld, a hearing aid salesman.[2] He has two older brothers, Jeff and Paul. He attended George Ellery Hale Middle School in Woodland Hills and graduated from El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills. He attended UCLA for less than two months before dropping out to pursue his comedy career.

Career[edit | edit source]

Early career[edit | edit source]

In one of his earliest public appearances, Brad can be seen as the menacing palace guard on the back cover of the Electric Light Orchestra album Discovery released in 1979. In this, Garrett is seen dressed in middle-eastern traditional clothing, akin to that of the fictional character Aladdin, drawing his scimitar.

Brad started out at various improv clubs in Los Angeles, including The Improv in Hollywood and The Ice House in Pasadena, California. In 1984, he became the first $100,000 grand champion winner in the comedy category of the TV show Star Search. This led to his first appearance, at age 23, on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, making him one of the youngest comedians ever to perform on the show. His appearance with Carson brought Garrett a lot of national attention, and soon he was appearing as an opening act for such headliners as Diana Ross and Liza Minnelli. He also opened in Las Vegas for Frank Sinatra, David Copperfield, Smokey Robinson, Sammy Davis, Jr., the Beach Boys, the Righteous Brothers and Julio Iglesias.

After achieving a strong measure of success with stand-up comedy, Garrett decided to change gears and try his luck with performing on TV. He was the voice of wrestling legend Hulk Hogan for the cartoon series Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling, He was featured on Family Feud during Ray Combs's tenure in a "Funny Men vs. Funny Women Week" during November sweeps. He also appeared for a week on the game show Super Password in 1987. Brad also appeared on Hollywood Squares including a memorable moment when he impersonated Bill Cosby during a question about Jell-O. He then appeared in the short-lived summer comedy First Impressions (CBS, 1988), in which he was a divorced father who makes a living doing impressions, and in a one-time spot as a bank loan officer on Roseanne (ABC).

1990's - A star beginning to rise[edit | edit source]

Brad, made several appearances in the short lived NBC-TV series The Pursuit of Happiness (1995–96), in which he was the hero's gay best friend. Though prior to these roles, in 1990, Garrett appeared as a semi-regular panelist on the revival of Match Game. On the May 2, 1996 episode of the NBC-TV sitcom Seinfeld, called "The Bottle Deposit", Garrett played a deranged auto mechanic who sympathizes with Jerry Seinfeld's car and then steals it. Garrett had also had a minor part on Transformers, voicing the Decepticon base Trypticon in season three and as an ill-fated thug involved in a hustle in the 1997 Suicide Kings. He soon won the role of Ray Barone's brother Robert on Everybody Loves Raymond opposite comedian/actor Ray Romano. Garrett has also made an appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air playing a hit-man who attempts to kill Will Smith's character in a made-up story.

In 2003, he was also nominated for the Prime-Time Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Gleason. With his Raymond cast-mates, he won the 2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Films[edit | edit source]

Brad's film roles include Stuart Little 2, Finding Nemo, Garfield, The Amateurs, The Pacifier, Night at the Museum, Tangled, and Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. Garrett also played the leading role of Eddie Stark on the FOX television series 'Til Death from 2006 to 2010.

Voice Work[edit | edit source]

Brad's distinctive deep voice has landed him prolific work as a voice actor, such as on the animated series the Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, 2 Stupid Dogs, The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper, Project Geeker, Steven Spielberg Presents: Toonsylvania, A Bug's Life as Dim the Rhino Beetle, Asterix and the Vikings, Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited As Lobo, Finding Nemo, Disney's One Saturday Morning, and as Auguste Gusteau in Pixar's Ratatouille. His role on Everybody Loves Raymond won him five Emmy nominations, and the 2002, 2003 and 2005 Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

2000's-present - Recent appearances[edit | edit source]

Brad won the fifth season championship of Celebrity Poker Showdown, and played in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 World Series of Poker. Garrett was hoping to do a spin-off with his character Robert Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond when the show ended its nine-year run on TV in 2005, but he withdrew in October 2005 due to inaction from CBS that led to a number of the writers from "Raymond" leaving and taking other jobs.

In 2005, Garrett appeared on Broadway laying Murray the Cop in the revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. He understudied Lane in the role of Oscar Madison, and substituted for him in January, 2006, during Mr. Lane's illness. In 2006, the Fox-TV network announced they would pick up a new sitcom called 'Til Death starring Brad Garrett in the lead role. The plot revolves around a long married couple whose new next door neighbors are a pair of feisty newlyweds. Joely Fisher plays Garrett's wife in the series. The series seemed to end completely after co-stars Eddie Kay Thomas and Kay Foster left the show.

He also appeared onstage on American Idol Season 6 during judging on week 11, to which Ryan Seacrest said, "And the next person off American Idol is—Brad, you're out."

In the fall of 2008, Garrett starred and executive produced an online reality show called Dating Brad Garrett. In 2008, Garrett hosted a celebrity roast of Cheech & Chong, which was aired on TBS. In 2009, Garrett entered the main event at the World Series of Poker, losing on the second day of the event. Garrett has starred in commercials for 7-Up, where he portrays a more happy, cheerful version of himself because of the soda.

In June 2010, he opened Brad Garrett's Comedy Club in the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

On December 12, 2011, Garrett closed his club at the Tropicana. He is starting a new club with the same name across the street at MGM. In December 2010, he was one of the narrators during performances of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center. In June 2011, I Kid with Brad Garrett, a candid kids show, premiered on TLC.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

In 1998, Garrett, who is Jewish, proposed to his then-girlfriend, Roman Catholic Jill Diven,[3] an extra on the set of Everybody Loves Raymond, and they were married on May 18, 1999. Their first child Maxwell Bradley Garrett was born on October 14, 1998; their second child, daughter Hope Violet Garrett, was born in January 2000. Garrett and Diven separated in 2005, and Diven filed for divorce in July 2006. [4][5]

He claims that the rabbi botched his circumcision.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. At
  2. Brad Garrett Biography (1960-)
  3. Interview with Brad Garrett: Brad Garrett Talks About "Ratatouille" and "Music and Lyrics" by Fred Topel retrieved April 25, 2012
  5. People: "Raymond's Brad Garrett, Wife Secretly Split" By Stephen M. Silverman August 15, 2006

External links[edit | edit source]

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