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Career Overview: Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd image
Paul Rudd turned 50 last weekend.

Well-beloved American actor Paul Rudd recently celebrated his 50th birthday, yet he’s still looking young as ever with his youthful green eyes and full, wavy brown hair. Paul “The Stud” Rudd has been starring in major films since the 1990s, starting with his role as heartthrob Josh in “Clueless” (1995) up to the highly-anticipated finale of the Avengers films, “Avengers: Endgame” (2019).

Paul Rudd probably has his name somewhere in almost everyone’s favorite comedies, given that he’s played parts in at least 61 feature films and 34 television series. Some of the highlights include “Wet Hot American Summer” (2001), “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004), “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005), “Knocked Up” (2007), “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (2008), “I Love You, Man” (2009), and “Dinner for Shmucks” (2010). Arguably, he also deserves credit for bringing humor to the Marvel Universe with his role as Ant-Man.

His numerous television appearances, too, garner some recognition. He played recurring roles of Phoebe’s love interest, Mike, in the show “Friends,” and of businessman Bobby Newport in “Parks and Recreation.”

Several of the films that Rudd has worked in came out with sequels, such as “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (2013), or the “Wet Hot American Summer” Netflix reboot starring original cast members Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler. Perhaps these shows were so successful that they implored another edition — or maybe people just wanted to see some more Paul Rudd action on screen.

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Rudd’s achievements don’t just begin and end with his acting career, though. He is also involved in philanthropic work. He began supporting the Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY) after portraying a character with a stutter back in 2006, in a play entitled “Three Days of Rain.” Additionally, because of Rudd’s unique connection to his home state, Kansas, he founded The Big Slick, an annual charity event that many celebrities attend whose mission is to support the Kansas City Children’s Mercy Hospital.

The most memorable and arguably impressive work in Rudd’s career might actually be his role as Hollywood’s resident meme-guy, most notably from Comic Con in 2014. Before the release of the first Ant-Man movie, and thus before fellow Avengers’ star Mark Ruffalo had the chance to meet him, Paul Rudd was being interviewed. As the cameras are rolling, Ruffalo walks through the background, awestruck to be in the presence of Rudd’s greatness. He mouths with an astonished look, “Is that Paul Rudd?” and then slowly slinks away in a stupefied gaze. This 15-second clip spread through the Internet masses like wildfire, becoming a fully-fledged meme.

But Paul Rudd is a comedian of sequels. At the 2018 World Premiere of “Avengers: Infinity War,” as Mark Ruffalo was speaking in an interview, Rudd walks through the back mouthing, “Oh my god, is that Mark Ruffalo?” bringing he meme full circle.

Beyond Paul Rudd’s comedic personality, people might attribute him with being “Mr. Perfect.” Rudd often receives comments on his genuineness and sincerity. In an interview with Elle Magazine, he said, “I just think life is so hard. There are so many things that can get you down – that are so frustrating and so maddening. As cornball as it sounds, kindness is a thing that can defuse it a little bit. Kindness and laughs.”

So happy 50th birthday, Paul! Thanks for the many years of laughs and internet sensations, and here’s to many more.

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