David Schwimmer

David Schwimmer


11/2/1966, Astoria, New York, USA

Birth Name

David Larry Schwimmer



Also Known As

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User Rating
577 votes


If one were to base one's judgment of David Schwimmer's talent on his low-key performance as the anxious, awkward but lovable paleontologist Ross on NBC's smash hit comedy Friends, one might never suspect that beneath the affable exterior lies a versatile, multi-talented actor and filmmaker.



Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • "Playgirl" readers voted Schwimmer one of 1995's 10 sexiest men.

    • After appearing in a play called "D Girl," people were astonished he could play someone besides Ross Gellar from "Friends." He started to take on typecast-breaking roles such as Dr. Kevin Saunders in "Breast Men" and Max Abbit in "Kissing A Fool."


    • In 2006 Schwimmer played Charlie in the movie Big Nothing.

    • In 2005 David Schwimmer starred in the movie Duane Hopwood, playing the character Duane Hopwood.

    • David won $400,000 in a defamation lawsuit judgment against former charity fundraiser Aaron Tonken. He filed the lawsuit in 2005 after Tonken made tabloid accusations that Schwimmer had refused to attend one of his charity events unless he gave him a pair of expensive Rolex watches.

    • David Schwimmer loves English pubs.

    • David said he will always love Friends because it made him a millionaire.

    • David likes to play softball and basketball.

    • David has noted as to how insecure he felt during high school.

    • David was once a rollerskating waiter as he was putting himself through college.

    • When David was a teenager he wore braces with head gear.

    • While starring in Friends, David filmed 10 public service announcements for NBC's The More You Know. His topics were rape, date rape, drugs, diversity, teacher appreciation, stay in school, nutrition, smoking, parental involvement, internet safety, and judging.

    • David Schwimmer was at the 2003 Emmy Awards Ceremony.

    • David admits to having conflict with writers and cast members of Friends.

    • David describes himself as an excellent driver.

    • David hates cats; mainly because he is very allergic to them.

    • David Schwimmer was an executive producer on the film Easy Winners.

    • Schwimmer made his acting debut in the 1988 movie Biloxi Blues. He played a soldier on a train but was uncredited. His first credited role in acting was in 1989 when he was on A Deadly Silence.

    • David has an older sister named Ellie, who was born in 1965.

    • David is in a music video for the song "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts.

    • David supplies the voice of Melman in the animated film Madagascar.

    • David Shares a birthday with his Mother.

    • David Schwimmer was born in New York and was raised in Los Angeles.

    • Schwimmer appeared in an episode of Family Guy. He is waiting in line to see The Godfather to ask for World Peace.

    • David Schwimmer was the only Friends cast member that did not smoke. However, Courtney Cox quit smoking around the sixth season of the show.

    • David claimed many women came up demanding a kiss, even some demanded the same thing when their boyfriends were with them.

    • David claims he was only allowed to bond with Marcel (Ross' monkey on Friends) on-screen. He claims he was never allowed to play with the creature off-screen.

    • David was the only Friends cast member to not attend Lisa Kudrow's wedding because he was filming The Pallbearer.

    • David was suggested to play Holden in Chasing Amy, but turned it down. The part went to Ben Affleck.

    • David's character in Friends, has had his name in the episode title 24 times. That's more then any other cast mate's character.

    • David's character Ross (from Friends), also appeared on another NBC sitcom, The Single Guy. Of course, David still played him for the cameo appearance.

    • By the end of the series, David was one year older than his Friends character.

    • David's first voice acting job was in Madagascar, a 2005 CGI film about zoo animals set free.

    • David starred in many AT&T phone commercials.

    • Davids favourite drink to get from a café is a double latté with skim milk.

    • David directed The Jungle, a play, which won him six Joseph Jefferson Awards (the Chicago's version of the Tony Awards).

    • David appeared as himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm, a loosely-based biopic of Larry David's life, rehearsing to star opposite of Larry David in a stage production of The Producers.

    • David Schwimmer is a distant cousin of Benji Schwimmer, second season winner of So You Think You Can Dance. He is also a distant cousin of Lacey Schwimmer, who finished in the Top 4 in the third season of So You Think You Can Dance.

    • When in Some Girl(s), a London play he starred in, David threatened to walk off stage when a man was photographing him in a scene where he had to strip down to his underwear.

    • David once worked as a waiter at Ed Debevics, a restaurant in Chicago.

    • Annually at Northwestern University, they hold a dolphin show. While attending the college, David once appeared in the dolphin show.

    • David Schwimmer has been mentioned and insulted on both Family Guy and The Simpsons.

    • David's character on Friends was a vertebrate paleontologist. At Columbus State University, there was a vertebrate paleontologist named David R. Schwimmer.

    • David was the tallest of any of the Friends cast.

    • After enrolling at Northwestern University's as a theater major, David is known to have joined the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and Arts Alliance.

    • On the television show "Friends", David Schwimmer was Jewish.
      In real life, David Schwimmer is Jewish.

    • David Schwimmer's best friend is Joey Slotnick of "Nip/Tuck" fame.

    • In 2004, David Schwimmer was voted man of the year by 'Glamour' magazine readers.

    • In 1997, David Schwimmer headlined as a plastic surgeon as Dr. Kevin Saunders in a 1997 dark comedy film 'Breast Men'.

    • Although David Schwimmer never followed in his family's footsteps by becoming an actual attorney, he played one on television in a 1994 sitcom starring Henry Winkler titled 'Monty'.

    • In the spring of 2006, David Schwimmer played the part of military lawyer Lt. Barney Greenwald in a play titled "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" at The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway.

    • In 1998, David Schwimmer directed a film titled "Since You've Been Gone", and both his parents had parts in it (his parents names are Arlene Colemand-Schwimmer and Arthur Schwimmer).

    • David Schwimmer directed the film Run Fatboy, Run.

    • David Schwimmer directed numerous episodes of "The Tracy Morgan Show".

    • David Schwimmer was raised in a family full of attorneys (grandfather, parents and sister).

    • David Schwimmer starred in the film "Big Nothing" in 2006. It premiered in England.

    • David presented the award for Best Comedy at the 2006 British National Television Awards, which went to Matt Lucas and David Walliams, for Little Britain.

    • David had a moustache when he was 13.

    • David previously dated French actress Emmanuelle Perret.

    • David previously dated Rochelle Sanchez Ovitt.

    • David previously dated Nicole Miller.

    • David directs, stars in and writes for Band of Brothers and Dogwater.

    • David has said that when Friends ended, he would like to become a teacher.

    • David announced that he would like to help direct Joey.

    • David originally turned down the role of 'Ross Gellar' on Friends.

    • David previously dated Australian singer/actress Natalie Imbruglia.

    • The cast of Friends apparently got on as well in real life as they did on screen. They played poker and Scrabble together, and the girls often shopped with each other. The rumour that they had made a pact never to sleep together is untrue.

    • The Friends producers admit that the characters could never afford the rents on the apartments they live in on the show.

    • David made his acting debut as the fairy godmother in a Jewish version of Cinderella in 1977.

    • When the Friends pilot was approved by NBC, and a series commissioned, David and the rest of the cast was sent on a free trip to Las Vegas.

    • When David first met Friends co-star Matt LeBlanc he was skeptical. Matt was wearing leather jeans and David thought he was "Joe Cool Stud" and hated him on sight but later they became friends.

    • Recliners designed by David and the cast of Friends were auctioned off to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Monroe. The chairs raised a total of $125,000 on eBay in 2003.

    • David had to defend his name after tabloids claimed he's the reason why Friends ended. David had appeared on TV shows the entire week of October 5th, 2002, insisting that was not the case and that he too was open to suggestions to keep the show on the air.

    • Along with other Friends co-stars, David was one of the presenters at the September 22nd Emmy Awards.

    • David used to date actress Mili Avital, who he met on the set of Kissing a Fool (1998).

    • David called a London talk show to deny claims that cast members of Friends (1994) were demanding $1,000,000 each per episode.

    • Before Friends (1994), David competed against his high school friend Jonathan Silverman and actor Jon Cryer for a role in the TV pilot for Couples. Jonathan won the role opposite Helen Slater, but ABC passed on the show. The producers later reconceived the show for singles and sold it to NBC as Friends (1994). David was the first actor to be cast.

    • David is on the board of directors of the Rape Foundation for the Rape Treatment Center of Santa Monica.

    • David graduated from Northwestern University.

    • David has worked extensively on the stage both as an actor and a director.

    • David turned down the leading role in Men In Black, which went to Will Smith.

    • In Scream 2, Randy mentions that David Schwimmer played 'Dewey' in the movie "Stab". David Schwimmer co-starred with Courtney Cox on Friends.

    • David was nominated for a SAG Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 for Friends. They won in 1996.

    • David appeared in a Los Angeles production of a play called Turnaround.

    • David won a TV Guide Award for "Editor's Choice" in 2000.

    • David bought a house in Los Angeles for $5.5 million. He also has a studio in Chicago.

    • David received Emmy Nominations for "Outstanding Supporting Actor" and "Outstanding Lead Actor" (2002).

    • He played a character on Friends named "Russ" but he chose to be credited as "Snaro" as a tribute to a friend.

    • David has directed Friends episodes such as:
      The One With Phoebe's Birthday Dinner
      The One With The Red Sweater
      The One With The Stripper
      The One Where Joey Dates Rachel
      The One With Ross's Library Book
      The One With All The Candy
      The One With The Truth About London
      The One On The Last Night
      The One With Rachel's Assistant

    • David has many fan clubs.

    • David is 6' 2" tall.

    • While writing the role of 'Ross' in Friends, the writers of the show thought of David.

    • After graduating from college, David and seven other Northwestern graduates founded the Lookingglass Theater Company. Through the company he has acted in "West," "The Odyssey," "Of One Blood," "In the Eye of the Beholder," and "The Master and Margarita." He has also directed "The Jungle," "The Serpent," and "Alice in Wonderland."

  • Quotes

    • David Schwimmer: In recent months, I've noticed these little rolls of flesh in places that have always been flat.

    • David Schwimmer: I'm often asked whether Friends has been an albatross around my neck, or whether people only see me as 'Ross from Friends, but I don't ever think negatively about it. Really, that show has been a blessing. It's given me the financial freedom to choose the projects I really want to do.

    • David Schwimmer: (about the pressure of his first movie at the box office) For some reason I'm just not that scared. I realize there's a certain amount of pressure from critical circles and the industry. I feel like I'll be around for a very long time. I've watched the careers of bigger and better stars fade away. But I also think of Tom Hanks and Woody Harrelson.

    • David Schwimmer: (about kissing Jennifer Aniston) It's a job -- someone's gotta do it. The reality is, Jennifer and I can do our job well because we truly are friends. But when the day's over, she goes home to her boyfriend and I go home to a magazine.

    • David Schwimmer: (about Friends) I'm happy that Ross finally ended up with Rachel because he's loved her for so long and I like to think that love should prevail.

    • David Schwimmer: I think that, if the experience is positive, I would say acting on stage is my first love. I say a positive one because a lot of my joy comes from the team I am working with. If everyone is on the same team, it's a great ensemble, great director, great team of designers, etc., it's really the best of all experiences. A lot of my pleasure comes not only from great material, a great role, a great audience that night, but a great rehearsal process. I am all about the process. I am really lucky right now. We have an amazing director, Jerry Zaks. There is no ego in the room; just a great bunch of guys

    • David Schwimmer: (about the Caine Mutiny) I really feel humbled by the effort of that generation which many of my relatives were [a part of]. I love the law and the courtroom. I grew up with a kind of love and appreciation for the law.

    • David: (about acting) Relax and be yourself -- as if you'd ever just be standing in front of a camera not talking to anyone! It's very odd.

    • David: (about Friends) We were really lucky to have such talented and such nice people, it's really unusual.

    • David: (about Joey) It's on the same soundstage and it's with the whole crew.

    • David: I just went to see Joey film, Matt Le Blanc's show, and it was surreal.

    • David: I went from doing Friends to doing an independent movie and I just directed two pilots for NBC

    • David: It's really important to me not to be known as Ross when I'm 60.

    • David: My favorite thing about my family is that my sister and I will go over to our parents house on the weekend and play canasta.

    • David: (about acting) There are certain pressures and things that change your life to a degree that, in the cost benefit analysis that constantly goes on, sometimes makes you think, 'Maybe I should just leave'.

    • David: There are certain sacrifices that you make, and you feel like the only compensation you have as an actor is financial.

    • David: With the success of the last three or so years, when a lot of people start treating you differently, there's a danger that you may start to think of yourself differently. You rely on your friends to say, 'Hey, wake up!'

    • David: You're only as good as the sum of your parts, and one person can't be a team.

    • David: I like to grow as an actor, and you can do that by playing parts that are unfamiliar to you and uncomfortable.

    • David: I have a lot of girlfriends whom I've never been involved with. Those kinds of lines get drawn pretty early on.

    • David: I had a mustache when I was 13.

    • David Schwimmer: (When asked about marrying a Jewish woman) My parents would be thrilled. It makes things a lot easier, sharing a cultural and religious background, but I was raised completely without prejudice or bias in terms of meeting people of other races or cultures or religions - and I am pretty open.

    • David: I find America falling in love with a TV show flattering and interesting, but at the same time a little sad.

    • David: I don't tolerate any kind of dishonesty. I bring a lot to the table with my relationships, so I really expect the same.

    • David: Can I tell you how strange it is to look in your rearview mirror and see guys in cars tailing you?

    • David Schwimmer: (David Schwimmer talking about how he related to his character 'Ross Geller') There was definitely part of me that identified with that aspect of the character, the neurotic kind of lovable loser. And if you see pictures of me in high school especially, you know, 12, 13, 14-years-old, I mean, you will completely understand why...Like I had a baby face, like, you know, no hair on my chest or any-- but for some reason I had like a little mustache. You know, I was like, this is great. Braces, head gear, mustache, overweight, you know. I was a lady killer.

    • David Schwimmer: (David Schwimmer talking about life after Friends) For some reason, there's no fear. I'm not at all afraid. I'm more excited than anything. I mean, it's just been a great run, you know. And I think all of us feel like it's just-- we've reached our time to move on.

    • David Schwimmer: (David Schwimmer talking about choosing a play to participate in.) ...a couple of things came up that just never quite felt right. Either because I liked the play but wasn't hot on the director, or there was another star attached that I wasn't jazzed about working with.

    • David Schwimmer: If someone in a work environment says a racist joke, I'm the kind of person who says, 'I'm sorry, I don't find that funny, and I'd appreciate if you don't tell those kinds of jokes when I'm around.' And you can be looked at as, 'Wow, he's the bummer in the party.' But I just don't go for that.

    • David Schwimmer: (David Schwimmer talking about his role in the play The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial) There are many things I identified with. Being a Jewish man and kind of acknowledging what that means, being the son of lawyers and growing up loving the law. He's got a very strong sense of knowing what's right and what's wrong. It's one thing to know the right thing. It's another to say what you should say in a given situation, instead of swallowing it.

    • David Schwimmer: (David Schwimmer talking about his fame from the Friends sitcom) It's very strange to be known as a situation-comedy guy...I was mostly Serious Theater Guy. I definitely feel like I'm a stage actor first and foremost.

    • David Schwimmer: (David Schwimmer talks about how he felt in highschool.) I decided to try drama for the attention and making my family laugh. There is no greater joy then hearing your parents laugh. I enjoyed being the guy who made others laugh. As I became older, and more mature, I realized that there was a lot more to acting and there is a whole craft behind it. I love story telling! I love listening to stories and I love telling them.

    • David: I think Cosmo's campaign is great, and that the possession and distribution of any of these 'rape drugs' should be illegal.

    • David: I've made a good amount of money. I'm very happy that I can now support my theatre company and support friends and family, and I'm ready to maybe go back to school and change careers.

    • David: To be perfectly honest, I feel I have a duty to use my celebrity status in a positive way. Most rape victims are women, so the bulk of the discussion is loaded towards women. I thought I could find a way to approach the subject of rape in such a way that men are going to respond to it.

    • David: (about Jennifer Aniston co-star) The reality is, Jennifer and I can do our job well because we truly are friends. But when the day's over, she goes home to her boyfriend and I go home to a magazine.

    • David: Oh my God, people really think I'm Ross!

    • David Schwimmer: There's nothing like a play. It's so immediate and every performance is different. As an actor, you have the most control over what the audience is seeing.