Ed Begley, Jr

For his father, see Ed Begley.
Ed Begley, Jr.
81st Academy Awards in February 2009
Born Edward James Begley, Jr.
(1949-09-16) September 16, 1949 (age 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California
Education Notre Dame High School
Alma mater Los Angeles Valley College
Occupation Actor
Home town Sherman Oaks, California
Parents Ed Begley, Sr.

Edward James "Ed" Begley, Jr. (born September 16, 1949) is an American actor and environmentalist. Begley has appeared in hundreds of films, television shows, and stage performances. He is best known for his role as Dr. Victor Ehrlich, on the television series St. Elsewhere, for which he received six consecutive Emmy Award nominations, and his most recent reality show about green living called Living With Ed on Planet Green with his wife, actress Rachelle Carson-Begley, who is not to be confused with the famous environmentalist Rachel Carson.

Early life

Begley was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Allene Jeanne Sanders and Academy Award winner Ed Begley (although at the time, Ed Sr. was married to Amanda Huff).[1][2] He grew up in Buffalo, New York, and attended Stella Niagara Education Park Cadet School in Lewiston, New York. In 1962 the family moved back to California, where he graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California and Los Angeles Valley College in North Hollywood, California.[3]

Acting career

Begley's numerous works in television and film include one of his earliest appearances as a guest actor on Maude. He had recurring roles on Mary Hartman, 7th Heaven, Arrested Development, and Six Feet Under and starring roles in Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, St. Elsewhere, and Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central). He has played significant roles in the mockumentary films Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. Additionally, Begley played Viper pilot Greenbean on the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, Boba Fett in the radio adaptation of Return of the Jedi, and Seth Gillette, a fictional Democratic US senator from North Dakota in the television drama The West Wing. In 1995, he played The Riddler's boss in Batman Forever but is uncredited. Since 2000, he has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 1996, Begley appeared in the TV movie “The Late Shift,” where he played real life CBS executive Rod Perth. Perth himself appears briefly in a cameo role (as a man Howard Stringer mistakes for Perth in the CAA lobby). Begley Jr. and Perth share an extraordinary physical resemblance, something the film makers milk for humor in the scene.

He has guest-starred on shows such as Scrubs, Boston Legal, and Star Trek: Voyager (Future's End, parts I and II). He had a recurring guest role in season three of Veronica Mars. Most recently, he appeared in the 2008 HBO film Recount, which profiled the 2000 Presidential Election and its aftermath, which was decided by the state of Florida's electoral votes. Begley also made an appearance on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season 3, Episode 3, as a spokesman for Cinco.

In 2003, Begley wrote and directed the musical Cesar and Ruben. It was performed at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles and was revived in 2007.

Begley's latest acting role is in the CBS sitcom Gary Unmarried. Begley plays Dr. Walter Krandall, the protagonist's former marriage counselor and fiancé of his ex-wife.

Since 2008 he has appeared in a series of DirecTV commercials as a "Cable Corp Inc." executive.[4] In 2013 he appeared on the reality television show Beverly Hills Pawn.

Personal life

According to a feature on the Bio Channel television program Celebrity Close Calls, Begley nearly died in 1972, after being stabbed multiple times while being mugged by a street gang. His attackers were teenagers, who were later apprehended by police.[5]



Since 1970, he has been an environmentalist, beginning with his first electric vehicle (a Taylor-Dunn[6] golf cart style vehicle), recycling, and becoming a vegan.[7] He promotes eco-friendly products like the Toyota Prius, Envirolet composting toilets and Begley's Best Household Cleaner.

Begley's home is 1,585 square feet (147.3 m2) in size using solar power and also uses wind power via a PacWind vertical-axis wind turbine, an air conditioning unit made by Greenway Design Group, LLC., and an electricity-generating bicycle used to toast bread, and he pays around $300 a year in electric bills.[8] Arguing that the suburban lawn is environmentally unsustainable, especially in Southern California owing to water shortage, he has converted his own to a drought-tolerant garden composed of native California plants.[9] Though he is noted for riding bicycles and using public transportation, he owns a 2003 Toyota RAV4 EV electric-powered vehicle.

His hybrid electric bicycle was often featured on his television show Living With Ed. Begley also spoofed his own environmentalist beliefs on "Homer to the Max", an episode of The Simpsons by showing himself using a nonpolluting go-cart that is powered by his "own sense of self-satisfaction" and on an episode of Dharma and Greg. Later, he appeared in "Gone Maggie Gone", another episode of The Simpsons, in Season 20. In the episode, during a solar eclipse, he drives a solar-powered car that stops running on train tracks as a train approaches, but the train also stops because it is an Ed Begley Jr. Solar Powered Train. While according to Groening's other comedy series Futurama "Ed Begley Jr's electric motor is the most evil propulsion system ever conceived" as stated in "The Honking" (19 minutes in).

Begley and friend Bill Nye are in a competition to see who can have the lowest carbon footprint.[10]

Begley also appeared in the Earth Day edition of The Price is Right. He announced the final showcase, which included an electric bicycle, a solar-powered golf cart and a Toyota Prius.

Begley was featured during The Jay Leno Show's Green Car Challenge. Various celebrities drove an electric Ford Focus automobile and tried to set records on an outdoor track. During the second lap, cutouts of Begley and Al Gore would pop out, and if the celebrity had hit either of them, one second was added to his or her time.

Begley is the author of Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life (2008) and Ed Begley, Jr.'s Guide to Sustainable Living: Learning to Conserve Resources and Manage an Eco-Conscious Life (2009) both published by Random House.[11][12]

Environmental affiliations

From 2007–2010, Begley and his wife Rachelle Carson starred in their own reality television series, Living With Ed on HGTV and Discovery's Planet Green channel.[16] He, his wife and daughter Hayden are currently filming "On Begley Street," a Web series chronicling the deconstruction of his current home and the "building of North America’s greenest, most sustainable home."[17]

He received the Thomas Alva Edison Award for Energy Independence from the American Jewish Congress, the first one to be presented. Begley has been a leader in this field and was recognized in November 2007 for his lifelong work in environmentalism.


Begley was also on the advisory committee for the group 2004 Racism Watch, founded by fellow actor Ed Asner. The group was formed to respond to the advertisement campaign of the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney presidential campaign that they claimed were encouraging racism. The advertisement in question, “100 Days,” made a reference to terrorism and terrorists while highlighting a photograph of an anonymous man of Middle-Eastern descent.[18][19]

Water fluoridation

April 19, 2013 two public service announcements about the hazards of water fluoridation were released featuring Begley made in conjunction with the Fluoride Action Network. [20] [21]



External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • Ed Begley, Jr. official site
  • On Begley Street
  • Begley's Best Household Cleaner
  • Living With Ed at MySpace
  • The TreeHugger Interview: Ed Begley, Jr.
  • Currie Technologies
  • Interview from Log Home Design magazine: Ed Begley, Jr.
  • Recount Movie
  • by Ed Begley, Jr.

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