James on January 17, 2011
|Born||Kevin George Knipfing
April 26, 1965
Mineola, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer|
|Known for||The King of Queens (1998-2007)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
Kevin Can Wait (2016-2018) Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)
|Steffiana de la Cruz (m. 2004)|
Kevin George Knipfing (born April 26, 1965) better known by his screen name Kevin James, is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for playing Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens (1998-2007). He is also known for his roles in comedy films including Hitch (2005), I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), Grown Ups (2010), Zookeeper (2011), Here Comes the Boom (2012), and Pixels (2015). He starred on the CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait from 2016 to 2018.
Kevin James was born Kevin George Knipfing in Mineola, New York, and was raised from a young age in Stony Brook, both on Long Island. He is the second son of Janet, a homemaker who also worked in a chiropractor's office, and Joseph Valentine Knipfing Jr., who owned an insurance agency. He has an elder brother, Gary Joseph Knipfing, known as Gary Valentine, who is also a comedian and actor, and one sister, Leslie Knipfing. Leslie works for James and helped raise money through charity events for retinitis pigmentosa, which she has. He is of German, and Jewish descent.
James graduated from Ward Melville High School. While there, he reached the number one spot on the wrestling team, just ahead of friend and WWE star Mick Foley. Both wrestled at 145 lb weight class. A season-ending back injury to James resulted in Foley taking over the first string position. James, as well as Foley, went on to study at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he played halfback on the varsity football team until another back injury permanently ended his sporting hopes.
James began doing stand-up comedy in 1989, making his debut at the East Side Comedy Club on Long Island, managed by Richie Minervini. He gained popularity through numerous appearances on various talk shows, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Dennis Miller Live, The Late Late Show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. James was listed at #89 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians. James has also done his stand-up routine on Just for Laughs, an annual comedy festival in Montreal, Quebec. Later he was on commercials for Mazzio's Italian Eatery. In 2001, James did his own stand-up special called Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff. He has also appeared as a musical guest on Just for Laughs. In 2018, James released another stand-up special on Netflix called Kevin James: Never Don't Give Up.
James' first television job was in 1991 on The New Candid Camera, where he used his comedy timing and improvisation skills playing the actor that pulled the practical jokes on unsuspecting people. James appeared on television as the announcer for the MTV sports game show SandBlast from 1994-96. James later moved to Los Angeles and befriended Ray Romano, and later guest-starred on a few episodes of Romano's hit CBS sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. These appearances led to the development of his own sitcom, The King of Queens, which ran on the same network from September 21, 1998, to May 14, 2007. James played working class parcel delivery man Doug Heffernan who works for a company known as IPS. He is married to Carrie (Leah Remini), a sharp-tongued, ambitious secretary at a Manhattan law firm who is far less content with working-class life in Queens. Her obsessive, vindictive father, Arthur (Jerry Stiller), who is capable of bizarre conduct, lives with them. For his work on the eighth season, James was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2006.
James hosted the 2010 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on March 27, 2010, and was a nominee into the Arm Fart Hall of Fames of the next year's show as Kevin "Not-Quite-As-Good-As-Me" James; but lost to Josh Duhamel.
James made his film debut in the 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, alongside Will Smith and Eva Mendes. In 2006, he co-starred with his Everybody Loves Raymond colleague Ray Romano in the comedy Grilled, and provided voice work in the animated films Monster House and Barnyard. James co-starred with Adam Sandler in the comedies I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007), You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008), and Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009). In the latter film, his character patrolled the fictional West Orange Pavilion Mall, filmed at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts, on a Segway PT. The film opened as the #1 film in North America with a weekend gross of $39 million, despite overwhelmingly negative reviews, and eventually grossed $219 million from ticket and home video sales. More recently, James appeared in Grown Ups, which co-starred numerous Saturday Night Live alumni and was even more universally panned, yet was highly successful at the box office.
In 2011 he had a lead role with Vince Vaughn in the comedy-drama The Dilemma and then with Rosario Dawson in Zookeeper, which he wrote and produced. James also had the lead role in the 2012 mixed martial arts comedy film Here Comes the Boom. He starred as well in the movie Pixels in 2015 and the following year in True Memoirs of an International Assassin, directed by Jeff Wadlow and released by Netflix on November 11, 2016. In 2017, James co-starred with Adam Sandler in another Netflix film, Sandy Wexler.
In 2007, he was the grand marshal for the Pepsi 400, saying "Gentlemen, start your engines". He did it again in June 2010 with friend and fellow actor Adam Sandler to promote Grown Ups, in 2012 at the fall Talladega race to promote Here Comes the Boom and in July 2013 at the Coke-Zero 400 with co-stars Adam Sandler and Shaquille O'Neal.
James is the younger brother of comedian Gary Valentine (born Gary Knipfing), who played Doug's cousin Danny Heffernan on King of Queens. Kevin and his siblings were raised in the Catholic faith, which, Kevin stated in 2012, he continues to practice.
|2002||Pinocchio||Mangiafuoco||Voice: English version|
|2004||50 First Dates||Factory Worker|
|2006||Monster House||Officer Landers||Voice|
|2007||I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry||Larry Valentine|
|2009||Paul Blart: Mall Cop||Paul Blart||Also writer and producer|
|2010||Grown Ups||Eric Lamonsoff|
|2011||The Dilemma||Nick Brannen|
|2011||Zookeeper||Griffin Keyes||Also writer and producer|
|2012||Here Comes the Boom||Scott Voss||Also writer, and producer|
|2013||Grown Ups 2||Eric Lamonsoff|
|2015||Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2||Paul Blart||Also writer and producer|
|2015||Little Boy||Dr. Fox|
|2015||Hotel Transylvania 2||Frank||Voice|
|2016||True Memoirs of an International Assassin||Sam Larson|
|2017||Sandy Wexler||Ted Rafferty|
|2018||Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation||Frank||Voice|
|Everybody Loves Raymond||Kevin Daniels / Doug Heffernan||8 episodes|
|1998-2007||The King of Queens||Doug Heffernan||Lead role; 207 episodes|
|1998||Cosby||Episode: "Judgment Day"|
|1999||Becker||Episode: "Drive, They Said"|
|1999||Martial Law||Dallas Hampton||Episode: "Nitro Man"|
|2001||Arli$$||Kevin||Episode: "Like No Business I Know"|
|2007||Elmo's Christmas Countdown||Santa Claus|
|2015||Liv & Maddie||Mr. Clodfelter||Episode: "Cook-a-Rooney"|
|2016-2018||Kevin Can Wait||Kevin Gable||Lead role; 48 episodes|
|2018||Never Don't Give Up||Himself|
|2007||I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry||Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|||
|Worst Screen Couple[A]|
|2013||Grown Ups 2||Worst Screen Combo[B]||Nominated|||
|2015||Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2||Worst Actor||Nominated|||
|Pixels||Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|2017||Kevin Can Wait||Favorite Actor in a New TV Series||Nominated|||
|2006||The King of Queens (Episode: "Pole Lox")||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|2005||Hitch||Choice Movie: Dance Scene[C]||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie: Liplock[C]|
|2015||Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2||Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Nominated|||
Mr. James was born in Mineola, but his family soon moved to Stony Brook college, where he graduated from Ward Melville High School.