Ed O'Neill was born on April 12, 1946 in Youngstown, Ohio.
O'Neill played Lenny in a stage production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He made his film debut in John Boorman's Deliverance as a deputy and appeared in several more movies, including The Bone Collector, Little Giants, and Dutch. He also starred as Sgt. Joe Friday on Dick Wolf's remake of Jack Webb's classic TV crime series Dragnet. The series was canceled by ABC in its second season. O'Neill also in 1985, two years before Married...With Children was in a Red Lobster commercial eating fish. He had no lines.
O'Neill is primarily known for playing the lead role of Al Bundy in Married... with Children, a long-running American sitcom about a dysfunctional family living in Chicago. It was the first primetime television series to air on the FOX Network as a midseason replacement, debuting on April 5, 1987 and concluding June 9, 1997. The series was created by Michael G. Moye and Ron Leavitt. O'Neill had short cameos in Wayne's World and its sequel, Wayne's World 2. He also appeared as Relish the Troll King in The 10th Kingdom. He also made a cameo on the sitcom 8 Simple Rules where he played Katey Sagal's old boyfriend. O'Neill made a brief appearance on the comedy variety show In Living Color, playing the "Dirty Dozens" champion who defeats the challenger, played by Jamie Foxx.
O'Neill went on to appear as a recurring character on NBC's The West Wing, playing Gov. Eric Baker (D-PA).
In January of 2009, O'Neill reunited with his TV son David Faustino (Bud Bundy from Married with Children) for an episode of Faustino's show Star-ving. Ed also appeared with the entire cast of Married with Children again when they were honored at the 7th Annual TV Land Award show in 2009, presented by Dr. Phil.
Since 2009, O'Neill has played the role of Jay Pritchett on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, a role that earned him Emmy award nominations in 2011 and 2012.