Stephen Root

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Stephen Root
Root in 2009
Born(1951-11-17) November 17, 1951 (age 62)
Sarasota, Florida, US
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
EducationVero Beach High School
Alma materUniversity of Florida
Years active1988–present
Home townVero Beach, Florida
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Stephen Root
Root in 2009
Born(1951-11-17) November 17, 1951 (age 62)
Sarasota, Florida, US
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
EducationVero Beach High School
Alma materUniversity of Florida
Years active1988–present
Home townVero Beach, Florida

Stephen Root (born November 17, 1951) is an American actor and voice actor. He has starred as Jimmy James on the TV sitcom NewsRadio, as Milton Waddams in the film Office Space and as the voices of Bill Dauterive and Buck Strickland in the animated series King of the Hill. He has also won acclaim for his occasional dramatic and comedic roles, such as that of Captain K'Vada in the Star Trek: The Next Generation feature-length episode "Unification", and as Gordon Pibb in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.

Early life[edit]

Root was born in Sarasota, Florida, the son of Leona Estelle and Rolland Clair Root, a construction supervisor. Root likened his childhood to that of an "Army brat", as his family moved frequently while his father finished each construction project.[1] Root graduated from Vero Beach High School in Vero Beach, Florida. He received his AA from the University of Florida, and trained in the BFA acting program.


Among his most recognized television roles are eccentric billionaire Jimmy James on the sitcom NewsRadio and as the voice of depressed Army barber Bill Dauterive and Hank Hill's skirt-chasing boss Buck Strickland on the animated television series King of the Hill (Root originally auditioned for the role of Dale). He had a recurring role on the final two seasons of The West Wing as Republican campaign consultant Bob Mayer. His most recognizable film roles to date are as the mumbling, quirky Milton Waddams in Office Space, as the mild-mannered gymrat Gordon Pibb in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Suds, a drunk sports writer, in Leatherheads, and as the dimwitted principal in the 2008 Judd Apatow produced comedy Drillbit Taylor.

Root is a favorite of the Coen Brothers. He has appeared in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Ladykillers, and No Country For Old Men. Kevin Smith wrote a role in Jersey Girl specifically for Root.

Root reunited with Mike Judge in Idiocracy and has also portrayed NASA flight director Chris Kraft in the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He took on the biographical role of Richard A. Clarke in The Path to 9/11. He has also had many guest appearances in television programs across several genres. He was Klingon Captain K'Vada in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification" in 1991. In 1992, Root appeared on the TV series Night Court as Mr. Willard. In the 1993–1994 television season, Root appeared as a series regular as "R.O." on the Beau Bridges/Lloyd Bridges comedy/western series Harts of the West on CBS.

Root guest starred on Seinfeld, playing the role of a bank manager in the episode "The Invitations", handling Kramer's hello greeting issue. He had a role in Frasier in the episode "Detour" as the father of the family helping Frasier when his car broke down. In the CSI episode "Homebodies", he played the father of a rape victim. In addition, Root had a series regular role on the short-lived CBS series Ladies Man, which starred Sharon Lawrence, soon after she left NYPD Blue. He played Raymond, a hunting store owner involved in illegal gun trading, in the 1993 In the Heat of the Night episode "A Love Lost".

Root also has an active career as a voice artist. Aside from his roles in King of the Hill, he has played various characters in animated films, such as Ice Age, Finding Nemo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. In other animated television, series regular roles include: Commander Chode in Tripping the Rift and Homebase in The X's. Additionally, he has provided guest-starring vocal talent in animated television series, like Chowder and Teen Titans. He recently lent his voice to Batman: The Brave and the Bold as Woozy Winks and The Penguin.

Recently, Root has appeared in HBO's series True Blood as a vampire named Eddie. He also had a multi-episode arc in the second season of Pushing Daisies on ABC, playing the mysterious Dwight Dixon. He appeared as Johnny Forreals, inventor of the word "boo-yah" on an episode of Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program entitled "Cangamangus". He appeared in the 2009 comedy film The Men Who Stare at Goats as Gus Lacey. In 2010, he appeared in a multi-episode arc in Season 8 of the Fox television series 24 as a probation officer named Bill Prady, and in the FX television series Justified as the eccentric Judge Mike "The Hammer" Reardon. In 2011, he co-starred in Robert Redford's The Conspirator, playing John Lloyd, a key witness in the trial of alleged Lincoln conspirator Mary Surratt. In 2012 he began playing the role of Gaston Means in the HBO's acclaimed TV series Boardwalk Empire season 3.


YearFilmRoleOther notes
1988"Crocodile" Dundee IIDEA Agent (Toilet)
Monkey ShinesDean Burbage
1989Black RainBerg
1990Stanley & IrisMr. Hershey
GhostPolice Sgt.
1991Guilty by SuspicionRKO Guard
V.I. WarshawskiMickey
Bed & BreakfastRandolph
1992Buffy the Vampire SlayerGary Murray
1993DaveDon Durenberger
RoboCop 3Coontz
Extreme JusticeMax Alvarez
1995Bye Bye LoveAwakened Neighbor
Night of the ScarecrowUncle Frank/The Sherriff
1998Krippendorf's TribeGerald Adams
1999Gut FeelingKane Cohen
Office SpaceMilton Waddams
Natural SelectionMr. Crenshawa.k.a. The Monster Hunter
Bicentennial ManDennis Mansky – Head of NorthAm Robotics
2000O Brother, Where Art Thou?Radio Station Man
Tripping the RiftChodeVoice only
2002Ice AgeFrank / StartVoice only
The Country BearsZeb
White OleanderMichael(scenes deleted)
2003Finding NemoBubblesVoice only
2004Raising GeniusDwight Nestor
The LadykillersFernand Gudge
Jersey GirlGreenie
Dodgeball: A True Underdog StoryGordon
Surviving ChristmasDr. Freeman
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost MovieVince Masters
2005Just FriendsKC
2006Cook-Off!Morty Van Rookle
Ice Age: The MeltdownAardvark DadVoice only
IdiocracyJudge Hank "The Hangman" BMW
The Frank AndersonJohn Simon
The Fox and the Hound 2Talent ScoutDirect-to-video
Voice only
2007No Country for Old MenMan who hires Wells
Have Dreams, Will TravelSheriff Brock
Finding Nemo Submarine VoyageBubblesVoice only
Sunny & Share Love YouClive Anderson
2008Mad MoneyGlover
Over Her Dead BodySculptor
Drillbit TaylorPrincipal Doppler
Tripping the Rift: The MovieChodeVoice only
Bob FunkSteve
The SoloistCurt Reynolds
Imagine ThatFred Franklin
The Men Who Stare at GoatsGus Lacey
2010Son of MourningSenator Lewis
The ConspiratorWitness
Everything Must GoElliot
Scooby-Doo! Camp ScareBurtVoice only
2011Cedar RapidsBill Korgstad
RangoDoc and MerrimackVoice only
Red StateSheriff Wynan
J. EdgarArthur Koehler
2012Big MiracleGov. Haskell
The Company You KeepBilly Cusimano
2013Sweet VengeanceKingfisherSweetwater
Superman: UnboundZor-ElVoice only
The Lone RangerHabberman


1989Cross of FireBeggs
1990WiseguyBishop(1 episode, 1990)
RoseannePeter Lundy(1 episode, 1990)
Jake and the FatmanHastings(1 episode, 1990)
The Young Riders(1 episode, 1990)
Head of the ClassMr. Birch(1 episode, 1990)
1991Davis RulesPorter(1 episode, 1991)
Golden YearsMajor Moreland(6 episodes, 1991)
Home ImprovementExterminator(1 episode, 1991)
The TorkelsonsSheriff Bobby Clinton(1 episode, 1991)
Star Trek: The Next GenerationCaptain K'Vada(2 episodes, 1991)
1992Night CourtMr. Willard / Spirit of Death(2 episodes, 1990–1992)
A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick StoryKevin McDonald
Eerie, IndianaMr. Chaney(1 episode, 1992)
Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last ChapterKevin McDonald
Murphy BrownJohn Brophy(1 episode, 1992)
Civil WarsMrs. Caldecott's Lawyer(2 episodes, 1992)
1993Northern ExposureBrother Timothy(1 episode, 1993)
The Golden PalaceMr. Tucker(1 episode, 1993)
Quantum LeapJohn Tremaine Jr.(1 episode, 1993)
Class of '61
Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore StoryDr. Kirby
SirensGeorge Bailey(1 episode, 1993)
BlossomLouie(4 episodes, 1993)
In the Heat of the NightRaymond Mercer(1 episode, 1993)
1994L.A. LawAtty. Brandon McCafferty(4 episodes, 1990–1994)
NYPD BlueIAB Sgt. Fulmer(1 episode, 1994)
Harts of the WestR.O(15 episodes, 1993–1994)
Party of FiveFootball Coach(1 episode, 1994)
Sweet Justice(1 episode, 1994)
Diagnosis: MurderCharlie Lane(1 episode, 1994)
1995NewsRadioJimmy James(97 episodes, 1995–1999)
Chicago HopeTrumpet Playing Mental Patient(1 episode, 1995)
CybillPhil Asher(1 episode, 1995)
ChristyClarence Sweetwater(1 episode, 1995)
VR.5F.A.A. Negotiator(1 episode, 1995)
In the Line of Duty: Hunt for JusticeJaan Laaman
1996SeinfeldMr. Lager(1 episode, 1996)
The LotteryGraham Dunbar
Pandora's ClockMark Hastings
The Road to GalvestonEd Kirkman
From the Earth to the MoonChris Kraft(5 episodes, 1998)
ProfilerHouston Plant Manager(1 episode, 1998)
1999Superman: The Animated SeriesRevered Amos Howell/Unity(1 episode, 1999)
The Sissy DucklingBig Ducky
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy RobotDr. Donovan(unknown episodes)
2000Buzz Lightyear of Star CommandSheriff / Sentry #2(3 episodes, 2000)
2001Me & My Needs
The Andy Dick ShowManager of 98+1 Store(1 episode, 2001)
The Norm ShowMr. Sweeney(2 episodes, 2001)
DAGSenator Culpepper(1 episode, 2001)
Ladies ManGene(30 episodes, 1999–2001)
The Legend of TarzanTheodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt(1 episode, 2001)
EdGeorge MacPherson(1 episode, 2001)
2002Dexter PrepCharles
The Proud FamilyMr. Andrews(1 episode, 2002)
Malcolm in the MiddleJohn Pratt(2 episodes, 2002)
Just Shoot Me!Dr. Drake Kelson(1 episode, 2002)
Justice LeagueCat Man(2 episodes, 2002)
According to JimAl Crannis(1 episode, 2002)
2003CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationMichael Kirkwood(1 episode, 2003)
2004Grounded for LifeTony Bustamante(3 episodes, 2002–2004)
FrasierHarbin(1 episode, 2004)
Brandy & Mr. WhiskersSanta Claus(1 episode, 2004)
2005Kim Possible: So the DramaCowboy Gambler(6 episodes, 2002–2005)
Kim Possible(Several)(6 episodes, 2002–2005)
Teen TitansVal Yor(1 episode, 2005)
2006The X'sHomebase(6 episodes, 2005–2006)
The West WingBob Mayer(9 episodes, 2005–2006)
The Path to 9/11Richard Clarke
2007Random! CartoonsLance(1 episode, 2007)
American Dad!Dick / Dentist's Father(7 episodes, 2005–2007)
Slacker CatsTommy(unknown episodes)
Tripping the RiftChode(39 episodes, 2004–2007)
2008Head CasePat Jennings(1 episode, 2008)
Boston LegalEthan Melman(1 episode, 2008)
ChowderStilton/Dancer(1 episode, 2008)
The Sarah Silverman ProgramJohnny Forrealz(1 episode, 2008)
Pushing DaisiesDwight Dixon(5 episodes, 2008)
2009True BloodEddie(4 episodes, 2008–2009)
King of the HillBill Dauterive/Buck Strickland(253 episodes, 1997–2009)
CalifornicationRicardo Collini(1 episode, 2009)
201024Bill Prady(3 episodes, 2010)
The DefendersJudge Taylor(1 episode, 2010) "Pilot"
JustifiedJudge Mike Reardon(5 episodes, 2010–2012)
Batman: The Brave and the BoldOswald Cobblepot/The Penguin(4 episodes, 2010–2011)
LouieDr. Heppa(1 episode, 2010)
2011Adventure TimeThe Royal Tart Toter, Grimby, Martin(2 episodes, 2011, 2014)
Childrens HospitalOwen's father(1 episode, 2011)
ThundercatsDrifter, aka Hattanzo the Swordmaker(1 episode, 2011)
FringeRaymond(1 episode, 2011)
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of AwesomenessMaster Junjie(4 episodes, 2011-2014)
Raising HopeCap Collins(1 episode, 2011)
2012Gravity FallsBud Gleeful/Additional voices(2 episodes, 2012)
Young JusticeJack Haly(Episode 24: Performance, 2012)
Boardwalk EmpireGaston Means(6 episodes, 2012)
Dragons: Riders of BerkMildew(Recurring role, 2012-2013)
2013Out ThereMr. Shooty(1 episode, 2013)
The NewsroomFormer US general Stanislao Stomtonovich(1 episode, 2013)
2014TurnNathaniel Sackett
Adventure TimeMartin (Finn's father)(Recurring role, 2014)
FargoBurt Canton(2 episodes, 2014)
The Big Bang TheoryPharmaceutical Boss(1 episode, 2014)
Mike Tyson MysteriesThomas J. Watson(1 episode, 2014)

Video games[edit]

Video games
1997Blade RunnerEarly Q
2000Deus ExMechanic (uncredited)


  1. ^ Harris, Will (2012-02-21). "Stephen Root · Interview · The A.V. Club". Retrieved 2014-08-17. 

External links[edit]