Ed O'Neill

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Ed O'Neill discusses entering acting in his early thirties. He talks of his love of theater and speaks of several plays he was in before landing a role on the soap opera Another World. He recalls several guest appearances on television shows in the early 1980s and explains how starring in the play "Of Mice and Men" led to getting cast in his most iconic role, that of "Al Bundy" on Married...With Children. O'Neill describes shooting the pilot of the show, meeting fellow cast members and what a typical work week on the program was like. He comments on how changes with the writing/production staff affected the show and shares that the series never had a last show/wrap-up episode. He discusses his roles in the movies "Dutch" and "Wayne's World" and outlines several David Milch series on which he worked, including Big Apple and John from Cincinnati. O'Neill also recalls his role as "Joe Friday" in the 2003 reboot of Dragne t and then details his role as "Jay Pritchett" on Modern Family. He recounts how he was approached for the series, what it's like working with the ensemble cast and discusses some of his favorite moments from the program. Nancy Harrington conducted the interview on April 3, 2013 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"That's the formula for comedy: it's one step forward and then two steps back. Or it's two steps forward and one step back. It can never be resolved. Then you have no show." 

Highlights
Ed O'Neill on being considered for the role of "Steven Keaton" on Family Ties
00:29
Ed O'Neill on how he's like his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy"
00:57
Ed O'Neill on appearing in the "Wayne's World" movies
01:26
Ed O'Neill on contemplating how to play the role of "Jay Pritchett" on Modern Family
01:26
Ed O'Neill on why Modern Family resonates with fans
01:10
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on attending Ohio University and Youngstown State University; on his interest in acting and his experience with the Circle in the Square Theater
10:21
On his role as the villain in the play "Knockout"; on getting cast in Another World and the process of shooting a soap opera
06:26
On being considered for the roles of "Sam Malone" on Cheers and "Steven Keaton" on Family Ties; on getting cast in the pilot Farrell for the People with Valerie Harper
06:08
On guest appearances on several shows in the early 1980s; on trying to break into movies and doing plays; on changing agents and his audition process
10:19
On his role in the TV movie/pilot Popeye Doyle; on how starring in the play "Of Mice and Men" led to getting cast in Married...With Children
09:57
On the premise of Married...With Children and the success of the show
07:41
On shooting the pilot of Married...With Children; on his character "Al Bundy"
06:15

Chapter 2

On audience reaction to Married...With Children; on having his image on Married...With Children merchandise and promotions
05:53
On a typical work week on Married...With Children; on the atmosphere on set and the Terry Rakolta campaign
12:36
On working with the cast and his favorite episodes of Married...With Children; on changes with the writing/producing staff
04:28
On why Married...With Children ended and never doing a "last show" wrap-up for the series; on where "Al Bundy" would be today and reuniting with the cast on David Faustino's web series; on the legacy of Married...With Children
05:50
On starring in the John Hughes movie "Dutch"; on appearing in the "Wayne's World" movies
09:32
On his roles in David Milch's Big Apple and John from Cincinnati; on how he was supposed to appear as "Al Swearengen" in David Milch's Deadwood and instead starred in the 2003 reboot of Dragnet
18:32
On appearing in several episodes of The West Wing and reuniting with Katey Sagal in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
01:06

Chapter 3

On how he was cast on Modern Family; on contemplating how to play the role of "Jay Pritchett" on Modern Family
06:36
On meeting Modern Family's Sofia Vergara and the rest of the cast; on shooting the pilot, the style of shooting (single camera), and working with the creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd
07:07
On his Modern Family character "Jay Pritchett"; on his style of acting; on the relationships between family members on Modern Family
17:54
On balancing humor and touching moments on Modern Family; on his favorite scenes and Emmy nominations
07:39
On his voiceover work; on fans and his approach to acting; on his proudest achievement and career regrets
12:25
Shows

8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Teenage Daughter

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Ed O'Neill on reuniting with Katey Sagal in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
00:19

Another World

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Ed O'Neill on getting cast in Another World and the process of shooting a soap opera
04:55

Big Apple

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Ed O'Neill on his role in David Milch's Big Apple
05:56

Cheers

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Ed O'Neill on being considered for the role of "Sam Malone" on Cheers
01:54

Deadwood

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Ed O'Neill on how he was supposed to appear David Milch's Deadwood
04:46
Ed O'Neill on how he was cast in John from Cincinnati after he was not cast in Deadwood
03:06

Dragnet

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Ed O'Neill on appearing in the 2003 reboot of Dragnet
01:29

Family Ties

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Ed O'Neill on being considered for the role of "Steven Keaton" on Family Ties
00:29

John from Cincinnati

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Ed O'Neill on working with David Milch again in John from Cincinnati
03:03
Ed O'Neill on how he was cast in John from Cincinnati after he was not cast in Deadwood
03:06
Ed O'Neill on a John from Cincinnati rewrite and how he responded to it
02:19

Married… With Children

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Ed O'Neill on how starring in the play "Of Mice and Men" led to getting cast on Married...With Children
07:00
Ed O'Neill on how Married...With Children was described to him, and originally passing on the show
03:35
Ed O'Neill on the premise of Married...With Children and the success of the show
04:06
Ed O'Neill on how he's like his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy"
00:57
Ed O'Neill on shooting the pilot of Married...With Children
01:19
Ed O'Neill on his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy" and his strengths and weaknesses; on how "Al" evolved over the years
02:59
Ed O'Neill on his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy's" walk and stance
01:00
Ed O'Neill on audience reaction to Married...With Children
02:06
Ed O'Neill on having his image on Married...With Children merchandise and promotions
03:47
Ed O'Neill on a typical work week on Married...With Children and shooting in front of a live audience
02:33
Ed O'Neill on his input on his Married...With Children character "Al Bundy," the atmosphere on set, and not getting along with a certain cast member
06:42
Ed O'Neill on working with Daivd Faustino, "Bud Bundy" on Married...With Children
00:41
Ed O'Neill on censorship issues on Married...With Children and the Terry Rakolta campaign
02:06
Ed O'Neill on working with Katey Sagal, "Peg Bundy" on Married...With Children
01:00
Ed O'Neill on his favorite episodes of Married...With Children
02:27
Ed O'Neill on how co-creator Michael Moye leaving the show affected Married...With Children
01:01
Ed O'Neill on why Married...With Children ended and never doing a "last show" wrap-up for the series
02:53
Ed O'Neill on where "Al Bundy" would be today
00:45
Ed O'Neill on the legacy of Married...With Children
00:53

Modern Family

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Ed O'Neill on how he was cast on Modern Family
05:10
Ed O'Neill on contemplating how to play the role of "Jay Pritchett" on Modern Family
01:26
Ed O'Neill on meeting Modern Family's Sofia Vergara and the rest of the cast
01:38
Ed O'Neill on shooting the pilot for Modern Family
02:22
Ed O'Neill on the style of shooting (single camera) and production on Modern Family
01:53
Ed O'Neill on working with Modern Family creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd
01:13
Ed O'Neill on his Modern Family character "Jay Pritchett" and his style of acting
08:30
Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay and Gloria Pritchett" on Modern Family
01:54
Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay Pritchett" and his children on Modern Family
01:05
Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay Pritchett" and his son, "Mitchell Pritchett" on Modern Family
02:00
Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay Pritchett" and his son-in-law, "Phil Dunphy" (played by Ty Burrell) on Modern Family
01:10
Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay Pritchett" and his stepson, "Manny Delgado" (played by Rico Rodriguez) on Modern Family
03:11
Ed O'Neill on balancing humor and the touching moments on Modern Family
01:08
Ed O'Neill on his favorite scenes on Modern Family (with Jesse Tyler Ferguson)
02:17
Ed O'Neill on taking himself out of the lead actor category for Emmy nominations for his work on Modern Family
03:04
Ed O'Neill on why Modern Family resonates with fans
01:10

West Wing, The

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Ed O'Neill on appearing in several episodes of The West Wing
00:41
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Ed O'Neill on censorship issues on Married...With Children and the Terry Rakolta campaign
02:06

Characters & Catchphrases

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Ed O'Neill on his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy"
01:19
Ed O'Neill on how he's like his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy"
00:57
Ed O'Neill on his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy" and his strengths, weaknesses, stance, and catchphrases
03:59
Ed O'Neill on his Modern Family character, "Jay Pritchett"
02:33

Diversity in Television

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Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay Pritchett" and his son, "Mitchell Pritchett" on Modern Family
02:00

Emmy Awards

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Ed O'Neill on taking himself out of the lead actor category for an Emmy for his work on Modern Family
03:04

Fame & Celebrity

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Ed O'Neill on getting recognized by fans
00:56

LGBTQ

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Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay Pritchett" and his son, "Mitchell Pritchett" on Modern Family
02:00

Pop Culture

View Topic
Ed O'Neill on his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy"
01:19
Ed O'Neill on how he's like his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy"
00:57
Ed O'Neill on his Married... with Children character, "Al Bundy" and his strengths, weaknesses, stance, and catchphrases
03:59
Ed O'Neill on audience reaction to Married...With Children
02:06
Ed O'Neill on his Modern Family character, "Jay Pritchett"
02:33

Television Industry

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Ed O'Neill on audience reaction to Married...With Children
02:06
Ed O'Neill on censorship issues on Married...With Children and the Terry Rakolta campaign
02:06
Ed O'Neill on getting recognized by fans
00:56
Professions

Actor

View Profession
Ed O'Neill on his audition process
02:55
Ed O'Neill on his style of acting
05:57
Ed O'Neill on his approach to acting
03:43
Ed O'Neill on advice for aspiring actors
00:58

Performers

View Profession
Ed O'Neill on his audition process
02:55
Ed O'Neill on his style of acting
05:57
Ed O'Neill on his approach to acting
03:43
Ed O'Neill on advice for aspiring actors
00:58
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Ed O'Neill on getting cast in Married... with Children; on his character, "Al Bundy"
20:56
Ed O'Neill on a typical work week, the cast, and the legacy of Married...With Children
28:47
Ed O'Neill on getting cast on Modern Family, working with the cast, and the characters' relationships
39:16
People

Christina Applegate

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Ed O'Neill on upsetting Christina Applegate on the set of Married...With Children
01:03

Ty Burrell

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Ed O'Neill on the relationship between "Jay Pritchett" and his son-in-law, "Phil Dunphy" (played by Ty Burrell) on Modern Family
01:10

Nicholas Colasanto

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Ed O'Neill on being a fan of Nicholas Colasanto who played "Coach" on Cheers
00:50

Barry Diller

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Ed O'Neill on Barry Diller's thoughts on casting choices for Married... with Children
00:47
Ed O'Neill on Barry Diller vetoing a promotional idea for "Dutch"
02:12

David Faustino

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Ed O'Neill on working with Daivd Faustino, "Bud Bundy" on Married...With Children
06:07
Ed O'Neill on reuniting with the cast of  Married...With Children on David Faustino's web series
01:01

Michael Gross

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Ed O'Neill on suggesting Michael Gross for the role of "Steven Keaton" on Family Ties and shooting a movie with Michael Gross
02:42

Valerie Harper

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Ed O'Neill on getting cast in the pilot Farrell for the People with Valerie Harper
01:32

Bob Iger

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Ed O'Neill on Bog Iger's thoughts on the Modern Family pilot
00:47

Ron Leavitt

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Ed O'Neill on auditioning for Married... with Children creators Michael Moye and Ron Leavitt
02:23
Ed O'Neill on how co-creator Michael Moye leaving the show affected Married...With Children
01:01

Steve Levitan

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Ed O'Neill on how he was cast on Modern Family
05:10
Ed O'Neill on working with Modern Family creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd
01:13

Christopher Lloyd (actor)

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Ed O'Neill on how he was cast on Modern Family
05:10
Ed O'Neill on working with Modern Family creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd
01:13

David Milch

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Ed O'Neill on his role in David Milch's Big Apple
05:56
Ed O'Neill on working with David Milch again in John from Cincinnati
08:00
Ed O'Neill on how he was cast in John from Cincinnati after he was not cast in Deadwood
03:06
Ed O'Neill on a John from Cincinnati rewrite and how he responded to it
02:19

Michael Moye

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Ed O'Neill on auditioning for Married... with Children creators Michael Moye and Ron Leavitt
02:23
Ed O'Neill on how co-creator Michael Moye leaving the show affected Married...With Children
01:01

Craig T. Nelson

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Ed O'Neill on Craig T. Nelson being up for the role of "Jay Pritchett" on Modern Family
01:28

Katey Sagal

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Ed O'Neill on meeting Katey Sagal, "Peg Bundy" on Married... with Children
00:49
Ed O'Neill on working with Katey Sagal, "Peg Bundy" on Married...With Children
13:40

Oliver Stone

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Ed O'Neill on auditioning for Oliver Stone for a role in the film "Platoon"
02:41

Robert Urich

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Ed O'Neill on his guest appearance on Spencer for Hire and working with Robert Urich
01:10

Sofia Vergara

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Ed O'Neill on meeting Modern Family's Sofia Vergara
06:58

Dick Wolf

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Ed O'Neill on Dick Wolf asking him to be "Joe Friday" in the 2003 reboot of Dragnet
01:29

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