American film and television actor Ethan Suplee was born on May 25, 1976 in Manhattan, and began his acting pursuits by appearing in school plays. At 16, after high school, he was encouraged by friend Giovanni Ribisi to take an acting class. (It was also through Ribisi that Suplee first met his fellow My Name Is Earl castmember, Jason Lee.) Ethan dropped out of the acting class at 17, but he left inspired to pursue acting as a career. Suplee was born to actor parents, and his mother is also credited as a drama teacher. His father, Bill, was seen on My Name Is Earl as well, playing the one-eyed mailman, Willie.
Ethan Suplee was originally best known as the kid from Sega's "Dead Squirrel" Game Gear commercials in the early 1990s. The first comedic performance that he achieved was playing William Black on the series Mallrats, directed by Kevin Smith. It also starred Jason Lee, and the two were cast on other Smith films like Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Clerks II. From 1994 to 1998, Suplee got the role of Frankie "The Enforcer" Stechino on Boy Meets World. Some of Suplee’s other comedy credits include roles in Without a Paddle with Matthew Lillard and Seth Green and Todd Phillip’s Roadtrip. Suplee showcased his impressive acting in 1998, when he gave a compelling performance in Tony Kaye’s American History X, starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. Suplee later played a high school football lineman in Disney’s Remember the Titans and worked alongside Johnny Depp in Blow. Another dramatic performance of Suplee’s was in The Butterfly Effect, as well as his role in Cold Mountain. From 2005 to 2008, he joined the cast of the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl, playing the title character’s dimwitted but supportive brother, Randy Hickey. Suplee was also seen on the films The Fountain, Art School Confidential and Fanboys.