Born Kevin George Knipfing on April 26, 1965 in Mineola, New York to Janet B. and Joseph Valentine Knipfing, comedian and Emmy-nominated actor Kevin James was raised in Stony Brook, New York. He has two siblings, comedian Gary Valentine and Leslie Knipfing. James was educated in State University of New York at Cortland and majored in sports management but remained to be an undergraduate. His career as a comedian started through guest appearances on shows like 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 Kelly. He was also placed as the 89th Greatest Stand-Up Comedians by Comedy Central.
In 2001, Kevin James became known for doing his own stand-up special titled Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff. This was for Comedy Central, which helped boost his career. He later became a guest star on the hit show Everybody Loves Raymond, working with his close friend Ray Romano. This was what led to the development of James’ own sitcom, The King of Queens. The series debuted in 1998 on CBS and ended in 2007 with James as the title character. He played Doug Heffernan, a parcel deliveryman living with his wife in his father-in-law’s home. James later received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a television series because of his performance.
Kevin James has also been seen on films. He was cast in the 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, working with Will Smith and Eva Mendes. He later starred with Ray Romano in Grilled, as well as voiced a character in the animated family film Barnyard. In 2006, he lent his voice to a character in the movie Monster House and the next year starred opposite Adam Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. In 2008, he had a cameo in Sandler’s other film, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.
(Photo courtesy of CBS)