Seth MacFarlane developed an interest in drawing as early as two years old, and began creating flip books at age 5. He later studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, intending to work as an illustrator for Walt Disney, but ended up directing a string of independent film.
MacFarlane first entered Hanna-Barbera, where he worked on shows such as Johnny Bravo and Dexter's Laboratory. But it was a sequel to the thesis film he made, The Life of Larry, that attracted the attention of Fox executives; they contacted MacFarlane and asked him to create a series based on his characters.
The end result was Family Guy, which premiered in 1999. He worked as a writer and producer, and he also voiced four of the show's characters, including Peter, Brian and Stewie Griffin. Despite criticism from several groups and being axed from Fox's line-up twice, the show has become a success, with a passionate fanbase and the distinction of being the only animated series (apart from The Flintstones) to be nominated as Best Comedy by the Emmys.
MacFarlane launched a second animated series, American Dad!, in 2005; it faced a similar degree of success. In 2009, he helped launched The Cleveland Show, a Family Guy spin-off featuring soft-spoken Cleveland Brown. His foray into live-action programs wasn't so successful, though: the comedy The Winner, for which he served as executive producer, was cancelled after six episodes.
- Emmy Award, Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, 2000 (for Family Guy)
- Emmy Award, Outstanding Music and Lyrics, 2002 (for Family Guy)
- Annie Award, Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production, 2006 (for Family Guy)
- Life Is Short (2006)
- Tooth Fairy (2010)
- Dexter's Laboratory (writer, 1997-1998)
- Johnny Bravo (writer, 1997-2002)
- Family Guy (voice/writer, 1999-present)
- American Dad (voice/writer, 2005-present)
- The Cleveland Show (voice/writer, 2009-present)