I'm Alan Partridge
Steve Coogan, who trained at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre, is widely recognized for his breakout character of Alan Partridge from television series like “The Day Today” (1994-2004), “Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge” (1994-1995), and the BAFTA TV-winning sitcom "I'm Alan Partridge" (1997-2002).
The talented performer also displayed his talent in films and has starred in "The Indian in the Cupboard" (1995), "The Wind in the Willows" (1996), "The Parole Officer" (2001), "24 Hour Party People" (2002), "Ella Enchanted" (2004; the voice of Heston the Snake), "Around the World in 80 Days" (2004), "Happy Endings" (2005), "A Cock and Bull Story" (2005), "Marie Antoinette" (2006), "Night at the Museum" (2006) and "Hot Fuzz" (2007).
The 5' 10½" English actor will soon star in the upcoming films "Hamlet 2," "Tropic Thunder," "Safety Glass," "Eddie the Eagle," "Murder in Samarkand" and "Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian."
"Actors say they do their own stunts for the integrity of the film but I did them because they looked like a lot of fun." Steve Coogan
A favorite of the British tabloids, Coogan's private life frequently makes headlines. In August 2005, a month after Coogan divorced his wife of three years, the tabloids reported that rock star Courtney Love had claimed to be pregnant with Coogan's child, which later was dismissed by both parties.
Childhood and Family:
In working-class Middleton, Manchester, in northern England, Stephen John Coogan, nicknamed “Steve,” was born on October 14, 1965, to hardworking Irish Catholic parents. Coogan has two older siblings and three younger siblings, including Brendan Coogan, an MUTV presenter, and Martin Coogan, the former lead singer of the early 1990s band The Mock Turtles. His cousin is Irish actor Aidan McArdle (born 1970).
Coogan and his brothers attended the Cardinal Langley RC High School. He then trained as an actor at the Manchester Polytechnic School, in Manchester, England.
On December 10, 2002, Coogan married Caroline Hickman, but they divorced on July 28, 2005. Coogan also has a daughter, Claire Coogan, from his relationship with solicitor Anna Cole.
Knowing Me, Knowing You…
"I always find it easier to portray myself as being unlikeable and idiotic; to actually play a character that is likeable and engages the audience is far more difficult. It's a more subtle kind of challenge." Steve Coogan
Having performed stand-up comedy while an undergraduate student, Steve Coogan was discovered by a talent scout and landed a stint on Britain’s ITV network where he did voice-over work for the satirical puppet show “Spitting Image” from 1989 to 1993. He also appeared on British variety shows and had a role in an early Paul Greengrass' true story-based drama starring David Thewlis, “Resurrected” (1989).
In the early 1990s on the BBC radio show "On the Hour," Coogan introduced his signature character of Alan Partridge, the incompetent and annoying reporter. He based the character on a radio presenter who interviewed him just as he was becoming famous. Coogan began mimicking the interviewer during the interview and from this came the inspiration for Coogan's most famous creation.
Coogan subsequently brought the character of Alan Partridge to BBC Radio 4 as a six-episode series called "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge," a parody of a chat show which was subsequently transferred to BBC Television. Alan Partridge went on to appear on the sitcom "I'm Alan Partridge” and his portrayal of the character won Coogan two BAFTA TV awards (one for Best Comedy Programme or Series and one for Best Comedy Performance - "I'm Alan Partridge") and three British Comedy Awards (two for Best TV Comedy Actor - "I'm Alan Partridge" and one for Best Male TV Performer - "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge").
Meanwhile, Coogan co-wrote and starred in the TV special "Paul Calf's Video Diary" (1993), in which he also played the plus-sized Pauline Calf. In the mid 1990s, he appeared as the British medic in Frank Oz's film adaptation of the 1980 children's book by Lynne Reid Banks, "The Indian in the Cupboard," and starred in the BBC2 sitcom "Coogan's Run," in which he invented a series of odd characters.
Coogan was then cast as Mole in Terry Jones' big screen version of Kenneth Grahame's classic literature, "The Wind in the Willows" (1996), which was released on video in the U.S. as "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride," and created cabaret singer Tony Ferrino in TV's "Introducing Tony Ferrino: Who and Why? A Quest" (1997) and "The Tony Ferrino Phenomenon" (1997). He also appeared as the Gnat in the TV movie version of Lewis Carroll's classic children's literature, "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (1998; with Kate Beckinsale and Ian Holm), and released the video "Steve Coogan Live: The Man Who Thinks He's It" in 1998.
Additionally, along with writing partner Henry Normal, Coogan founded Baby Cow Productions in 1999. Together they executive produced such shows as “The Mighty Boosh,” starring Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, “Nighty Night,” starring Julia Davis, “Marion and Geoff,” starring Rob Brydon, and “Human Remains,” starring Davis and Brydon.
Entering the new millennium, Coogan co-wrote and starred in John Duigan's comedy feature "The Parole Officer" (2001), which earned him a Carl Foreman Award nomination for the Most Promising Newcomer, and portrayed Tony Wilson in Michael Winterbottom's "24 Hour Party People" (2002). He also portrayed the eccentric inventor Phileas Fogg, opposite Jackie Chan's Passepartout, in the Disney live action feature based on the classical novel by Jules Verne, "Around the World in 80 Days" (2004), and voiced Heston the Snake in Tommy O'Haver's screen adaptation of Gail Carson Levine's 1997 novel, "Ella Enchanted" (2004; starring Anne Hathaway).
In 2005, Coogan co-starred as Lisa Kudrow's step-brother Charles in "Happy Endings” and was reunited with director Michael Winterbottom for "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.” Also in 2005, he released the big-screen re-make of the popular 1970's British television series "The Persuaders.”
The following year, Coogan was cast opposite Ben Stiller in Shawn Levy's adventure comedy film based on the 1993 children's book by Milan Trenc, "Night at the Museum," in which he portrayed a Roman General named Octavius, and in Matt Checkowski and Kurt Mattila's romantic comedy "The Alibi.” He also portrayed Ambassador Mercy in Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning biography film about the Queen of France, "Marie Antoinette," starring Kirsten Dunst.
Recently, Coogan had an unaccredited role in the British action comedy film "Hot Fuzz" (2007) and co-starred with Julia Davis and Ian McKellen in Joe Tucker's short comedy film, "For the Love of God" (2007). He was also in John Henderson's animated movie "Tales of the Riverbank" (2008).
Coogan will star in Andy Fleming's comedy film, "Hamlet 2" (with Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler, and David Arquette), which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Focus Features in August 2008. He has completed "Tropic Thunder," an upcoming action comedy film directed by Ben Stiller in which Coogan will co-star with Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr.
Coogan is currently filming Jonathan Glatzer's period drama starring Hilary Duff, "Safety Glass," Declan Lowney's "Eddie the Eagle" and Michael Winterbottom's "Murder in Samarkand," in which he portrays Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan.
Coogan will reprise his "Night at the Museum" role for its upcoming sequel, "Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian," and is rumored to be working on Armando Iannucci's new comedy film, "In the Loop," alongside James Gandolfini and Anna Chlumsky.
“If you do something very successful, you will then be defined by it.” Steve Coogan
British Comedy: Best TV Comedy Actor, "I'm Alan Partridge," 2003
British Comedy: Best TV Comedy Actor, "Cruise of the Gods," 2003
British Comedy: Best TV Comedy Actor, "I'm Alan Partridge," 1998
BAFTA TV: Best Comedy (Programme or Series), "I'm Alan Partridge," 1998
BAFTA TV: Best Comedy Performance, "I'm Alan Partridge," 1998
British Comedy: Best Male TV Performer, "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge," 1994