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Stephen Root (born on November 17, 1951) is an actor from Sarasota, Florida. In recent years, he has played roles in various television series, such as in King of the Hill, Adventure Time, (as Grimby and the Royal Tart Toter), 24, and in Dreamwork's Dragons: Riders of Berk, (as Mildew). He voiced Gideon's father, Bud Gleeful, on Gravity Falls.
Root was born in Sarasota, Florida, the son of Leona Estelle and Rolland Clair Root, a construction supervisor. He graduated from Vero Beach High School in Vero Beach, Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he majored in acting and broadcasting.
Among his most recognized of television roles are eccentric billionaire Jimmy James, on the sitcom NewsRadio, as the voice of depressed Army barber Bill Dauterive, and Hank Hill's skirt-chasing boss Buck Strickland on the animated television series King of the Hill (Root originally auditioned for the role of Dale). He had a recurring role on the final two seasons of The West Wing as Republican campaign consultant Bob Mayer. His most recognizable film roles to date are as the mumbling, quirky, Milton Waddams in Office Space, as the mild-mannered gymrat Gordon Pibb in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Suds, a drunk sports writer, in Leatherheads, and as the dimwitted principal in the 2008 Judd Apatow produced comedy Drillbit Taylor.
Root reunited with Mike Judge in Idiocracy and has also portrayed NASA flight director Chris Kraft in the miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He took on the biographical role of Richard A. Clarke in The Path to 9/11. He has also had many guest appearances in television programs across several genres. He was Klingon Captain K'Vada in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification" in 1991. In 1992, Root appeared on the TV series Night Court as Mr. Willard. In the 1993–1994 television season, Root appeared as a series regular as "R.O." on the Beau Bridges/Lloyd Bridges comedy/western series Harts of the West on CBS.
Root guest starred on Seinfeld, playing the role of a bank manager in the episode "The Invitations," handling Kramer's hello greeting issue. He had a role in Frasier in the episode "Detour," as the father of the family helping Frasier when his car broke down. In the CSI episode "Homebodies," he played the father of a rape victim. In addition, Root had a series regular role on the short-lived CBS series Ladies Man, which starred Sharon Lawrence, soon after she left NYPD Blue. He played Raymond, a hunting store owner involved in illegal gun trading, in the 1993 In the Heat of the Night episode "A Love Lost."
Root also has an active career as a voice artist. Aside from his roles in King of the Hill, he has played various characters in animated films, such as Ice Age, Finding Nemo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. In other animated television, series regular roles include: Commander Chode in Tripping the Rift and Homebase in The X's. Additionally, he has provided guest-starring vocal talent in animated television series, like Chowder and Teen Titans. He recently lent his voice to Batman: The Brave and the Bold as Woozy Winks and The Penguin.
Recently, Root has appeared in HBO's series True Blood as a vampire named Eddie. He also a role a multi-episode arc in the second season of Pushing Daisies on ABC, playing the mysterious Dwight Dixon. He appeared as Johnny Forreals, inventor of the word "boo-yah" on an episode of Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program entitled "Cangamangus". He appeared in the 2009 comedy film The Men Who Stare at Goats as Gus Lacey. In 2010, he appeared in a multi-episode arc in Season 8 of the Fox television series 24 as a probation officer named Bill Prady, and in the FX television series Justified as the eccentric Judge Mike "The Hammer" Reardon. In 2011, he co-starred in Robert Redford's The Conspirator, playing John Lloyd, a key witness in the trial of alleged Lincoln conspirator Mary Surratt.
Root was previously married to actress Laura Joan Hase, and they had a son. In 2008, he married actress Romy Rosemont. The couple appeared on screen together on an episode of Fringe on November 11, 2011. They both are currently living in Los Angeles, California.
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