Tim Allen has enjoyed success in a variety of endeavours, as star and producer of the top-rated television show "Home Improvement", author of a #1 bestselling book, and star of his film debut, America's top-grossing The Santa Clause. And that was just 1994!
Born in Denver, Allen's father died when Tim was only 11 years old, something that the comedian would include in his sitcom by having the same thing occur to his character. From age 13, Allen was raised in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1975 with a degree in TV production. From there, he went on to work as a creative director for a small advertising firm in Detroit, then moved from behind the camera to become a performer and commercial spokesman. In 1979, on a dare from from a friend, Allen performed a standup comedy routine which would prove successful material for a famous standup career in the 1980s. Allen made two standup specials "Men are Pigs: and "Tim Allen Rewires America". The routine included Allen's perspective on men: grunting tool and car fans.
In 1991, Walt Disney approached Tim about the possibility of him starring in a sitcom. They were thinking about making a "Dead Poets' Society" series with Tim playing the role Robin Williams did in the 1989 film. But eventually, they agreed upon "Home Improvement," where Tim would play Tim Taylor, the host of a cable home improvement show "Tool Time" which was something like "a Bob Vila from hell" where the star would blow up project after project. Tim Taylor the character was based on Allen's standup routine: he grunted, loved cars, tools, and sports, and had a man's perspective on life. Taylor was married and had three kids. The show debuted on September 17, 1991 and was instantly a hit with fans. "Home Improvement" finished in the top 10 in ratings its first season and appeared to be a big hit for ABC. In 1993-94, "Home Improvement" finished 1st in the ratings, topping all other series. The family sitcom was truly a fan favorite.
In 1994, Allen, made his feature film debut in Walt Disney's The Santa Clause playing the role of Scott Calvin, a divorced father who has to fill in for Santa Claus. The movie was a surprising box-office success and became an instant family classic. That same year, Allen's first book, Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, another look at manhood was The New York Times' number one bestseller. Allen continued his film career when in November of 1995, Toy Story, the first ever fully computer-generated film was released by Disney. Tim provided the voice of Buzz Lightyear, an action figure who has a life of his own. The film was another huge success and "Home Improvement" continued to remain near the top of the ratings. In 1996, Tim's second book I'm Not Really Here was published and also became a bestseller. The book dealt with Allen's look at midlife, discussing his family, his life, quantum physics, and his quest for a missing hood ornament. In March of 1997, Allen's third movie, the live-action Disney film Jungle 2 Jungle was released. The film, which co-starred Martin Short, Lolita Davidovich, and JoBeth Williams, was another great comedy. December 1997, Allen tried something different with the romantic comedy For Richer or Poorer with Kirstie Alley. The film was significantly less successful than his previous efforts.
Allen has received many awards over the years, including 8 People's Choice Awards for Favorite Male Performer on Television for "Home Improvement." In 1995, Tim received the People's Choice Award for Funniest Actor in a Comedy Motion Picture for The Santa Clause and the film won the award for Favorite Motion Picture Comedy. Also that year, he received a Blockbuster Video Award for his performance in The Santa Clause. In February of 1999, Allen won the TV Guide Award for Favorite Actor in a Comedy Series. Allen has been nominated for a number of Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards and in 1994, he was inducted into The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Hall of Fame. He has also won a Golden Globe Award for "Funniest Actor in a Television Series" for his role on "Home Improvement" and been nominated several times for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Tim co-hosted the 1992 Emmy Awards telecast.
Allen's two most recent feature films were both successful at the box office. The actor reprised his role in the sequel to Toy Story, providing the voice for Buzz Lightyear. Originally intended as a direct-to-video release, Disney released Toy Story 2 to theaters on November 24, 1999. Toy Story 2 grossed over $250 million to become the sixteenth highest film of all-time in terms of US box office success. Toy Story 2 was released on video and DVD (with the original Toy Story) in October. The sequel topped video charts for many weeks, while both multi-disc DVD sets also sold well. Tim's other film Galaxy Quest, a comedy about a bunch of washed-up actors from a Star Trek-like science fiction show who encounter real aliens, also did well at box offices grossing $70 million domestically. The film, co-starring Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman, was released on Christmas Day by DreamWorks Pictures and has received mostly positive reviews. Galaxy Quest is now available to buy on video and DVD, earning recognition in the DVD format as being one of the first handful of discs to sell over 1,000,000 copies.
On August 8, 2000, Disney/Pixar released the direct-to-video Buzz Lightyear of Star Command movie on VHS and DVD. Tim returned to provide the voice for the real space ranger from the Toy Story movies in an intergalactic battle against the evil Emperor Zurg. The 70-minute animated feature was top seller on VHS and DVD upon its August 2000 release.
In 2000, Tim made TV appearances discussing the American Film Institute's Top 100 Comedy Films of all-time over the summer and this past November, being interviewed for the ABC special "The Beatles Anthology."
After two years away from the theaters, Tim returned to the big screen in late 2001. Joe Somebody, a family comedy, starred Tim in the title role and reunited him with John Pasquin (director of Santa Clause and Jungle 2 Jungle). Little marketing, bad timing, and tepid reviews all contributed to Joe Somebody's rather disappointing domestic box-office gross of $22 million upon its Christmas-time release.
A film which was all set to open in September of 2001, Tim's comedy Big Trouble, was delayed due to the terrorist attacks on September 11. The film finally opened on April 5, 2002 to mixed reviews and disappointing box office performance. Big Trouble is a Touchstone Pictures ensemble comedy based on humor columnist Dave Barry's novel. Men in Black's Barry Sonnenfeld directed the offbeat Miami comedy which featured a diverse cast that includes Rene Russo, Tom Sizemore, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton, Jason Lee, Johnny Knoxville, Zooey Deschanel, Janeane Garafolo, Omar Epps, and Heavy D.
Next, Tim appeared in Cletis Tout, a dark independent comedy co-starring Christian Slater, Richard Dreyfuss, and Portia De Rossi, that was shot in Canada over the summer of 2000. The film, in which Tim plays a quirky, confused hitman, garnered little in the way of distribution or critical acclaim, but did showcase that Tim could successfully play roles outside of the familiar family-friendly protagonist audiences know him for.
In the fall of 2002, the long-awaited sequel The Santa Clause 2 was able to achieve both favorable reviews and impressive box office performance, taking in $30 million in its opening weekend. In the film, Tim reprises his role as St. Nick's replacement in The Santa Clause 2. The sequel to his most successful and one of his most beloved films is a project that the actor wanted to do for a while. Originally planned for November 2001 theatrical release (a teaser was even created for this, noting the initially-planned title and release date), the sequel underwent a variety of delays (including scheduling around the Spring 2001 Screen Actors Guild strike, which wound up being uneventful). More delays came in efforts to revise the script to a point where the filmmakers felt it would be able to maintain the spirit of the original Santa Clause. Production finally began in February 2002, and the sequel to the 1994 family comedy hit focuses on how Tim's character Scott Calvin is able to balance his job at the North Pole and being a father, while searching for a Mrs. Claus at the same time. The film went on to gross $139 million domestically, making it the 15th-highest-grossing film of the year.
Tim had also planned on playing the title character role in Universal Pictures' live action production of Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat, before he dropped out to focus on the Santa Clause sequel. Mike Myers will instead play the role. Another abandoned project was Smile - a family film about a comedian hired to cheer up a boy whose mother has died.
The fall of 2003 will mark a return to television for Tim...of sorts. He is producing and narrating of "These Guys", a sitcom about four single men facing misadventures in dating, divorce, marriage, and parenthood. Other future projects for Tim include Public Enemy (about a press secretary to New York City's mayor who finds himself in the public eye), StarChild (an integalactic comedy about the relationship between an alien and an awkward CIA agent, co-produced by Mel Gibson), a film remake of Father Knows Best, and possible third installments of Toy Story, (pending contractual agreements between Disney and Pixar) and The Santa Clause.
The Santa Clause | Toy Story
| Jungle 2 Jungle | For Richer or Poorer | Toy Story 2
Galaxy Quest | Joe Somebody | Big Trouble | Who is Cletis Tout? | The Santa Clause 2
TIM ALLEN LINKS
Tim Allen's Official Website
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