1. Dax Randall Shepard was born on January 2, 1975.
2. He is an American actor, comedian, writer, and director.
3. He is best known for his work in the feature films Employee of the Month (2006), Without a Paddle (2004), Let’s Go to Prison (2006), and Hit and Run (2012), the last of which he also wrote and directed, and the MTV practical joke reality series Punk’d (2003).
4. He portrayed Crosby Braverman in the NBC comedy-drama series Parenthood from 2010 to 2015.
5. Shepard was born in Milford, Michigan, in suburban Detroit, Michigan.
6. He is the son of mother, Laura LaBo, who worked at General Motors, and father, Dave Robert Shepard, Sr. (deceased), who was a car salesman. His parents divorced when he was 3 years old.
7. Shepard’s mother ended up growing a huge business by the time he was in high school. She worked car shows with traveling events at race tracks. She started as a janitor on the midnight shift at General Motors, then worked in fleet management at the proving grounds where all the cars in Milford are designed, then hosted hospitality days for all the GM family members, eventually moving into public relations at an ad agency. She went back to GM, ending up owning four shops that managed publicity events for magazine journalists. From the age of 14 to 28, Shepard worked for his mother on the road, going from racetrack to racetrack. For about 2 years, Shepard had a stepfather who was an engineer on the Corvette. Shepard’s mother has been married four times—Shepard said he’s had three stepfathers.
8. According to Shepard, his mother named him for the rich playboy Dax (Diogenes Alejandro Xenos), in Harold Robbins’ novel The Adventurers.
9. He has an older brother, David Shepard, who lives in Oregon, and a younger half-sister, Carly Hatter, whom he cast in his 2012 film Hit and Run.
10. He graduated from Walled Lake Central High School in 1993 before enrolling in The Groundlings school. After attending Santa Monica Community College and West Los Angeles College, Shepard transferred to UCLA, graduating with a magna cum laude degree in Anthropology. He had a deal with his mother that if he went to college she would pay his rent.
11. Shepard has said he wasn’t interested in child-acting per se. He was a class clown in school, had a sense he was funny, and wanted to do stand-up. Although he had friends who did stand-up in Detroit, he was too scared. Shepard thought if he moved to California “that commitment would force him to do it.”
12. After a year in Santa Barbara, California, Shepard moved to Los Angeles in 1996. He found out about The Groundlings improv troupe from a friend from Santa Barbara, Kareem Elseify, ended up auditioning (the first time he acted), and took classes while also attending UCLA. After about five years of classes, he got into the Sunday Company of The Groundlings—in a group that included Melissa McCarthy, Tate Taylor and Nat Faxon.
13. From 2003 onwards, Shepard became known from his work in the improv Candid Camera-type show, Punk’d, with Ashton Kutcher. When the show had its 2012 revival, he continued to appear. Shepard said he auditioned for Punk’d and while doing the pilot became friendly with Kutcher, who arranged for him to get an agent. He auditioned unsuccessfully for 10 years before he landed the role.
14. In 2004, Shepard starred in the comedy Without a Paddle, alongside Seth Green and Matthew Lillard. The film received negative reviews but was a commercial success, grossing $69,631,118 worldwide. In 2006, he appeared with Dane Cook and Jessica Simpson in the comedy Employee of the Month and in Mike Judge’s film Idiocracy.
15. During the same time, Shepard began appearing in more films and landed his first main character role in Let’s Go to Prison (2006), alongside Will Arnett and Chi McBride. He also had a main role in the 2008 comedy Baby Mama, starring opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Shepard wrote the script for the Paramount venture Get ‘Em Wet, in which he again appeared with Arnett. In 2010, he wrote, directed and starred in the low-budget satirical mockumentary feature Brother’s Justice; the film won an Audience Award at the 2010 Austin Film Festival. He also had a supporting role in the 2010 romantic comedy film When in Rome, which also starred his future wife Kristen Bell.
16. In September 2014, Dax starred with his wife, Kristen Bell, in a commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S. It was so popular (with over 20 million YouTube views) that they did another commercial for the holiday season. The ad agency McKinney was behind both.
17. Shepard wrote, produced, co-directed, and starred in the 2012 low-budget film Hit and Run alongside Bell and his close friend Bradley Cooper. He said the movie, which includes numerous car chases and fast driving scenes, allowed him to live out his Smokey and the Bandit fantasy.
18. Shepard had a supporting role in the 2014 film The Judge, which starred Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall and Vera Farmiga.
19. Shepard is working on a big-screen version of CHiPs, which he will write, direct, and star as Officer Jon Baker alongside Michael Peña as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello. The project will be at Warner Bros.
20. Shepard met actress Kristen Bell at the birthday party of a mutual friend; they began dating in late 2007. The couple announced their engagement in January 2010.
21. They, however, decided to delay marriage until the state of California passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.
22. After section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, Bell asked Shepard to marry her through Twitter, which he accepted.
23. They were married at the Beverly Hills County Clerk’s Office on October 17, 2013.
24. They have two daughters: Lincoln Bell Shepard (born March 28, 2013) and Delta Bell Shepard (born December 19, 2014).
25. As of January 2012 both were vegan.
26. In June 2013 they both were named Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities of 2013 by PETA. In a tweet Shepard said he could not accept the award because he had begun eating meat again six months before.
27. Shepard has said that, except for a year in high school when he used drugs (in 1992, leading to the police and his mother getting involved), he didn’t have a substance abuse problem until he was 18 years old. After many struggles, Shepard got sober in September 2004.
28. Shepard races motorcycles at Buttonwillow Raceway, including his Ducati Hypermotard 1100S and Suzuki GSX-R1000
29. He donates much of his time to the Hollenbeck Youth Center, an after-school program that provides opportunity to at-risk inner-city youth. He has served as their official Master of Ceremonies, along with his friend Tom Arnold, for the Inner-City Games and Hollenbeck Youth Center’s Miracle on 1st Street Toy Giveaway Program in East Los Angeles.
30. Shepard practices the Transcendental Meditation program.