Bill Nye is an American science educator, television presenter, and mechanical engineer.
Let’s find out some fun facts about him!
1. William Sanford “Bill” Nye was born November 27, 1955 in Washington, D.C..
2. His parents were Jacqueline, a codebreaker during World War II, and Edwin Darby “Ned” Nye (1917–1997), also a World War II veteran, whose experience without electricity in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp led him to become a sundial enthusiast.
3. After attending Lafayette Elementary and Alice Deal Junior High in the city, he was accepted to the private Sidwell Friends School on a partial scholarship and graduated in 1973.
4. He studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University (where he took an astronomy class taught by Carl Sagan) and graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1977.
5. Nye occasionally returns to Cornell as a guest-lecturer of introductory-level astronomy and human ecology classes.
6. In 1999, Nye told the St. Petersburg Times that he applied to be a NASA astronaut every few years, but was always rejected.
7. Nye began his professional entertainment career as a writer/actor on a local sketch comedy television show in Seattle, Washington, called Almost Live! The host of the show, Ross Shafer, suggested he do some scientific demonstrations in a six-minute segment and take on the nickname “The Science Guy”.
8. From 1991 to 1993, he appeared in the live-action educational segments of Back to the Future: The Animated Series in the nonspeaking role of assistant to Dr. Emmett Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd), in which he would demonstrate science while Lloyd explained.
9. Nye has also written several books as The Science Guy. In addition to hosting, he was a writer and producer for the show. All of it was filmed in the Seattle area.
10. Nye’s Science Guy personality appears alongside Ellen DeGeneres and Alex Trebek in a video at Ellen’s Energy Adventure, an attraction that has been playing since 1996 at the Universe of Energy pavilion inside Epcot at Walt Disney World.
11. His voice is heard in the Dinosaur attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, teaching guests about the dinosaurs while they queue for the ride.
12. He appears in video form in the “Design Lab” of CyberSpace Mountain, inside DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World, where he refers to himself as “Bill Nye the Coaster Guy.”
13. His Science Guy persona was also the on-air spokesman for the Noggin television network during 1999.
14. Nye remained interested in science education through entertainment. He played a science teacher in Disney’s 1998 TV movie The Principal Takes a Holiday; he made a hovercraft to demonstrate science in an unusual classroom manner.
15. In 2009, portions of Nye’s shows were used as lyrics and portions of the second Symphony of Science music education video by composer John Boswell. Nye recorded a short YouTube video (as himself, not his TV persona) advocating clean-energy climate-change legislation on behalf of Al Gore’s Repower America campaign in October 2009.
16. In September 2012, Nye claimed that creationist views threaten science education and innovation in the United States.
17. On February 28, 2014, Nye was a celebrity guest and interviewer at the White House Student Film Festival.
18. On August 31, 2016, Netflix announced that Nye would appear in a new series titled Bill Nye Saves the World, which is set to premiere on April 21, 2017.
19. In the early 2000s, Nye assisted in the development of a small sundial that was included in the Mars Exploration Rover missions.
20. Nye was a contestant in the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars in 2013, partnering newcomer Tyne Stecklein. They were eliminated early in the season after Nye sustained an injury to his quadriceps tendon on Week 3.
21. Since 2014, Nye has divided his time between the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles and the Chelsea district of Manhattan, though he has also owned a house on Mercer Island near Seattle.
22. Since July 2007, Nye and environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr. have engaged in a friendly competition “to see who could have the lowest carbon footprint,” according to Begley.
23. In a 2008 interview, Nye joked that he wants to “crush Ed Begley” in their environmental competition.
24. Nye and Begley are neighbors in Los Angeles and sometimes dine together at a local vegetarian restaurant.
25. Nye often appeared on Begley’s HGTV/Planet Green reality show Living with Ed.
26. Nye enjoys baseball and occasionally does experiments involving the physics of the game.
27. As a longtime Seattle resident before becoming an entertainer, he is said to have been a fan of the Seattle Mariners, although recently he has voiced his preference (as a D.C. native) for the Washington Nationals.
28. He also played Ultimate while in college and for a period of time while living in Seattle.
29. In July 2012, Nye endorsed President Barack Obama’s reelection bid.
30. Nye announced his engagement during an appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and was married to his fiancée of five months, musician Blair Tindall, on February 3, 2006. The ceremony was performed by Rick Warren at The Entertainment Gathering at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Yo-Yo Ma provided the music.
31. Nye left the relationship seven weeks later when the marriage license was declared invalid.
32. In 2007, Nye received a protective order against Tindall after an incident in which she came onto his property and used herbicide to damage his garden. Tindall admitted this but denied being a threat to him.
33. In 2012, Nye sued Tindall for unpaid attorney’s fees he incurred while he went to court in 2009 to enforce the protective order against Tindall after she allegedly violated it.
34. According to Nye’s court filings, she was ordered to pay these fees; to date, she has not paid any of it.
35. Nye is an avid swing dancer and describes himself as agnostic.