Seth MacFarlane is an American actor, filmmaker, and singer, working primarily in animation and comedy, as well as live-action and other genres.
Let’s find out some fun facts about him!
1. Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born October 26, 1973 in Kent, Connecticut.
2. His parents, Ronald Milton MacFarlane and Ann Perry, were born in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
3. His sister is voice actress Rachael Ann MacFarlane (born 1976).
4. He has roots in New England going back to the 1600s, and is a descendant of Mayflower passenger William Brewster.
5. MacFarlane’s parents met in 1970, when they both lived and worked in Boston, Massachusetts, and married later that year.
6. The couple moved to Kent in 1972, where Ann began working in the Admissions Office at South Kent School.
7. She later worked in the College Guidance and Admissions Offices at the Kent School, a selective college preparatory school, where Ronald was a teacher.
8. During his childhood, MacFarlane developed an interest in illustration and began drawing cartoon characters Fred Flintstone and Woody Woodpecker, as early as two years old.
9. By the age of five, MacFarlane knew that he would want to pursue a career in animation, and began by creating flip books, after his parents found a book on the subject for him.
10. Four years later, aged nine, MacFarlane began publishing a weekly comic strip titled “Walter Crouton” for The Kent Good Times Dispatch, the local newspaper in Kent, Connecticut, which paid him five dollars per week.
11. In one anecdote from the time, MacFarlane said in an October 2011 interview that as a child he was always “weirdly fascinated by the Communion ceremony”.
12. He created a strip with a character kneeling at the altar taking Communion and asking “Can I have fries with that?”
13. The paper printed it and he got an “angry letter” from the local priest; it led to “sort of a little mini-controversy” in the town.
14. MacFarlane received his high school diploma in 1991 from the Kent School.
15. While there, he continued experimenting with animation, and his parents gave him an 8 mm camera.
16. MacFarlane went on to study film, video and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
17. As a student, he had originally intended to work for Disney, but changed his mind upon graduating.
18. At RISD MacFarlane created a series of independent films, eventually meeting future Family Guy cast member Mike Henry, whose brother Patrick was MacFarlane’s classmate.
19. During his time at RISD, MacFarlane performed stand-up comedy.
20. In his senior year at RISD MacFarlane created a thesis film titled The Life of Larry, which eventually would become the inspiration for Family Guy.
21. MacFarlane’s professor submitted his film to the animation studio Hanna-Barbera, where he was later hired.
22. MacFarlane is the creator of the TV series Family Guy (1999–2003, 2005–present), co-creator of the TV series American Dad! (2005–present) and The Cleveland Show (2009–13). He also wrote, directed, and starred in the films Ted (2012), its sequel Ted 2 (2015), and A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014).
23. MacFarlane is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied animation.
24. Recruited to Hollywood, he was an animator and writer for Hanna-Barbera for several television series, including Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, I Am Weasel, and Larry & Steve.
25. As an actor, he has made guest appearances on series, such as Gilmore Girls, The War at Home and FlashForward.
26. In 2008, he created his own YouTube series titled Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. He won several awards for his work on Family Guy, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and an Annie Award.
27. In 2009, he won the Webby Award for Film & Video Person of the Year. He occasionally speaks at universities and colleges throughout the United States, and he is a supporter of gay rights.
28. MacFarlane’s first feature-length comedy film, Ted, features his voice acting and performance capture as the titular anthropomorphic teddy bear and became the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy.
29. As a singer MacFarlane has performed at several venues, including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
30. MacFarlane has released three studio albums, in the same vein of his musical idol Frank Sinatra, beginning with Music Is Better Than Words in 2011.
31. He wrote the lyrics for the Academy Award-nominated song “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” for Ted.
32. MacFarlane served as executive producer of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, an update of the 1980s Carl Sagan–hosted Cosmos series, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
33. MacFarlane was instrumental in providing funding for the series, as well as securing studio support for it from other entertainment executives.
34. In a 2004 interview with The Daily Princetonian, MacFarlane noted his similarities to Brian Griffin from Family Guy, revealing, “I have some Brian type issues from time to time – looking for the right person – but I date as much as the next guy”.
35. In 2012, he dated Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke for about six months. MacFarlane is a fan of Game of Thrones, and the two remained friends after they broke up.
36. On July 16, 2010, MacFarlane’s mother, Ann Perry Sager, died after a long battle with cancer. Her death was reported by Larry King on his show Larry King Live, who acknowledged a conversation he had with her during an interview with her son in May 2010.
37. On the morning of September 11, 2001, MacFarlane was scheduled to return to Los Angeles on American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston. Suffering from a hangover after the previous night’s celebrations that followed his speech at his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design, and with an incorrect departure time (8:15 a.m. instead of 7:45 a.m.) from his travel agent, he arrived at Logan International Airport about ten minutes too late to board the flight as the gates had been closed. Fifteen minutes after departure, American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked, and at 8:46 a.m. it was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board.