Ed O’Neill: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me (‘I’m a Black Belt in Jiujitsu and Have Been Training for 22 Years’)


Ed O'Neill 25 Things You Dont Know About Me
Ed O’Neill at a TV show screening & panel discussion for ‘Modern Family’ on May 2, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Mediapunch/Shutterstock

Modern Family’s Ed O’Neill gives Us a modern take on himself. Read on to learn 25 things about the host of “The Undercovers” podcast — including what he’d do if he weren’t an actor, the time he met Britney Spears and how he learned he was main character in Finding Dory.

1. I was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 but was cut during training camp.

2. In high school [in Worthington, Ohio], after I won our football team a state championship, I was given the nickname “Ed O’Winner.”

3. Before I was an actor, I was a substitute high school [social studies] teacher.

4. I was one of the first students in the theater program at Youngstown State University.

5. My father and grandfather were steelworkers. I worked in a steel mill for four years.

6. I’m a black belt in jiujitsu and have been training for 22 years. Be very scared!

7. I’m starting a new venture: podcasting. I’m the narrator of “The Undercovers,” which covers incredible true stories about America’s fearless DEA agents.

8. I’m frequently cited as making my film debut in [1972’s] Deliverance, which is odd because I’m not in it!

9. I didn’t realize that I was a main character [Hank] in Finding Dory until I saw how many lines I had to record.

10. My star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located right in front of a shoe store — paying homage to [my Married… With Children character] Al Bundy and his shoe salesmanship.

11. I had issues with football in college because I much preferred to spend my time, uh, celebrating rather than working out. Or studying, for that matter!

Ed O'Neill 25 Things You Dont Know About Me
Ed O’Neill on ‘Modern Family’. ABC-TV/Kobal/Shutterstock

12. I wish I had a Super Bowl ring.

13. I created my own sandwich, “The Boone” at the Se-Port Deli in Setauket, New York.

14. I’m a long-standing member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

15. I once won a national handball championship. Ed O’Winner strikes again!

16. My favorite memory on Modern Family was getting hired and working with [producer] Christopher Lloyd … What more could be said!

17. I once met Britney Spears and had no idea [who she was]!

18. If I weren’t an actor, I’d be an undercover agent. Former agents have told me I would’ve been a natural.

19. The biggest misconception about me is that I make plans for all my career moves. I really don’t, but I know when to say yes.

20. My worst personality trait? My love of talk shows.

21. Whenever I need to clear my mind, I like to spend time reading and cooking.

22. The most influential people in my life are my children. I want to ensure they’re taken care of, but it’s nice when they like me too.

23. The greatest piece of advice wasn’t given to me directly, but rather is a Confucius quote: “Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

24. I always go for it. When I was in my 30s, I got a bus ticket to New York. I knew it was what I wanted and where I was trying to go.

25. I’d never trade any of my experiences that led me to where I am today.

“The Undercovers” podcast is available now.

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