Kevin James

Kevin James (born Kevin George Knipfing; April 26, 1965) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known for his role as Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens (1998–2007), for which he was nominated for a 2006 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He starred in another CBS sitcom, Kevin Can Wait (2016–2018) for which he was nominated for a 2017 People's Choice Award.

Kevin James
James in February 2011
Kevin George Knipfing

(1965-04-26) April 26, 1965
OccupationActor, comedian, screenwriter, producer
Years active1989–present
Steffiana de la Cruz (m. 2004)
RelativesGary Valentine (brother)

James has appeared in the films Hitch (2005), I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), Grown Ups (2010), Zookeeper (2011), Here Comes the Boom (2012), and Pixels (2015). He has also done voice work for Barnyard (2006), Monster House (2006), and the Hotel Transylvania film series (2012–2018).

Early life

James was born Kevin George Knipfing on April 26, 1965, in Mineola, New York.[1] He grew up in Stony Brook, New York.[2] He is the second son of chiropractor's office worker Janet and insurance agency owner Joseph Valentine Knipfing Jr.[1][3] His father is German-American. James has an elder brother, comedian and actor Gary Valentine, and a sister, Leslie.[4] He and his siblings were raised Catholic, and they are of German and Jewish descent.[5] James graduated from Ward Melville High School.[6] While there, he reached the number one spot on the wrestling team, just ahead of friend and future professional wrestler Mick Foley. Both wrestled at the 145 lb weight class. A season-ending back injury to James resulted in Foley taking over the first string position.[7] James, as well as Foley, went on to study at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he played halfback on the varsity football team until another back injury permanently ended his sporting hopes.[6][8]


James began doing stand-up comedy in 1989, making his debut at the East Side Comedy Club on Long Island, managed by Richie Minervini.[6] He gained popularity through numerous appearances on various talk shows, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Dennis Miller Live, The Late Late Show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. James was listed at #89 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians. James has also done his stand-up routine on Just for Laughs, an annual comedy festival in Montreal, Quebec. Later he was on commercials for Mazzio's Italian Eatery. In 2001, James did his own stand-up special called Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff. He has also appeared as a musical guest on Just for Laughs. In 2018, James released another stand-up special on Netflix called Kevin James: Never Don’t Give Up.


James' first television job was in 1991 on The New Candid Camera, where he used his comedy timing and improvisation skills playing the actor that pulled the practical jokes on unsuspecting people. James appeared on television as the announcer for the MTV sports game show SandBlast from 1994-96. James later moved to Los Angeles and befriended Ray Romano, and later guest-starred on a few episodes of Romano's hit CBS sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. These appearances led to the development of his own sitcom, The King of Queens, which ran on the same network from September 21, 1998, to May 14, 2007. James played working class parcel delivery man Doug Heffernan who works for a company known as IPS. He is married to Carrie (Leah Remini), a sharp-tongued, ambitious secretary at a Manhattan law firm who is far less content with working-class life in Queens. Her obsessive, vindictive father, Arthur (Jerry Stiller), who is capable of bizarre conduct, lives with them. For his work on the eighth season, James was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2006.[9]

James hosted the 2010 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on March 27, 2010, and was a nominee into the Arm Fart Hall of Fames of the next year's show as Kevin "Not-Quite-As-Good-As-Me" James; but lost to Josh Duhamel.[10][11]

James starred in the sitcom Kevin Can Wait, which premiered on September 19, 2016.[12][13] The series was renewed for a second season,[14] before being canceled at the season's end.


After a cameo in 50 First Dates in 2004, James made his starring film debut in the 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, alongside Will Smith and Eva Mendes. In 2006, he co-starred with his Everybody Loves Raymond colleague Ray Romano in the straight-to-video comedy Grilled, and provided voice work in the animated films Monster House and Barnyard. James co-starred with Adam Sandler in the comedies I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008), and Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009). In the latter film, his character patrolled the fictional West Orange Pavilion Mall, filmed at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts, on a Segway PT. The film opened as the #1 film in North America with a weekend gross of $39 million, despite overwhelmingly negative reviews,[15] and eventually grossed $219 million from ticket and home video sales. More recently, James appeared in Grown Ups, which co-starred numerous Saturday Night Live alumni and was even more universally panned, yet was highly successful at the box office.[16]

In 2011 he had a lead role with Vince Vaughn in the comedy-drama The Dilemma and then with Rosario Dawson in Zookeeper, which he wrote and produced. James also had the lead role in the 2012 mixed martial arts comedy film Here Comes the Boom.[17] He starred as well in the movie Pixels in 2015 and the following year in True Memoirs of an International Assassin, directed by Jeff Wadlow and released by Netflix on November 11, 2016.[18][19] In 2017, James co-starred with Adam Sandler in another Netflix film, Sandy Wexler.[20]

Other work

In 2007, he was the grand marshal for the Pepsi 400 promoting I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and saying "Gentlemen, start your engines". He did it again in June 2010 with friend and fellow actor Adam Sandler to promote Grown Ups, in 2012 at the fall Talladega race to promote Here Comes the Boom and in July 2013 at the Coke-Zero 400 with co-stars Adam Sandler and Shaquille O'Neal to promote Grown Ups 2. Both the 2007 Pepsi 400 command and June 2010 command at Michigan with Sandler have since been voted as two of the best and most memorable NASCAR commands in history by fans.

A web series titled Dusty Peacock produced by James and starring his brother Gary Valentine began streaming on Crackle in July 2009.[21]

Personal life

On June 19, 2004, James married actress Steffiana de la Cruz in California.[22] They have four children.[23]

In 2012, James stated that he is a practicing Catholic.[5] In 2019, James hosted a retreat featuring Father Chad Ripperger and theologian Scott Hahn.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Pinocchio Mangiafuoco Voice role (English version)
2004 50 First Dates Factory Worker
2005 Hitch Albert Brennaman
2006 Grilled Dave
2006 Monster House Officer Landers Voice role/Motion Capture role
2006 Barnyard Otis Voice role
2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Larry Valentine
2009 Paul Blart: Mall Cop Paul Blart Also writer and producer
2010 Grown Ups Eric Lamonsoff
2011 The Dilemma Nick Brannen
2011 Zookeeper Griffin Keyes Also writer and producer
2012 Hotel Transylvania Frankenstein Voice role
2012 Here Comes the Boom Scott Voss[25] Also writer and producer
2013 Grown Ups 2 Eric Lamonsoff
2015 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Paul Blart Also writer and producer
2015 Little Boy Dr. Fox
2015 Pixels William Cooper
2015 Hotel Transylvania 2 Frank Voice role
2016 True Memoirs of an International Assassin Sam Larson
2017 Sandy Wexler Ted Rafferty
2018 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Frank Voice role
TBA Hubie Halloween Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
Everybody Loves Raymond Kevin Daniels / Doug Heffernan 8 episodes
1998–2007 The King of Queens Doug Heffernan Lead role (207 episodes)
1998 Cosby Episode: "Judgment Day"
1999 Becker Episode: "Drive, They Said"
1999 Martial Law Dallas Hampton Episode: "Nitro Man"
2001 Arli$ Kevin Episode: "Like No Business I Know"
2001 Kevin James: Sweat The Small Stuff Himself Stand-up comedy special
2007 Elmo's Christmas Countdown Santa Claus
2015 Liv & Maddie Mr. Clodfelter Episode: "Cook-a-Rooney"
2016–2018 Kevin Can Wait Kevin Gable Lead role (48 episodes)


Teen Choice Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2005 Hitch Choice Movie: Dance Scene[A] Nominated [26]
Choice Movie: Liplock[A]
2015 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Choice Movie Actor: Comedy Nominated [27]

Primetime Emmy Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2006 The King of Queens; episode: "Pole Lox" Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated [28]

Golden Raspberry Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Worst Supporting Actor Nominated [29]
Worst Screen Couple[B]
2013 Grown Ups 2 Worst Screen Combo[C] Nominated [30]
2015 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Worst Actor Nominated [31]
Worst Picture
Worst Screenplay
Pixels Worst Supporting Actor Nominated

People's Choice Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2017 Kevin Can Wait Favorite Actor in a New TV Series Nominated [32]



A ^ Shared with Will Smith
B ^ Shared with Adam Sandler and Jessica Biel
C ^ Shared with the entire cast


  1. "Kevin James Biography".
  2. Konig, Susan (November 14, 1999). "L.I.'s Biggest Export? Try Standup Comedy". The New York Times. Mr. James was born in Mineola, but his family soon moved to Stony Brook college, where he graduated from Ward Melville High School.
  3. "Joseph Valentine Knipfing Jr". Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  4. "Kevin James Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  5. Mark Pattison (October 9, 2012). "Comic actor Kevin James wants to 'glorify God in every way'". Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  6. Konig, Susan (November 14, 1999). "L.I.'s Biggest Export? Try Standup Comedy". The New York Times. Mr. James was born in Mineola, but his family soon moved to Stony Brook college, where he graduated from Ward Melville High School.
  7. WENN. "Kevin James reunited with high school wrestling pal Mick Foley on TV". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  8. "Search Results - Entertainment". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  9. "Kevin James Emmy Nominated". Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  10. Andreeva, Nellie (March 16, 2010). "Kevin James to host Kids' Choice Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  11. "Kevin James was robbed!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  12. Andreeva, Nellie (October 9, 2015). "Kevin James Returns To CBS With New Family Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  13. Andreeva, Nellie (June 21, 2016). "CBS Sets Fall 2016 Premiere Dates, Slates JonBenet Ramsey Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 4, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  14. Andreeva, Nellie (March 23, 2017). "CBS Renews 5 Freshman & 11 Returning Series, Including 'MacGyver', 'Superior Donuts', 'Life In Pieces' & 'Hawaii Five-0'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  15. "Critics' reviews for Paul Blart:Mall Cop".
  16. "Critics' reviews for Grown Ups".
  17. "MMA-Themed Movie 'Here Comes the Boom' Starring Kevin James Releases New Trailer". Bleacher Report. June 27, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  18. Ramin Setoodeh. "Netflix Buys Kevin James' 'True Memoirs of an International Assassin' - Variety". Variety. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  19. "True Memoirs of an International Assassin Premieres November 11 on Netflix". Netflix. September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  20. "Kevin James, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider Join Adam Sandler's 'Sandy Wexler' (Exclusive)".
  21. "Kevin James, Gary Valentine Get Reckless on 'Dusty Peacock'". July 17, 2009. Archived from the original on July 22, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  22. Bacardi, Francesca (November 20, 2014). "Kevin James Expecting Baby No. 4 With Wife Steffiana de la Cruz!". E! Online. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  23. "Kevin James Welcomes Son Kannon Valentine". People. December 13, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  24. Hahn, Scott. "A wonderful time on retreat". Facebook. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  25. "Here Comes the Boom – Sony Pictures Entertainment".
  26. "Teen Choice Awards (2005)". Internet Movie Database.
  27. "Teen Choice Awards (2015)". Internet Movie Database.
  28. "58th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Primetime Emmy Award.
  29. "28th Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie©) Award "Winners"". Golden Raspberry Awards. Archived from the original on April 14, 2010.
  30. "34th RAZZIE® "Winners": Everybody Gets Something ...Except Adam Sandler!". Golden Raspberry Awards.
  31. "404 - Page Not Found".
  32. "People's Choice Awards 2017: Full List Of Winners". People's Choice. January 19, 2017. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
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