David Lawrence Schwimmer is an American actor, director and producer. He was born in New York City, and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was two. He began his acting career performing in school plays at Beverly Hills High School. In 1988, he graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in theater and speech. After graduation, Schwimmer co-founded the Lookingglass Theatre Company. For much of the late 1980s, he lived in Los Angeles as a struggling, unemployed actor.
He starred in the television movie A Deadly Silence in 1989 and appeared in a number of television roles, including on L.A. Law, The Wonder Years, NYPD Blue, and Monty, in the early 1990s. Schwimmer later gained worldwide recognition for playing Ross Geller in the sitcom Friends. His first leading film role was in The Pallbearer, which was followed by roles in Kissing a Fool, Six Days Seven Nights, Apt Pupil, and Picking Up the Pieces. He was then cast in the miniseries Band of Brothers as Herbert Sobel. After the series finale of Friends in 2004, Schwimmer was cast as the titular character in the 2005 drama Duane Hopwood. Other film roles include Melman in the computer animated Madagascar films, the dark comedy Big Nothing, and the thriller Nothing But the Truth. Schwimmer made his West End stage debut in the leading role in Some Girl in 2005. In 2006, he made his Broadway debut in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. Schwimmer made his feature film directorial debut with the 2007 comedy Run Fatboy Run. The following year he made his Off-Broadway directorial debut in the 2008 production Fault Lines.