Edward O’Neill made a name for himself on “Married… With Children” as the irritable Al Bundy. He was the ideal depressed parent and husband. Al despised almost everything and relished reminiscing about his glory days as a football player. Al Bundy married and worked as a shoe salesman.
Al had three children, but the show’s essence came from his list of dislikes. “An obese woman walks into a shoe store” is his most famous line from the show. The character in the scene insults his customer in ever-creative ways, demonstrating his contempt for her. But so does his sour disposition.
Ed played Al Bundy for 11 years on the FOX network’s “Married… With Children” series. After many years playing a character, he expected to be updated on the show’s future. Unfortunately, this was not the case when the show was eventually canceled.
Ed learned the news while on vacation in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. As he was leaving his room at a nearby bed and breakfast, he ran into two of his fans. He was perplexed when they congratulated him on seeing him and expressed their disappointment with the show’s cancellation.
Only about six weeks later did the studio contact him to inform him of the news. Ed had accepted the situation.
Although Ed was dissatisfied, playing Al provided him with various opportunities. He established himself as a father figure actor, which paved the way for bigger and better things in the future. He also made a few new friends on the show set who had a significant impact on his life.
Oddly, Ed resembled his persona in some ways. The actor, like Al, used to play football. He received a scholarship to attend Ohio University. After his football career ended, he decided to pursue acting studies. To support himself, he returned to school while working low-wage menial jobs.
After teaching history in a high school and serving customers at O’Neal’s Balloon, the actor landed a role. He was given the role of the middle-aged Al on “Married… With Children,” which made him famous.
But his breakthrough job provided him with far more than a comfortable salary and a stellar reputation. During the show’s production, a new character named Betsy was introduced. Catherine Rusoff, who played Betsy, would be present for a while, but she wouldn’t be there long.
The couple married in 1986 and remained together until 1989, when they divorced. The reason for their split is unknown. They were both making enough money and enjoying their coworker relationship.
The two were still relatively new to acting when the studio wanted to film season 8 of “Married… With Kids.” Still, Ed had the opportunity to haggle for more money because both the show and Ed were growing in popularity.
Before agreeing to appear in Season 8, the actor demanded a pay raise. After much deliberation, the studio decided and felt compelled to include a new Porsche. However, Ed was no longer married and had no one to celebrate his success with.
Ed and Catherine took some time apart after deciding to split up. However, in 1993, the two reconnected. They remarried the following year, and this time it seemed to go better than the last. They stayed together and celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary in 2022.
Following their reconciliation, Ed and his wife had Sophia and Claire O’Neill together. Ed loves being a father, but he had no intention of having Sophia and Claire. He would not have had children if it hadn’t been for his wife, but he is glad he did. He disclosed:
“They probably wouldn’t have happened if I had been left to my own devices. It was not my decision to have children. It was my wife’s. I initially complied somewhat reluctantly. After our first date, I exclaimed, “Oh, my God, I’m in love.” They are the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Claire, Ed’s daughter, decided to work for the family business. She continued her education at the Boston Conservatory in Massachusetts. The Oneills now live in Los Angeles, where they have built an eco-friendly home and are raising awareness about environmental issues. Catherine and Ed mentioned:
“We have solar panels, composting, recycling, instantaneous hot water, electric vehicles, and drought-tolerant vegetation,” says the author. “A worm farm is on its way to me.”
After becoming well-known for his role as the slacker, smart-mouthed Al, Ed appeared in a few other projects. “Modern Family,” an award-winning sitcom, was his most recent success. Ed plays Jay Pritchett, a character similar to Al in many ways. After winning two Screen Actors Guild Awards for “Modern Family,” Ed demonstrated his aptitude for parent roles.
Ed is now devoted to his wife, daughters, and grandchildren. He also narrates “The Undercovers,” a podcast. Despite his advanced age, the actor holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. To stay in shape, he works out with Rorion Gracie.