Kevin James (born Kevin George Knipfing; April 26, 1965) is an American comedian, actor, writer and producer. He is widely known for playing Doug Heffernan on the CBS sitcoms The King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond. He is also known for his roles in the comedy films Hitch, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Grown Ups. He has hosted the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (on March 27, 2010).

Early years

James was born in Mineola, New York at Winthrop-University Hospital, to Janet, a homemaker who also worked in a chiropractor's office, and Joseph Valentine Knipfing, who owned an insurance company.[1][2][3] James has two siblings, Gary Joseph Knipfing, known as Gary Valentine, also a comedian, and Leslie Knipfing; Leslie works for James and helped raise money through charity events for retinitis pigmentosa, with which she is afflicted. James was raised in the "S-Section" of Stony Brook and graduated from Ward Melville High School in 1983,[4] where one of his teammates on the wrestling team was (professional wrestler) Mick Foley. He was a student at, but did not graduate from, the State University of New York at Cortland, where he was a member of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity.



James began doing stand-up comedy, gaining 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 Kathy Lee. James was #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.

James is a friend of Ray Romano and he 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 the lead as an overweight and hilarious delivery man, Doug, who worked for a company known as IPS and was married to Carrie (Leah Remini). As a result of his work on the show he was nominated for an Emmy for the most outstanding lead actor in a comedy show. 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 March 2010, James hosted the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards.[5]


James made his film debut in the 2005 romantic comedy, Hitch, for which he got very high praise for his role alongside Will Smith and Eva Mendes. In 2006, he co-starred with his Everybody Loves Raymond colleague Ray Romano in the comedy Grilled and provided voice talents in the animated films Monster House and Barnyard. In 2007, James co-starred opposite Adam Sandler in the comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and also made a cameo in Sandler's 2008 film You Don't Mess with the Zohan. James' 2009 comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop, opened as the #1 film in North America with a weekend gross of $39 million, far exceeding expectations, 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.


A web series titled Dusty Peacock produced by James and starring his brother Gary Valentine began streaming on Crackle in July 2009.[6]

Award shows

James hosted the 2010 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on March 27, 2010 on Nick.

Personal life

On June 19, 2004, James married actress Steffiana de la Cruz.[7] He has two daughters, Sienna-Marie (born September 30, 2005)[8] and Shea Joelle (born June 14, 2007), who was named after the ballpark Shea Stadium.[9]

He is a close friend of ex-MMA fighter Bas Rutten, and has accompanied him to the octagon on one occasion.



James on the set of Paul Blart: Mall Cop: Burlington Mall, Burlington, Massachusetts

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Everybody Loves Raymond Kevin 6 episodes; 1996–1998
1998 Doug Heffernan "The Lone Barone" (Season 3, Episode 9)
"Ray Home Alone" (Season 3, Episode 18)
"Be Nice" (Season 3, Episode 23)
1998 The King of Queens Doug Heffernan Main role (1998–2007)
1999 Martial Law Dallas Hampton
Becker Doug Heffernan
2001 Arli$$ Kevin
2002 Pinocchio Mangiafuoco Voice: English version
2004 50 First Dates Factory Worker
2005 Hitch Albert Brennaman Co-star
2006 Monster House Officer Landers Voice
Grilled Dave Co-star
Barnyard Otis Voice
2007 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Larry Valentine Co-star
Elmo's Christmas Countdown Santa Claus
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Celebrity Judge uncredited
2009 Paul Blart Mall Cop Paul Blart Lead role, Writer and Producer
2010 Grown Ups Eric Lamonsoff
2011 The Dilemma Isaac Backman
Zookeeper Griffin Keyes


External links

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