Simon Helberg
Helberg at PaleyFest 2013 for The Big Bang Theory
Born
Simon Maxwell Helberg

(1980-12-09) December 9, 1980 (age 41)
Alma materCrossroads (HS)
Tisch, NYU (BA Theatre)
Occupation
Years active1999–present
TelevisionThe Big Bang Theory
Spouse(s)
(m. 2007)
Children2
Parents

Simon Maxwell Helberg[3] (born December 9, 1980) is an American actor, comedian, and musician. He is known for playing Howard Wolowitz in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019), for which he won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and as Cosmé McMoon in the film Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.

Helberg has appeared on the sketch comedy series MADtv, and has further performed in films such as Old School (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), A Serious Man (2009) and Annette (2021).

Early life

Helberg was born on December 9, 1980, in Los Angeles.[3] He is the son of actor Sandy Helberg and casting director Harriet Helberg (née Birnbaum).[4][3] He was raised Jewish, "Conservative to Reform but more Reform as time went on."[5][6]

Helberg attended middle and high school at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California, with Jason Ritter, who later became his roommate at New York University.[7] He attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts,[8] where he trained at the Atlantic Theater Company.[4]

Career

Since the early 2000s, Helberg performed with comedian Derek Waters as the sketch comedy duo Derek & Simon.[9] In 2007, the two starred together in Derek & Simon: The Show, a web series they created with comedian Bob Odenkirk for the comedy website Super Deluxe. They also made two short films "Derek & Simon: The Pity Card" (co-starring Zach Galifianakis and Bill Hader) and "Derek & Simon: A Bee and a Cigarette" (co-starring Casey Wilson and Emily Rutherfurd) and had a pilot deal with HBO in 2005. One of Helberg's earliest jobs in television was briefly joining the cast of MADtv for one season in 2002.

Helberg appeared in the 2002 feature film Van Wilder as one of the geeky students for whom Van Wilder was throwing a party. He had a minor role in the 2003 movie Old School. In 2004, he was in two episodes of Reno 911!: Student Driver in Raineesha X and Hooker Buying Son in Not Without My Mustache. He had a small role in the sixth episode of Quintuplets, Get a Job, as a man called Neil working behind the counter at a shoe shop where Paige and Patton were working.

In 2004, he appeared in the film A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. Helberg played the minor role of Simon in George Clooney's 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck, where he had one line. In 2005, he had a bit part on Arrested Development as Jeff, an employee of the film studio where Maeby worked. From 2006 to 2007, he had a minor supporting role as Alex Dwyer in the drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In 2006, he appeared in a series of comical TV commercials for Richard Branson's UK financial services company Virgin Money. He played a small role in the 2007 film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story as a Jewish record producer.

In 2007, Helberg was cast as Howard Wolowitz, in the CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory.[5][10] In 2004, Helberg portrayed Seth Tobin in Joey, a character similar to Howard.

He appeared as the character Moist in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and had a small role in the pilot episode of the Judd Apatow-produced sitcom Undeclared. In the 2009 Coen brothers film A Serious Man, he played junior Rabbi Scott Ginsler. He had a minor role in the season 4 finale of The Guild as one of the Game Masters.

In 2016, Helberg starred alongside Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins, directed by Stephen Frears; he played pianist Cosmé McMoon and his performance was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.[11] Helberg will next star in Annette, opposite Adam Driver.[12]

Forbes placed him third in its world's highest-paid TV actors list in 2018, his revenues rising to $23.5 million in that year.[13]

Personal life

Helberg married actress Jocelyn Towne, the niece of screenwriter Robert Towne,[14] on July 7, 2007.[15] The couple's first child, daughter Adeline, was born on May 8, 2012.[16] Their son, Wilder Towne Helberg, was born on April 23, 2014.[17]

Helberg has been friends with Nathan Hamill, son of actor Mark Hamill, since he was 9 years old.[18] Helberg has been friends with Jason Ritter since he was 12 years old. They went to college together and continue to work together when given the opportunity.[19]

Through his wife Jocelyn (who became a French citizen in 2013 through her French mother), Helberg himself became a French citizen to obtain the role of the Conductor in French cult director Leos Carax’s English-language debut Annette, which opened the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.[20]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Note
1999 Mumford College Roommate
2002 Van Wilder Vernon
2003 Old School Jerry
2004 A Cinderella Story Terry
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck. CBS page
2006 Derek & Simon: A Bee and a Cigarette Simon Short film; also writer and producer
The Pity Card
Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas Al
The TV Set TJ Goldman
For Your Consideration Junior Agent
2007 Careless Stewart
Evan Almighty Staffer
Mama's Boy Rathkon
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Dreidel L'Chaim
2009 A Serious Man Rabbi Scott Ginsler
2011 The Selling Young Husband
Let Go Frank
2013 I Am I Seth Also executive producer
2014 We'll Never Have Paris Quinn Berman Also director, writer and producer
2015 Hollywood Adventures Translator
2016 Florence Foster Jenkins Cosmé McMoon
2021 Annette The Accompanist
TBA As Sick As They Made Us Nathan Post-production

Television

Year Title Role Note
2001 Popular Gus Latrine Episode: "Coup"
Cursed Andy Tinker Episode: "And then Jack Became the Voice of Cougars"
Ruling Class Fred Foster Pilot
Son of the Beach Billy Episode: "It's Showtime at the Apollo 13!"
Undeclared Jack Episode: "Prototype"
2002 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch The Spokesman Episode: "Time After Time"
The Funkhousers Donnie Funkhouser Pilot
2002–2003 MADtv Various 5 episodes
2003 Less than Perfect Arthur Episode: "It Takes a Pillage"
Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales Adam Television special
2004 Quintuplets Neil Episode: "Get a Job"
Reno 911! Various 2 episodes
2005 Unscripted
Life on a Stick Stan / Vinnie
Arrested Development Jeff Episode: "Meat the Veals"
2004–2006 Joey Seth Tobin 4 episodes
2006 The Jake Effect Bill Skidelsky Episode: "Flight School"
2006–2007 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Alex Dwyer 14 episodes
2007 Derek and Simon Simon 13 Episodes; also co-creator, writer and producer
The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman Matt Menard Episode: "Bad Luck Brad"
2007–2019 The Big Bang Theory Howard Wolowitz Main Role
2008 Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Moist 3 episodes
2010 The Guild Kevinator- Official Game Master Episode: "Guild Hall"
2010–2012 Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil Ronaldo (voice)
2011–2016 Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness Bian Zao (voice) 8 episodes
2013 Drunk History Frank Mason Robinson Episode: "Atlanta"
2014 The Tom and Jerry Show Napoleon (voice) 3 episodes
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Simon Helberg Wears a Sky Blue Button Down and Jeans"
2021 Dug Days Squirrel (voice) Episode: "Science"
Young Sheldon Howard Wolowitz (voice) Episode: "An Introduction to Engineering and a Glob of Hair Gel"

Theatre

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Doctor Cerberus Franklin Robertson L.A. Theatre Works, Los Angeles, United States
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (musical) Bud Frump Reprise Theatre Company, Los Angeles, United States
2013 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Demetrius L.A. Theatre Works, Los Angeles, United States
2016 God of Carnage Alan L.A. Theatre Works, Los Angeles, United States
2018 Lenin’s Embalmers Boris L.A. Theatre Works, Los Angeles, United States
It’s a Wonderful Life George Bailey Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, United States
2021 The Murder on the Links Captain Hastings L.A. Theatre Works, Los Angeles, United States

Awards and nominations

Year Award Nominated work Category Result
2010 Teen Choice Awards The Big Bang Theory Choice TV: Male Scene Stealer Nominated
2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2013 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Won
2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2014 Nominated
2015 Nominated
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Chemistry Nominated
2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2017 Golden Globe Awards Florence Foster Jenkins Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Florence Foster Jenkins Virtuosos Award Won
2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards The Big Bang Theory Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated

References

  1. ^ "Simon Helberg". Twitter. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. "'Big Bang Theory's' Kate Micucci on Howard's 'Song for Bernadette': Simon Helberg 'Nailed It' in One Take (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Simon Helberg". TVGuide.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "The Big Bang Theory Cast: Simon Helberg". CBS. Archived from the original on January 23, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Miller, Gerri (September 4, 2007). "Fall TV Preview: Simon Helberg". American Jewish Life. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  6. ^ Bloom, Nate (January 26, 2012). "Jewish Stars 1/27". Cleveland Jewish News.
  7. ^ Lindhome, Riki. "Making It #1: Jason Ritter". Nerdist. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  8. ^ "Eight Tisch Alumni Nominated for 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  9. ^ Fox, Jesse David (September 1, 2015)."Bob Odenkirk Talks to Derek Waters About Drunk History, Drinking With David Simon, and the State of Sitcoms". Vulture.
  10. ^ Quillard, Bobby (August 16, 2010). "Talk Nerdy to Me: Simon Helberg of The Big Bang Theory". Venus Zine. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  11. ^ "Florence Foster Jenkins". IMDb.com. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  12. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (October 9, 2019). "Simon Helberg Joins Adam Driver & Marion Cotillard In Leos Carax's Amazon Musical 'Annette'; France Deal Inked As Cameras Roll". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "Highest-Paid TV Actors 2018". Forbes. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  14. ^ Bowerman, Jeanne Veillette (August 18, 2011). "Balls of Steel: I Am I ... and Then Some". Script Magazine. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  15. ^ Raz, Gali (March 12, 2014). "Simon Helberg Gets Together With His Real Life Wife Jocelyn Towne To Direct A Movie – On Their Romance". Jewish Business News. Archived from the original on July 12, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2015. Note: Webber, Us Weekly (below), gives marriage year as 2012.
  16. ^ Michaud, Sarah; Rizzo, Monica (January 27, 2012). "Baby on the Way for Simon Helberg". People. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  17. ^ Webber, Stephanie (June 24, 2014). "Simon Helberg and Wife Jocelyn Towne Welcome Second Child, Baby Boy Wilder Towne Helberg". Us Weekly. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Watch: Mark Hamill guest starts on The Big Bang Theory in new BTS footage". Syfy.com.
  19. ^ https://collider.com/jason-ritter-i-am-i-interview/. Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (July 6, 2021). "Simon Helberg Is Deeply Committed". WWD. Retrieved September 5, 2021.