You may be surprised to learn that comedy veteran Ed O’Neill started his career by playing dramatic roles in theater. However, one of these on-stage parts was to set him on the road to stardom. You see, a twist of fate meant that O’Neill was able to prove that he had just the right qualities to play one of the most famous roles in TV sitcom history: Al Bundy in Married with Children.
Yet while O’Neill would ultimately achieve global fame and a handful of Screen Actors Guild awards, his early life was very humble. During his younger years, O’Neill, who was part of an Irish-American family, followed in his father’s footsteps by toiling in a steel mill in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
And in a 1990 interview with People, O’Neill’s friend Jim Johns recalled the stifling conditions that the TV star had formerly had to endure. “It was a terrible job,” Johns told the magazine. “Sometimes the mercury would hit 140 degrees when Eddie was on the floor.”