With a recognizable face and dozens of on-screen credits, Kevin Sussman has made a lucrative career out of playing loveable everymen with a nerdy side. He's most widely known for portraying Stuart, the geeky comic-book storeowner, on "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS, 2007- ), which he landed in 2009. Sussman had initially auditioned for the part of Kripke, which ultimately went to his friend and writing partner, John Ross Bowie. Two years later the show's creator, Chuck Lorre, who thought Sussman was perfect for the role of Stuart, called him back to offer him the part. Prior to joining the cast of "The Big Bang Theory," Sussman spent a season playing Betty's boyfriend Walter on the breakout ABC comedy, "Ugly Betty" (2006-10), while also working with some of the most respected directors in Hollywood, including the Coen Brothers, Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee. With a body of work that spans multiple genres and platforms, Sussman has parlayed his versatility and appeal to become one of the most consistent character actors working in Hollywood.
As the youngest of four, Sussman grew up watching his three older brothers perform in high school plays, and knew almost immediately that he had found his calling. He started taking acting classes in New York City after high school, while working a day job in the tech department of a bank that was located in the World Trade Center. He would usually sneak off during his lunch break to attend auditions, sometimes wearing ridiculous outfits that his co-workers would later tease him about. Auditioning in New York City is a tough game for any struggling actor, but Sussman never lost sight of his goals and continued to plug away at the seemingly futile auditioning process. Oddly enough, a week before landing his first professional acting gig on the TV show "Ghost Stories," (Fox Family, 1997-98), Sussman was offered a full-time job with health benefits by the bank he had been temping with. Although his role on "Ghost Stories" was small, it was the spark he needed to quit his job and take the leap into full-time acting.
Needless to say, the big bet paid off, and in 1999 Sussman was cast alongside Adrien Brody in director Barry Levinson's Baltimore-set drama, "Liberty Heights." Over the next few years, Sussman was cast in small speaking roles in Cameron Crowe's rock n' roll dramedy "Almost Famous" (2000), the cult comedy "Wet Hot American Summer" (2001) and the revenge thriller "Changing Lanes" (2002). He was also cast in Spielberg's science-fiction film "A.I." (2001), but his scene was left on the cutting-room floor. Audiences began recognizing Sussman when he landed the role of Walter, Betty's unfaithful boyfriend, on the first season of ABC's "Ugly Betty." After leaving the show in 2007, Sussman appeared in the Coen Brothers' spy comedy, "Burn After Reading," before landing the part of Stuart on "The Big Bang Theory." It was pure coincidence that Sussman's co-star on the show, John Ross Bowie, was a personal friend from his days as a struggling New York actor. The two had a lot in common; they both spent their early 20s working boring desk jobs in Manhattan, and both had an undying love for comic books and science fiction. They soon put their common interests to use and teamed up to pen television scripts. In 2013, the writing duo sold a stop-motion animated comedy called "Dark Minions" to Amazon Studios. The pilot debuted on Amazon's website in May of that year.
Cast (Feature Film)
First film role in "Liberty Heights"
Appeared in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous"
First recurring role on television as Walter on "Ugly Betty"
Appeared alongside George Clooney in "Burn After Reading"
Recurring role as Stuart on "The Big Bang Theory"
Premiere of his co-written pilot, "Dark Minions," on Amazon.com