Robert John Odenkirk, born October 22, 1962, is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker best known for his role as Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad (2008–2013) and its spin-off Better Call Saul (2015–2022), for which he has received five nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (one of which is pending).
He is also known for the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David (1995–1998), which he co-created and starred in with fellow comic and friend David Cross.
From the late 1980s to 1990s, Odenkirk wrote for television shows Saturday Night Live and The Ben Stiller Show, winning Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series in 1989 and 1993.
He also wrote for Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Get a Life and acted in a recurring role as Agent Stevie Grant in The Larry Sanders Show.
In the early 2000s, Odenkirk discovered the comedy duo Tim & Eric and produced their television series Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
He directed three films, Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003), Let’s Go to Prison (2006), and The Brothers Solomon (2007). He was also an executive producer of the sketch comedy show The Birthday Boys, developing the show with the comedy group after seeing their work at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.
In 2015, he and David Cross reunited, along with the rest of the Mr. Show cast, for W/ Bob & David on Netflix.
Odenkirk co-wrote, produced, and starred in the Netflix original film Girlfriend’s Day which was released in 2017.
The success of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul led to acting work in high-profile projects, such as Nebraska, directed by Alexander Payne; Fargo, written and created by Noah Hawley; The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg; Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2, written and directed by Brad Bird; and Little Women, written and directed by Greta Gerwig. In 2021, Odenkirk starred in the action film Nobody, to positive reviews.
Bob Odenkirk Parents: Meet Walter Odenkirk, Barbara Odenkirk
Odenkirk was born in Berwyn, Illinois, then raised in Naperville to Walter Odenkirk and Barbara Odenkirk.
He is the second oldest of seven siblings born to Walter Henry Odenkirk, who was employed in the printing business, and Barbara Mary (née Baier) Odenkirk, Catholics of German and Irish descent.
His parents divorced in part due to Walter’s alcoholism, which influenced Bob’s decision to avoid alcohol as much as possible.
He describes his father as “remote, fucked-up, and not around”.
Odenkirk would later say that he grew up “hating” Naperville as a 15-year-old because “it felt like a dead end, like Nowheresville.
I couldn’t wait to move into a city and be around people who were doing exciting things.”
Walter Odenkirk died of bone cancer in 1986, and Barbara died on November 30, 2021.
Odenkirk’s younger brother is comedy writer Bill Odenkirk. Bob had helped with Bill’s early career.