David Lawrence Schwimmer (born November 2, 1966) is a Jewish-American actor, director, and producer. Schwimmer began his acting career performing in school plays at Beverly Hills High School. In 1988, he graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in theater and speech. After graduation, Schwimmer co-founded the Lookingglass Theatre Company. For much of the late 1980s, he lived in Los Angeles as a struggling, unemployed actor.
Schwimmer later gained worldwide recognition for playing Ross Geller in the sitcom Friends, for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1995. His first leading film role was in The Pallbearer (1996), followed by roles in Kissing a Fool (1998), Six Days, Seven Nights (1998), Apt Pupil, and Picking Up the Pieces (both 2000).