Hank Azaria stars as Alex, a recently divorced public relations professional who is trying to keep it together in the NBC comedy "Free Agents."
A Tony Award nominee and four-time Emmy Award winner, Azaria is a multifaceted performer on film, television and on the stage, as well as a respected director and comedian.
This summer, Azaria will be seen starring as the infamous Gargamel in Sony Pictures' live-action/animation hybrid, "The Smurfs," opposite Neil Patrick Harris and Sofia Vergara. He will also lend his voice to Warner Bros. "Happy Feet 2" in 3D, scheduled for release on November 18, 2011.
He recently was heard in Universal's animated box-office hit "Hop" and appeared in the film "Love and Other Drugs," opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. He also starred in "Year One," opposite Jack Black and Michael Cera and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," which grossed over $415 million.
In 1997, Azaria played the scene-stealing Guatemalan housekeeper Agador Spartacus in Mike Nichols' "The Birdcage." The role catapulted Azaria's film career and earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role; and he shared a win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast with the film's ensemble. He had previously won critical acclaim as television producer Albert Freedman in the 1994 Academy Award-nominated film "Quiz Show."
Some of Azaria's notable film credits include "Godzilla" for director Roland Emmerich; the 1998 adaptation of "Great Expectations" opposite Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow; Tim Robbins' "Cradle Will Rock"; Woody Allen's "Celebrity"; "America's Sweethearts" with Julia Roberts and Billy Crystal; and "Shattered Glass" with Peter Sarsgaard and Hayden Christensen. Additional film credits include: "Along Came Polly," "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," "Grosse Pointe Blank," "Heat," "Now and Then" and "Pretty Woman."
Azaria is also well known for his portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Craig "Huff" Huffstodt on the critically acclaimed Showtime series "Huff." The show ran for two seasons from 2004 - 2006, garnering seven Emmy nominations in 2005, including a nomination for Azaria for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He earned a SAG Award nomination that same year. Azaria served as an executive producer on the series and directed an episode during the show's second season. His other notable recurring guest-starring roles on "Friends" and "Mad About You" also earned him Emmy nominations.
In 1999, Azaria starred as Mitch Albom alongside the legendary Jack Lemmon in the television film "Tuesdays with Morrie" and took home the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. His other made-for-television films include the Jon Avnet-directed "Uprising" and the 2005 film "Fail Safe," directed by Stephen Frears.
As a vocal artist, Azaria is noted and highly regarded as one of the best, with over 20 years as one of the principal voice actors on the animated television series "The Simpsons." Azaria brings to life a list of characters too numerous to mention, though may best be known as the voices of Moe Szyslak, Apu, Police Chief Wiggum and Comic Book Guy. He has been nominated for five and won three Emmy awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work on "The Simpsons," and he brought many of his beloved characters to the big screen in 2007's "The Simpsons Movie." His additional voice-over work includes multiple appearances as Venom/Eddie Brock between 1994 and 1996 on the "Spider-Man" animated series, and the animated feature "Anastasia."
As a filmmaker, Azaria wrote, directed and produced the 2004 short film "Nobody's Perfect," which won the Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Short at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival and the award for Best Narrative Short at the Ojai Film Festival.
In theater, Azaria has appeared in several productions, including a 2003 production of David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" at London's West End, opposite Matthew Perry and Minnie Driver. In 2005, Azaria originated the role of Sir Lancelot in "Spamalot," the musical comedy adaptation of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." The show was a huge success, earning 14 Tony Award nominations, including one for Azaria for Best Actor in a Musical. He returned to Broadway in 2007, starring as RCA head David Sarnoff in Aaron Sorkin's "The Farnsworth Invention."