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Stephen Aaron Root (born November 17, 1951) is an American actor. He has starred as Jimmy James on the NBC sitcom NewsRadio (1995–1999), as Milton Waddams in the film Office Space (1999), and voiced Bill Dauterive and Buck Strickland on the animated series King of the Hill (1997–2010).

Early Life[]

Root was born in Sarasota, Florida, on November 17, 1951, the son of Leona Estelle and Rolland Clair Root, a project superintendent and site manager on major civil engineering projects throughout the US and Mexico. Root has likened his childhood to that of an Army brat, as his family frequently relocated while his father finished each construction project.

Root graduated from Vero Beach High School in Vero Beach, Florida. He received his Associate of Artsdegree from the University of Florida and trained in the Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) acting program. The university recognized him as one of its distinguished alumni in 2008. Subsequently he was granted a BFA after completion of his final semester based on the quality and character of his acting career, having left college to pursue Broadway theater in his final semester.


Root began his career on stage in 1980, He made his Broadway acting debut in the play Journey's End, playing Second Lieutenant Trotter. He also appeared in All My Sons as Frank Lubey, and as Jon in the 2015 play Marjorie Prime.

Root made his feature film debut in the 1988 film Crocodile Dundee II as a DEA agent. That same year, he acted in the psychological horror film Monkey Shines as Dean Burbage. He makes a brief cameo appearance in the 1990 movie Ghost.

Among his most recognized television roles are eccentric billionaire Jimmy James on the sitcom NewsRadio and in a recurring role on the final two seasons of The West Wing as Republican campaign consultant Bob Mayer. He appeared in many comedy films, particularly as the mumbling, quirky Milton Waddams in Office Space; the mild-mannered gym rat Gordon Pibb in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Suds, a drunk sportswriter, in Leatherheads; and the dimwitted principal in the 2008 Judd Apatow-produced comedy Drillbit Taylor.

Root guest-starred on Seinfeld as a bank manager in the episode "The Invitations", handling Kramer's hello greeting issue. He had a role in Frasier in the episode "Detour" as the father of the family helping Frasier when his car broke down. In the CSI episode "Homebodies" he played the father of a rape victim. He also had a regular role on the short-lived CBS series Ladies Man, which starred Sharon Lawrence soon after she left NYPD Blue. He played Raymond, a hunting store owner involved in illegal gun trading, in the 1993 In the Heat of the Night episode "A Love Lost."

Root has an active career as a voice actor, most notably as the voice of divorced, down-and-out Army barber Bill Dauterive, Hank Hill's hedonistic boss Buck Strickland and various other characters on the Mike Judge animated television series King of the Hill. Root is also heard in animated films such as Ice Age, Finding Nemo, and Rango. In other animated television series, his regular roles include Commander Chode in Tripping the Rift and Homebase in The X's. He has also provided vocal talent in animated television series like Chowder and Teen Titans. In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, he voiced Woozy Winks and The Penguin.

Personal Life[]

Root married his first wife Laura Joan Hase in 1984, with whom he had a son, Cody. They divorced in August 1997. He married actress Romy Rosemont on December 14, 2008. They co-starred together in several television shows such as Fringe and Masters of Sex. They were due to appear on-screen together in the 2011 horror film Red State, but Rosemont was forced to pull out due to a scheduling conflict with Glee.


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