Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: RidiculouslyExtraordinary. Posted by Ryan Neal
December 4, 1970
Currently Known For:
The Big Bang Theory
December 4, 1970
The Big Bang Theory
“I like all kinds of music, but my favorite genre is free.” Best known for playing Walter on Ugly Betty and Stuart Bloom on The Big Bang Theory, Kevin Sussman actually got his start as an actor in the late 1990s when he won a minor role in Liberty Heights. So, how exactly did he end up on Ugly Betty and The Big Bang Theory?
The youngest of four sons born to a Jewish family in New York City, New York, Kevin Sussman was born on December 4, 1970 and was destined for the stage from an early age. “I grew up with three older brothers who were all in plays in high school and they used to come home and talk about all of the crazy antics that they’d get into,” Sussman recalled. “So, that really sparked my interest because I really admired them, and I wanted to emulate them. By the time I became their age, I went full throttle into drama and started doing high school plays. Also, I started watching a lot of movies while I was in high school, too…”
After high school, Sussman spent a year at the College of Staten Island before transferring to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. Earning his degree, he studied acting with Uta Hagen for four years and snagged his first television role in an episode of Ghost Stories in 1998. The following year, he appeared in Third Watch and made his feature film debut as Alan Joseph Zuckerman in Liberty Heights. By the new millennium, his career slowly picked up steam with credits in Almost Famous, Wet Hot American Summer, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence as well as in popular television series like The Sopranos, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and ER.
In 2006, Sussman caught a huge break when he was cast as Walter in Ugly Betty, a recurring role that lasted 16 episodes. “Well, at the time I left, my character was a series regular, but I was no longer her boyfriend, so I think there just wasn’t anything for my character to do,” Sussman said of Walter’s departure in 2007. “So, it just made sense to leave. There were a lot of fans that appreciated my work on that show, but the most vocal section of that show’s fan base just loathed Walter because he cheated on Betty. To have cheated on ‘Ugly Betty’ was unforgivable in their eyes, so I think it was probably a very easy decision for ABC to give me the ax on that. But I expected it. it was a fun experience while it lasted.”
After wrapping up Ugly Betty, Sussman appeared in flicks like Made of Honor, Insanitarium, and Burn After Reading as well as in series like My Name is Earl, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and The Middleman. Then, in 2009, he auditioned for and won the part of Stuart Bloom in The Big Bang Theory. “I had originally auditioned for that show a couple of times,” Sussman later said. “The first time I auditioned for it I ended up not being available. I was still under contract for Ugly Betty even though I wasn’t on the show anymore, so I couldn’t do it. Then, I auditioned again for Chuck Lorre and he had wanted me to play Kripke but I was doing a movie at the time or something. Then, of course, John Ross Bowie, my friend and writing partner on Dark Minions was cast on the show as Kripke. I really lucked out, because the next role that came up on the show was for Stuart and Chuck asked me if I wanted to do that. It’s a lucky role because the comic store is the perfect place for the guys to go on the show. My character is on the show even when he has nothing to do because he owns the store!”
Coincidentally, Sussman was perfect for the part not only because of his natural talent but because of his previous experience at Jim Hanley’s Universe, a comic book store in New York City where he worked to pay his way through acting school! “I can go through the motions. I know how to work in a comic book store, in regard to the tasks that need to be done,” Sussman says. “That serves me really well on the show because I can just stand in the background and look busy and I know everything that needs to be done to operate a comic book store and I use it.” So, how else does his experience come through in his performance as Stuart Bloom? Let’s take a look!
All About Stuart:
“Well, I mean she didn’t look through me with soul-sucking ball-shriveling hatred and contempt. I like that in a woman.” A talented portraiture artist and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Stuart David Bloom runs the Comic Center in Pasadena, California where Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj frequently visit. Playing up the stereotype of the comic book nerd, Stuart has low self-esteem and drastic bouts of loneliness that cause him to pathetically engage with women—Penny included. In his early appearance, he goes out on a date with Penny and, while things go well initially, the date ends abruptly when they end up back at the apartment where Stuart and Sheldon get into an argument over Superman comics. Their second date is even more tragic when Penny mistakenly calls him “Leonard.”
Despite his sad romantic life, Stuart is pathetically loveable and is a vital part of the series as his friendship with Raj blossoms while Howard is on a space mission. However, once Howard returns, Sheldon hopes to push Stuart out of the group, but Raj remains loyal as Leonard argues that their 20% discount at the Comic Center is too good to pass up. Regardless, Sheldon debates that Stuart is an afterthought to the main group but that doesn’t stop Stuart from trying harder to fit in with Leonard, Sheldon, Penny, Raj, and Howard.
Stuart experiences a great tragedy when his comic book store burns to the ground; however, life isn’t all bad when he moves in with Howard who hires him as his mother’s nurse. Surprisingly, Stuart enjoys the job and hangs around long after Howard’s mother passes away, which forces Howard and Bernadette to reconsider inviting him to stay as they attempt to settle down as husband and wife. Ultimately, Stuart moves out on his own but is evicted from his apartment and tries to make his way back into Howard’s and Bernadette’s house under the guise of helping them with their new baby.
The Dish on Dating and Relationships
“Oh, hey. Could you please stop staring? They’re just girls. It’s nothing you haven’t seen in movies or in drawings.” While Stuart Bloom is always unlucky in love, Kevin Sussman didn’t follow suit until recently when he and his wife, indie rocker Alessandra Young, filed for divorce in October 2017. The split is amicable for The Big Bang Theory star and his wife who married in January 2006 and split up six years later on New Year’s Eve 2012. According to court documents, however, they have been officially separated since May 28, 2014 and, as a result, neither are requesting spousal support. Instead, Sussman made a one-time payment to Young when they first separated and are now just waiting for the courts to make the separation legal. “Both parties have waived the right to receive spousal support from one party to the other except for a one-time payment by Sussman to Young,” the documents read.
With his divorce still in the works, fans and Hollywood gossipers are keeping a close eye on the actor’s Twitter feed to see if the rumors that he might be gay are true. However, the 47-year-old actor isn’t giving gossip columns much to work with other than tweets from 2012 about his happy marriage and his talented wife… “My indie rocker wife has released a song...” and “At a hotel in NYC. Wife and I playing our favorite new game: bedbug or crumb?” As of 2017, the only photos gracing his Twitter feed are of those with his dog on “National Puppy Day” and even that leaves many to wonder if the former Ugly Betty star will nuzzle up to a male or female partner in the near future!
Beyond his relationship status in question, Sussman has plenty to keep him busy as a series regular on The Big Bang Theory. He’s also made appearances on The Mentalist, The Good Guys, Childrens Hospital, Weeds, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp as well as in films like Killers, Alpha and Omega, Freeloaders, and 2nd Serve. In 2013, he saw another dream come true when he wrote and starred in the television film, Dark Minions.