Birthdate: September 18, 1978
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Billy Eichner (birthname: William Eichner) is, for a generation of viewers, Craig on NBC’s hit sitcom, Parks and Recreation (2013-2015). But beyond his many television guises (from his semi-autobiographical character as Billy on Difficult People (2015-2017) and on Friends from College (2017-2019), Eichner has appeared in various forms in live-action and animated features.
His feature debut was a small role in the Ashton Kutcher comedy, What Happens in Vegas (2008), and his voice performance debut followed six years later in DreamWorks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar (2014).
Billy Eichner continued the bird-themed work in animation as a vocal performer in the Columbia Pictures/Rovio Entertainment production of The Angry Birds Movie (2016), with Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Sean Penn, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, and Peter Dinklage. Eichner was also with Sudeikis in Leslye Headland’s rom-com, Sleeping with Other People (2015), with Alison Brie, Adam Scott, and Natasha Lyonne.
Eichner made his first of two movies with Seth Rogen on the comedy sequel, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016), with Zac Efron and Rose Byrne, followed by his acclaimed supporting vocal performance with Rogen (including some dueting with Beyoncé) in Jon Favreau’s The Lion King (2019). Eichner teamed up again with Hader for his biggest big-screen role to that point in the Disney holiday comedy written and directed by Marc Lawrence, Noelle (2019), with Anna Kendrick, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Julie Hagerty, and Shirley MacLaine.
Steering his own film project to production with the aid of Judd Apatow, Eichner co-wrote (with director Nicholas Stoller) and executive produced Bros (2022), the first studio-produced (by Universal Pictures) gay rom-com starring openly gay actors, including notably Eichner himself.
Billy Eichner was born in the New York City borough of Queens and raised in the New York area of the suburb of Forest Hills. During his childhood, he once parodied his upbringing in a spoof version of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” titled “Forest Hills State of Mind”: “I was born in Forest Hills/to a Jewish yenta/had my circumcision/Forest Hills Jewish Center.”
Eichner has commented that he “had very loud parents.” He performed in his first-grade school production in the fourth grade. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School in New York (where he performed in musical theater productions), Eichner attended and graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Theater in 2000. Eichner’s height is 6’ 3”.
Upright Citizen: Billy Eichner has been a member of the New York-based comedy troupe, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
Backup Singer: Eichner has performed (alongside Seth Rogen) on songs with Beyoncé for the 2019 live-action film version of The Lion King.
Gay and Proud: Billy Eichner, who has deployed his identity as gay and Jewish for his comedy, has noted that he knew he was gay from a young age.
Real-Life Portrayals: Eichner has portrayed a wide range of actual people (alive and dead), including Walt Whitman, Matt Drudge, and Taylor Swift.