Rob McElhenney

Rob McElhenney Biography

Robert McElhenney (born April 14, 1977) is an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He is known for playing Mac on the FX/FXX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He is also one of the developers, executive producers, and the creator of the show, which has provided him with writing and directing credits on various episodes.

Early life

McElhenney was born in Philadelphia, the eldest of three children. Both of his parents are of Irish descent. He was raised Roman Catholic. When he was eight years old, his parents divorced after his mother came out as a lesbian. McElhenney was primarily raised by his father, but has said that his parents remained close after their divorce. Through his father's subsequent marriage, he also has a half-sister and stepsister.

He attended Saint Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia. After graduating, McElhenney moved to New York City. He audited several courses at Fordham University and temporarily lived on the campus with friends, but chose not to enroll.


McElhenney scored his first major role with a small part in The Devil's Own, followed by small parts in A Civil Action, Wonder Boys, and Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, though his roles in The Devil's Own and Wonder Boys were cut out of the final edits. He later had more substantial parts in Latter Days and The Tollbooth, and a small role in the Law & Order episode "Thrill". At the age of 21, a debut script by McElhenney was optioned with writer-director Paul Schrader attached to direct, before the project fell through after one year of edits and rewrites.

Initially based in New York City after his graduation from high school, McElhenney moved to Los Angeles at the age of 22. In 2004, McElhenney was waiting tables between acting jobs, and had met friends Glenn Howerton through his agent, and Charlie Day in New York while shooting a horror film. His idea for a sitcom, starring himself, Howerton and Day, was filmed on a budget of $200 and pitched to many cable networks. After receiving offers from many of the stations, McElhenney chose to sign with FX as they allowed him more creative freedom. McElhenney was contracted as It's Always Sunny's showrunner, and both Howerton and Day were listed as executive producers.

McElhenney claims that 50 weeks of each year are consumed by acting, producing, and writing for the show, but he did find time to appear in the third season of Lost in the episode "Not in Portland". This was a result of McElhenney meeting Lost co-creator and executive producer Damon Lindelof, who is a fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. McElhenney continued the role in Lost, featured again in the sixth season for a single episode. McElhenney is a fan of Game of Thrones and was thrilled that the series' writers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, asked to write an episode of It's Always Sunny. He and his co-producers accepted the offer, resulting in the Season 9 episode "Flowers for Charlie" in 2013.

On July 21, 2015, McElhenney was confirmed by Mojang as the director of the upcoming animated Minecraft movie, announced for 2019. He has since left the project.

In 2017, he appeared as a guest in the acclaimed Fargo episode "The Law of Non-Contradiction". He received praise for his performance from critics, who saw his character as a reference to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Personal life

Before the first season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia went into production, McElhenney hired actress Kaitlin Olson to play the role of Dee Reynolds. He became romantically interested in Olson "around season 2" of the series, believing her to be the funniest woman in show business. They were married in California on September 27, 2008.

In 2009, McElhenney and Olson announced their purchase of Skinner's Bar at 226 Market Street in Philadelphia (). It was renamed Mac's Tavern. They had their first child, Axel Lee McElhenney, on September 1, 2010. Olson went into labor at a Philadelphia Phillies game. The couple's second son, Leo Grey McElhenney, was born on April 5, 2012.

In preparation for the seventh season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, McElhenney put on 50 lbs of extra weight and let his beard grow out to give extra humor to his character and add a new comedic direction for the season. His co-star Charlie Day described the weight gain as "disgusting" and said that the rest of the cast were "a little on the fence about it for his own personal health and safety". McElhenney subsequently lost 23 lbs in a month after the season was finished filming. He lost more later in the year to film the next season.

McElhenney is first cousins sharing paternal grandparents with Olympic Medalist, attorney and activist Marcus N. McElhenney.



Year Title Role Notes
1997 ' Kevin Scenes deleted
1998 ' Teenager on property
2000 Wonder Boys Student Scenes deleted
2001 Thirteen Conversations About One Thing Chris Hammond
2001 Campfire Stories Ricky
2002 Long Story Short Trent
2003 Latter Days Elder Harmon
2004 ' Simon Stanton


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Law & Order Joey Timon Episode: "Thrill"
2004 ER Andy Fesh Episode: "Where There's Smoke"
2005-present It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Ronald "Mac" McDonald Also creator, writer, producer and director
2007, 2010 Lost Aldo 2 episodes
2011-2012 How to Be a Gentleman Consulting producer
2012 Living Loaded Pilot; also creator and executive producer
2012 Unsupervised Executive producer
2014-2017 ' Louis "Lou" Tookers 4 episodes
2017 Fargo Officer Oscar Hunt Episode: "The Law of Non-Contradiction"
2019 Spikeface Executive producer

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rob_McElhenney" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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