Ed O'Neill

He became the grumbling, life-worn antithesis to the sanitized TV dads of the 1980s, with his dysfunctional, ribald on-air family the flagship of a fledgling network called Fox. Playing Al Bundy on "Married...with Children" (Fox, 1987-1997) for 11 seasons, Ed O'Neill made himself perhaps the least likely and least glamorous star in television. Within a few years, "Married... " transformed O'Neill from a New York theater actor with little comedic background into a comic icon of the bleak side of the American Dream. He would remain in demand post-Bundy, often in cop roles such as lead turns on short-lived dramas "Big Apple" (CBS, 2001) and the revised "Dragnet" (ABC, 2003-04). He would make a triumphant return to series television on the single-camera comedy, "Modern Family" (ABC, 2009- ). Though ever imprinted in pop culture as proverbially gruff-but-lovable Al Bundy - he of the hand resting comfortably in his pants - O'Neill would go on to build an impressive body of work as a distinguished, multilayered character actor with an innate capacity to elicit audiences' empathy, no matter the role.