Ricky Gervais

An exceptionally dry wit with a keen understanding of the embarrassing side of human nature, Ricky Gervais was the co-creative force behind the television series "The Office" (BBC Two, 2001-03) and "Extras" (BBC Two/HBO, 2005-07), alongside his creative partner of over a decade, Stephen Merchant. In addition to co-writing and co-producing both shows, Gervais played the lead in both series - the self-deluded and thoroughly inappropriate office manager David Brent on "The Office," and the hapless wannabe actor Andy Millman on "Extras" - which earned him numerous awards and praise from fellow writers and performers on both sides of the Atlantic. A multimedia Renaissance man, Gervais went on to star in the feature films "Ghost Town" (2008) and "The Invention of Lying" (2009), taped several stand-up comedy specials, created the truly bizarre children's book series "Flanimals," and saw his highly-rated Xfm radio show with Merchant and Karl Pilkington - later re-aired as internet podcasts - transformed into the hit animated series "The Ricky Gervais Show" (HBO, 2009-12). Additionally, he served as host on more than one occasion for the annual Golden Globe Awards, eliciting praise from some and scorn from others, due to his relentless roasting of celebrity insiders. Gervais was simply a man whose witty brilliance knew no cultural or ethnic boundaries.