Tim Allen

Smarter than his grunting comedic persona suggested, Tim Allen turned his stand-up into a successful Hollywood career. Early setbacks like the death of his father and a stint in prison gave Allen the drive to pursue comedy, and his affectionate dissection of the differences between the genders -- focusing especially on the confusions of modern masculinity -- spring-boarded him to stand-up stardom, leading to the massive hit sitcom, "Home Improvement" (ABC, 1991-99). The show won him buckets of awards and fans around the world for his portrayal of lovable lunkhead Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor. Notching a No. 1 book Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, a TV show and a hit movie at the same time in a rare entertainment trifecta, and Allen went on to rule the box office with two trilogies: "The Santa Clause" (1994, 2002, 2006) and "Toy Story" (1995, 1999, 2010). Fans followed him to other projects, too; Allen toplined moneymakers like "Galaxy Quest" (1999), "Christmas with the Kranks" (2004) and "Wild Hogs" (2007), and returned to television with a second hit show, "Last Man Standing" (ABC 2011-17). Even as his star momentum slowed, the goodwill Allen built up with his early, supernova-level success seemed to assure the comedian as long a career as he chose.