Was nearly cast as Sam Malone on the situation comedy Cheers (1982); the role went to Ted Danson instead.
Taught Social Studies in Youngstown, Ohio before acting.
Expected Married with Children (1986) to be canceled within the first six episodes.
Was considered for the role of Steven Keaton on the situation comedy Family Ties (1982); the role went to Michael Gross instead.
Attended and graduated from Ursuline High School in Youngstown, Ohio.
Often plays policemen on television series or movies. On an episode of Married with Children (1986), he dreamed that he was a detective.
Learned (and still practices) Brazilian Ju-Jitsu from the famous Gracie family.
The first actor from Fox to host Saturday Night Live (1975) in 1990; three years later his Married with Children (1986) co-star, Christina Applegate hosted the show.
Invented the popular sandwich called the "Boone" at the famous Se-port Deli in Setauket, New York.
Father, with Catherine Rusoff, of daughters Claire O'Neill and Sophia O'Neill.
In 2007, Ed earned his black belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu after 15 years of training.
O'Neill was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 as an outside linebacker. He was released before the start of the 1969 regular season.
Lives in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California.
He is of Irish descent.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 30, 2011. Was joined by his television wives, Katey Sagal and Sofía Vergara, and his real-life wife, Catherine Rusoff.
In both real life and on his series Modern Family (2009), he has a daughter named Claire.
He is left-handed.
Ed O'Neill is exactly one year older than Dan Lauria whose iconic character, Jack Arnold on The Wonder Years (1988) wore the same beige jacket that Ed O'Neill's character, Al Bundy, wore. Al Bundy is also one year older than Jack Arnold from an "original air date" standpoint, as Married with Children (1986) premiered the year before The Wonder Years (1988). In addition, Al Bundy's birthday (November 7, 1948) is the day after Jack Arnold's (November 6, 1927).
Because of his signature role playing Al Bundy, a character who had no interest in politics outside of some extremely conservative/reactionary episodes, fans assumed that O'Neill was also conservative and/or a Republican. In real life, O'Neill is a longtime Democrat who publicly opposed the Iraq War in 2003 and did a campaign ad for future President Barack Obama in 2008 (playing a character named "Al the Shoe Salesman").