The likeable king of maintenance, born Timothy Allen Dick (1953-) on this day in Denver, Colorado, Tim Allen turned his life around and became one of television's most successful stars.
As a young man faced with serious personal problems that included jail time, Allen heeded the "wake up call" and turned to entertainment. "I decided to give stand-up comedy a shot," he admitted. "The judge had suggested I get my act together, and I took him seriously."
His success as a headliner led to his role on ABC's Home Improvement (w/ Pam Anderson 1991-1999) as bumbling Tool Time handyman, Tim Taylor. Allen described the role as "a parody of PBS's This Old House combined with my stand-up persona."
A phoenix rising from the ashes of his mistakes, in 1997 he became television's highest paid actor, earning $1.25 million per episode.
"I try to keep my innocence while I'm in the middle of it, so I don't make my decision based on ratings or money," he explained.
Movies and more success followed with starring roles in The Santa Clause (1994) and Galaxy Quest (1999) and as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story series (1995, 1999, 2009). He has built a career that Variety in 2007 called "enduring, (with) cross-generational appeal."
"Love is a human preoccupation second to...no, second to nothing. It's what we do," he said.
In 1998, upon receiving an honorary fine arts degree from his alma mater, Western Michigan University, he said, "It's better to make bold choices in life, than no choices at all or even mild choices."
More Film-Making Quotations
A man has got to know his assets.