March 19, 1976
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British-American writer, director and producer Nicholas Stoller had his hand in some of the most popular movies of the early 21st Century, which ranged from the raunchy romantic comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008) to the playful sweetness of "The Muppets" (2011). First known as a screenwriter, Stoller eventually became one of the most commercially successful directors of his generation.Nicholas Stoller was born on March 19, 1976 in London England. The son of Phyllis and Eric C. Stoller, he was raised in the United States, first in Miami before moving to New Hampshire, where he attended St. Paul's School. While he attended Harvard University, Stoller began to lay to foundations for his future career in comedy. He was a contributing writer for the humorous publication The Harvard Lampoon and acted with the improv comedy troupe The Immediate Gratification Players. Feeling settled in the realm of comedy, Stoller set out to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.After graduating from Harvard, Stoller started off as a writer for the Comedy Central series "Strangers with Candy" (1999-2000), which starred Amy Sedaris as a middle-aged junkie who went back to high school. Next, Stoller joined the writing staff of the sitcom "Undeclared" (Fox 2001-02). Although it was a critical darling, "Undeclared" last only one season. However, Stoller made lasting connections with the series' producer Judd Apatow and cast member Jason Segel. Stoller teamed up with Apatow to write the screenplay of "Fun with Dick and Jane" (2005), a remake of the 1977 comedy that starred Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni as a thieving upper-middle class couple. Apatow, who now had a string of hit comedies under his belt, offered Stoller a chance to direct his first movie with "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," a romantic comedy-drama written by and starring Jason Segel as lovelorn composer trying to move past a recent breakup. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was both a critical and box office success, which led to a spin-off film "Get Him to the Greek" (2010). At the director's helm once again and this time writing the script himself, Stoller focused "Get Him to the Greek" on Aldous Snow, the eccentric British rock star played by Russell Brand in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." "Get Him to the Greek" performed admirably at the box office, establishing Stoller as a credible director of adult comedies.Back in 2008, unabashed Muppets fans Stoller and Segel had pitched the idea of bringing back Kermit the Frog and company to the big screen. The two of them penned a script, which was greenlit by Walt Disney Studios and eventually became 2011's "The Muppets." With Segel as the movie's human lead in front of an all-star cast that featured Academy Award nominee Amy Adams and cameos from the likes of Neil Patrick Harris and Mickey Rooney, "The Muppets" was a critical and box office smash. Stoller and Segel teamed up again for their next project, "The Five-Year Engagement" (2012), once again with Stoller as the director, Segel as the star, and the two sharing writing credits. Around the same time that "The Five-Year Engagement" hit theaters, Walt Disney asked for another Muppets movie, with Stoller once again tapped to write the script. "Muppets Most Wanted" was released in March 2014, with an even more impressive list of cameo appearances from celebrities. Stoller followed up by directing "Neighbors" (2014), a comedy starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron as a young father and his frat boy neighbor.