Jim Rash

After making his bones as a journeyman actor specializing in loopy characters, Jim Rash began drawing name recognition in the early 2010s as the camp-happy college administrator on the NBC sitcom "Community" (NBC, 2009-15; Yahoo!, 2015) and as an Academy Award-winning writer. A North Carolina native with a spindly build and nerdy countenance, Rash found a groove as a sitcom character actor, inking his first cast job in 1999 on the television oddity "Thanks" (CBS, 1999). Honing his skills in the comedic cauldron of Los Angeles' famed Groundlings troupe, he joined a number of his cohorts on Comedy Central's "copumentary" lampoon "Reno 911!" (2003-07) as a local prone to bawdy calamity. In 2006, he landed among another talent-laden ensemble populating the shorter-lived Ted Danson vehicle "Help Me Help You" (ABC, 2006). In 2009, Rash took it to the next level on "Community," playing Craig Pelton, the daffy, cross-dressing, attention-hungry dean of the show's central community college. His popularity led to Rash being given full cast member status in its third season. He and writing collaborator Nat Faxon scored a major success on a different track, penning the Oscar-winning script for the 2011 George Clooney film "The Descendants." It set in motion their original feature project, "The Way, Way Back." Many in Hollywood designated Rash a talent on the uptick as an auteur, even as he became widely acknowledged for creating one of the zaniest characters on television.