Drew Carey is an American actor and comedian best known for starring on his own self-titled sitcom, The Drew Carey Show, and serving as host on the U.S. version of improvisation sketch show Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
Carey's success came with harrowing struggles with depression and numerous suicide attempts during his dark and directionless early years.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he suffered a devastating early blow when his father died of a brain tumour when he was only eight-years-old.
Working long overtime hours to provide Carey with the best childhood possible, his mother's frequent absence found the depressed youngster spending many nights home alone seeking solitude in cartoons and comedy albums.
After signing up with the Marine Corps Reserves in 1980, a close friend working in radio asked Carey to write some jokes to use on-air.
Honing his skills and becoming increasingly focused on channelling his energy into humour, Carey took his act to local comedy clubs and, after winning an open-mic contest, began working as emcee at the Cleveland Comedy Club in 1986.
The following years found Carey moving frequently between Cleveland and Los Angeles and gaining increasing recognition on the comedy circuits.
Offered the rare privilege of joining Johnny Carson on the couch following a 1991 appearance on The Tonight Show proved a career-defining moment, and after a series of HBO specials and television appearances, Carey joined forces with writer/producer Bruce Helford (who had worked on such successful sitcoms as Family Ties and Roseanne), and in 1995 The Drew Carey Show was born.
The Drew Carey Show quickly became one of the most popular sitcoms on American television.
Serving as host of the American version of the massively popular British improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? found Carey's small-screen presence increasing, and he had appearances on such television comedy specials as Drew Carey's Improv All Stars and The New York Friar's Club Roast of Hugh M. Hefner (both 2001).
Aside from his small-screen work, Carey has appeared in such feature films as Coneheads (1993) and Play It to the Bone (1999).
He also appeared in the 2001 made-for-TV movie House Of Cards, and has guest starred on the following shows:
The George Carlin Show
The Good Life
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Grace Under Fire
The Weird Al Show
Dharma & Greg
The Norm Show
King Of The Hill
On The Spot
In 2005 he voiced the role of Crank in the animated feature film Robots.
On June 8, 2006, Drew Carey's Sporting Adventures debuted on the Travel Channel, in which Carey travels throughout Europe to photograph multiple soccer games while he immerses himself in the culture of each country he visits.