Displaying the type of understated, dark-eyed good looks that make him a natural candidate for an art house pinup, Paul Rudd impressed filmgoers throughout the latter half of the 1990s with his talent for turning in performances marked by thoughtful insight and an unassuming charisma. Since his turn as Alicia Silverstone's endearingly self-righteous stepbrother in the 1995 film Clueless, Rudd has enjoyed a sort of low-key fame that has allowed him to branch out both in film and on the stage.
The son of British-born parents, Rudd came into the world via Passaic, NJ, on April 6, 1969. Because of his father's job in the airline industry, Rudd and his family traveled a great deal, eventually settling in Kansas City, KS. After graduating from high school, Rudd attended the University of Kansas, where he majored in theater. Following his graduation, he was accepted as a student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts/West in Los Angeles. His studies there led to a three-month theater workshop at Oxford University's British Drama Academy, where he was tutored by the producer and editor Michael Kahn. During his time in England, Rudd also co-produced the Globe Theatre's Bloody Poetry, in which he starred as the poet Percy Shelley, and then performed the title role of Hamlet, in a production directed by Ben Kingsley.