Timothy Alan Dick, known professionally as Tim Allen, is an American actor and comedian. He is known for playing Tim "The Toolman" Taylor on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement (1991–1999) and Mike Baxter on the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing (2011-), which was picked up by Fox in 2018 for a seventh season. He also voices Buzz Lightyear for the Toy Story franchise and played Scott Calvin and Santa Claus in The Santa Clause film trilogy (1994–2006). Allen's other films include For Richer or Poorer (1997), Jungle 2 Jungle (1997), Galaxy Quest (1999), Big Trouble (2002), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), The Shaggy Dog (2006), Wild Hogs (2007), Redbelt (2008), and Crazy on the Outside (2010).
Allen started his career as a comedian in 1975. On a dare from one of his friends, he participated in a comedy night at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit. While in Detroit he began to get recognition appearing in local television commercials and appearing on cable comedy shows such as Gary Thison's Some Semblance of Sanity.
On October 2, 1978, Allen was arrested in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport for possession of over 650 grams (1.43 lb) of cocaine. He subsequently pleaded guilty to felony drug trafficking charges and provided the names of other dealers in exchange for a sentence of three to seven years rather than a possible life imprisonment. He was paroled on June 12, 1981, after serving two years and four months in Federal Correctional Institution, Sandstone in Sandstone, Minnesota. Following his release from prison, he returned to comedy. He moved to Los Angeles and became a regular performer at The Comedy Store. He began to do stand-up appearances on late-night talk shows and specials on record and film.
Despite his admitted limited acting range (he once told a magazine his range as an actor is ". . . strictly limited. I can only play a part if I can draw on personal experience, and that well can go dry pretty quickly"), Allen rose to fame in acting with the ABC sitcom Home Improvement (1991–1999) produced for ABC by Wind Dancer Productions, a company he co-founded with producer Carmen Finestra. Allen played the main character Tim "The Tool-Man" Taylor. In November 1994, he simultaneously starred in the highest-grossing film (Disney's The Santa Clause), topped the New York Times best-seller list with his book Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, and appeared in the top rated television series (Home Improvement) within the span of one week. Home Improvement ran until 1999, for which he was paid US$1.25 million per episode.
In 1995, Allen provided the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the Disney/Pixar blockbuster Toy Story. In 1997, he starred in the family comedy Jungle 2 Jungle from Disney. The next year he returned to voice Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 2 which was a financial and critical hit. Also in 1999 he starred in the sci-fi parody Galaxy Quest alongside Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Sam Rockwell. That same year, Allen was arrested for DUI in Birmingham, Michigan. At the time, his blood alcohol content was 0.15, nearly double the legal limit in Michigan. He was sentenced to one-year probation. He entered a rehabilitation clinic for alcohol abuse as part of his court obligation.
Allen began narrating the "Pure Michigan" television and radio commercials for the "Travel Michigan" agency. These commercials can be seen and heard throughout the Midwest and began airing nationally in 2009.
In December 2009, he started a preview tour of Crazy on the Outside, a film that debuted in January 2010. Allen accompanied the film, helping promote it with a series of stand-up acts beforehand. During the performances, he told audiences that he planned a 2010 comedy tour. Allen also directed the film, marking his film directorial debut.
Allen hosted the 8th Annual TV Land Awards on April 25, 2010. That same year, he became the official voice of the Chevrolet Cruze, narrating commercials for the vehicle, and he became the voice of Campbell Soup's "It's Amazing What Soup Can Do" campaign. Allen returned to ABC with the sitcom Last Man Standing (2011–2017). He played the role of Mike Baxter, a conservative father fighting for his manhood in a house filled with women. The character is loosely based on his own life, as a Republican father of three girls. After six seasons, the show was cancelled in May 2017. ABC Entertainment Chief Channing Dungey denied claims of political bias against Allen, explaining that the network simply could not accommodate the program on their schedule. On May 11, 2018, Fox TV's CEOs and chairmen announced that Fox had officially picked up Last Man Standing for a seventh season.
Shortly before the cancellation of Last Man Standing, Allen had been announced as part of the cast of the Netflix original comedy film El Camino Christmas (2017).
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