The Wonder Years
American actor and television director Fred Savage was launched to TV stardom at age 12 thanks to his role as the receptive and compassionate Kevin Arnold on the well-liked sitcom “The Wonder Years” (ABC, 1988-1993). During his successful tenure on the show, he was handed a Young Artist Award and two Viewers for Quality Television Awards, as well as received two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. More recently, he starred as Mitch Crumb on the short-lived sitcom “Crumbs” (2006). On the movie front, the cute actor is perhaps best remembered for playing roles in such vehicles as The Boy Who Could Fly (1986, netted a Young Artist Award), The Princess Bride (1987, won a Young Artist Award) and Vice Versa (1988, nabbed a Saturn Award).
As a director, Savage is known for directing episodes of “All About Us” (2001), “That’s So Raven” (2003-2005), “Unfabulous” (Nikelodeon, 2004), “What I Like About You” (2005) and “Phil of the Future” (Disney, 2004-2006). He will have his movie directing debut with Daddy Day Camp, a 2007 comedy starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
5-foot-11-inch Savage has shared his life outside the limelight with his wife of three years, Jennifer Lynn Stone, and their eight-month-old son, Oliver.
Childhood and Family:
Fredrick Aaron Savage, who would later be popular as Fred Savage, was born on July 9, 1976, in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in a Jewish family. His father, Lew Savage, worked as a real estate agent and his mother, Joanne, was a homemaker. He has a brother, Ben Savage (born on September 13, 1980) and a sister, Kala Savage (born in 1979), who are both actors. Fred attended Brentwood School in L.A. and after graduating in 1994, studied English and communications at Stanford University, in Stanford, California, where he became a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He received his B.A degree in 1999.
Dating since 2000, Fred finally married his childhood friend, Jennifer Lynn Stone, on August 7, 2004, at the L’Orangerie restaurant in Los Angeles, California. He proposed to his wife with a 5-carat sapphire ring from Neil Lane Jewelers. The perfectly-matched couple welcomed their first child, a 6-pound, 13-ounce boy named Oliver Phillip, on August 5, 2006.
A native of Chicago, Fred Savage made his acting debut in the 30-minute short Dinosaur when he was 4, and two years later, began appearing in television and radio commercials, making his debut with Pac-Man vitamins. By the time he was 10, this vigorous kid had landed his first movie role, as Louis Michaelson, in the Jay Underwood vehicle The Boy Who Could Fly (1986), which won a Saturn for Best Fantasy Film. The role brought him a Young Artist for Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor, Supporting Role. The same year, he was also cast as a series regular on the CBS drama “Morningstar/Eveningstar.”
Savage played Matthew Nickerson on his TV film debut, Convicted: A Mother’s Story (1987) and appeared as Peter Falk’s grandson in the Rob Reiner-directed movie The Princess Bride (1987), from which he picked up a Young Artist for Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama, before scoring his huge breakthrough with a starring regular role on the ABC sitcom “The Wonder Years,” running from 1988 to 1993. As Kevin Arnold, the sensitive and sympathetic kid on the popular show, Savage won a 1989 Young Artist for Best Young Actor - Starring in a Television Comedy Series and two Viewers for Quality Television, one in 1989 and 1990, for Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series, in addition to receiving five nominations, including two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1989, 1990) and two Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical (1990, 1991).
While enjoying TV success, the young star went on to pursue his film career and experienced triumph with his role as the son Charlie Seymour on the hilarious comedy Vice Versa (1988), where he nabbed a 1990 Saturn for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. He also acted in the Weekend Special: Runaway Ralph (1988, TV), Run Till You Fall (1988, TV), Little Monsters (1989, appeared with younger brother Ben), The Wizard (1989, opposite Luke Edwards, Jenny Lewis, Christian Slater and Beau Bridges), When You Remember Me (1990, TV) and Christmas on Division Street (1991, TV).
When “The Wonder Years” ended in 1993, Savage tried his hand at directing and made his debut in an episode of the ABC hit sitcom “Boy Meets World,” which starred his little brother. After a three-year acting hiatus, he was cast as an abusive boyfriend in the NBC film No One Would Tell, in 1996, opposite Candace Cameron and played Josh Cohen in the movie A Guy Walks Into a Bar, the next year. The actor made his return to series TV with a starring role in the NBC ensemble sitcom “Working,” playing Matt Peyser from 1997 until the show came to an end in 1999. He also directed several episodes of “Working.”
Upon receiving his college degree, Savage returned to Hollywood to renew his career not as an actor but as a director. He finally found work in episodes of “All about Us” (NBC, 2001), “That’s So Raven” (Disney, 2003-2005), “What I Like About You” (WB, 2005), among others, and had steadier work directing a season of the kid-oriented comedy series “Phil of the Future” (Disney, 2004-2006). While retaining regular directing work on “Oliver Beene” (Fox, 2003) and “Unfabulous” (Nickelodeon, 2004), he attempted to seek out the sporadic acting gig. He appeared in episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2003) and “Justice League” (2004) and acted in such movies as Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), The Rules of Attraction (2002), The Last Run (2004) and Welcome to Mooseport (2004).
In 2006, Savage made his return to series regular to star as Mitch Crumb, a closeted gay writer, on the ABC sitcom “Crumbs,” which is about a dysfunctional family. Unfortunately for Savage, the show, which also starred Jane Curtin, William Devane, Eddie McClintock and Maggie Lawson, was cancelled after five episodes.
As for his upcoming projects, Savage is set to make his movie directorial debut with the 2007 comedy Daddy Day Camp, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Paul Rae. He also jointly directs the television sitcom “Wizards of Waverly Place” (2007).
- Viewers for Quality Television: Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series, “The Wonder Years,” 1990
- Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn, Best Performance by a Younger Actor, Vice Versa, 1990
- Viewers for Quality Television: Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series, “The Wonder Years,” 1989
- Young Artist: Best Young Actor - Starring in a Television Comedy Series, “The Wonder Years,” 1989
- Young Artist: Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, The Princess Bride, 1988
- Young Artist: Exceptional Performance by a Young Actor, Supporting Role, Feature Film - Comedy, Fantasy or Drama, The Boy Who Could Fly, 1987