David Lawrence Schwimmer is an American actor, director, producer and musician. He was born in New York City, and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was two. He began his acting career performing in school plays at Beverly Hills High School. In 1988, he graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in theater and speech. After graduation, Schwimmer co-founded the Lookingglass Theatre Company. For much of the late 1980s, he lived in Los Angeles as a struggling, unemployed actor.
He starred in the television movie A Deadly Silence in 1989 and appeared in a number of television roles, including on L.A. Law, The Wonder Years, NYPD Blue, and Monty, in the early 1990s. Schwimmer later gained worldwide recognition for playing Ross Geller in the sitcom Friends. His first leading film role was in The Pallbearer, which was followed by roles in Kissing a Fool, Six Days Seven Nights, Apt Pupil, and Picking Up the Pieces. He was then cast in the miniseries Band of Brothers as Herbert Sobel. After the series finale of Friends in 2004, Schwimmer was cast as the titular character in the 2005 drama Duane Hopwood.