Born September 9, 1966, in Brooklyn, Adam Sandler was raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. At the age of 17, his brother dared him to take the stage at a Boston comedy club's amateur night and was surprised at how well Adam performed. That planted the seed for his career, though he first attended NYU, receiving a Fine Arts degree in 1989. Not long after graduation, Sandler gained a position with the NBC-TV sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live, and became one of the show's most popular actors during his five-year stint.
In 1993, Warner Brothers signed Sandler to a recording contract, and he delivered his debut album They're All Gonna Laugh at You that September. The LP became popular with college radio and sold well, earning a gold certification and a Grammy nomination. Sandler broke out in the cinema the following year, appearing in Mixed Nuts and Coneheads before his first starring vehicle, 1995's Bill Madison. His second comedy album, What the Hell Happened to Me?, was released in early 1996; it leapt into the Top 20 and eventually went platinum. By now one of the biggest comic stars in America, Sandler reeled off a string of blockbuster films including Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy and Big Daddy before releasing his third album, Stan and Judy's Kid, in 1999. The 2000s found Sandler trying his hand at less comedic rolls (Punch Drunk Love), animation (8 Crazy Nights), but the box-office results were mixed. In 2004 he released his fifth album, Shhh...Don't Tell. ~ John Bush