Kevin James is an American Actor, Comedian, and screenwriter. He is best known for portraying the role of Doug Heffernan in the sitcom The King of Queens, for which he earned an Emmy nomination. James has appeared in numerous films, including Pixels, Grown Ups, Hitch, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. He has a net worth of $100 million and is a household name for his role in comedy films. He was paid $300,000 per episode for the mid-season, “The King of Queens.” For the final season, he was earning $400,000 per episode.
Kevin James early life
Kevin James’s real name is Kevin George Knipfing. He was born in Mineola, New York, in 1965 to Joseph Valentine Knipfing Jr., an insurance agency owner, and Janet, an office worker. His father was German-American, and he grew up in Stony Brook, New York. He has two siblings: Gary Valentine and Leslie Knipfing. His elder brother Gary is an actor and Comedian.
Kevin and his siblings were raised catholic. He achieved the top spot on the wrestling team just ahead of his friend and future wrestler, Mick Foley. Both went to study at the State University of New York, Cortland, where a back injury ended his sports career. Unlike his brother, Kevin has dropped ‘Valentine’ from his name and prefers Kevin James. He uses James in his name to pay homage to his favorite teacher.
Weight loss journey
The actor has always been a big person. He weighed around 150 pounds in high school and gained the most weight while shooting the King of Queens television series. He then started losing weight by eating low carb diet and by running five miles every day. Due to the commitment, he lost 50 pounds, but he couldn’t stick to the routine and ended up returning to his original weight of 300 pounds. While filming Here Comes the Boom, he dropped a lot of weight. He worked with MMA trainer Rayan Parson and picked fighting moves with him. He trained hard as a fighter.
As of 2022, Kevin James’s net worth is estimated at $100 million.
Kevin James career
James started doing stand-up comedy in 1989 and made his debut at the East Side Comedy Club, which Richie Minervini managed. He gained immense popularity through his appearances on various talk shows. As a comedian, he got listed at #76 in the 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians by Comedy Central. He did his own stand-up special Kevin James: Sweat the Small Stuff in 2001. Later, he also did another special for Netflix in 2018.
Kevin did his first television job like Denzel Washington in 1991 on the New Candid Camera. He also worked as an announcer for SandBlast, an MTV sports game show. Later he guest-starred in a few episodes of Sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. These appearances led him to his sitcom, The King of Queens, which made him a household name. He starred in another sitcom, Kevin Can Wait, premiered in 2016. Later, Kevin also released a new show in 2021 on Netflix called The Crew.
He started his movie career with a cameo in 50 First Dates in 2004. He did his film debut with a romantic comedy in 2005 with Hitch. Later, he co-starred in the movie Grilled and gave voice work in Barnyard and Monster House animated movies. He also co-starred with Adam Sandler in the movies You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. He also co-starred in Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which Sandler produced. Despite the negative reviews, the movie opened #1 in North America and grossed $219 million from home video and ticket sales.
He earned a lead role in comedy-drama in 2011 in The Dilemma. He then starred in Zookeeper with Rosario Dawson, which he wrote and produced. James also played the lead role in the mixed martial arts comedy film Here Comes the Boom in 2012. He also starred in Pixels and True Memoirs of an International Assassin in 2016. His recent movie, Home Team, was released this month.
During his career, Kevin and Adam Sandler became the best of friends. They appeared in the film 50 First Dates together and have continued to collaborate ever since.
Kevin James wife
Kevin James is still married to the love of his life, Steffiana de la Cruz. She is a Filipina and an actress known for her roles in the Zookeeper, Paul Blart series. Steffiana met Kevin in 2001 on a blind date. She moved in with him three months later. On June 19, 2004, the couple married and had four children together. They have maintained their relationship for over 20 years.
Before dating Kevin, she was in a relationship with actor Chris Penn. She starred in four episodes in the series, The King of Queens. She played four different characters over the nine-year run of the show.
Kevin James Kids
Kevin James has 4 children with his wife, Steffiana de la Cruz. They had their first daughter Sienna-Marie James in 2005. They then had their second daughter Shea Joelle James in 2007. The couple then welcomed their third baby, Kannon Valentine James, in 2011. They had their fourth baby Sistine Sabella James in 2015. He has three daughters and a son with his wife.