American actor, comedian, author and former game show host
Karn in 2015
Richard Karn Wilson
February 17, 1956
Richard Karn Wilson (born February 17, 1956) is an American actor, comedian, author and former game show host. He starred as Al Borland in the 1990s sitcom Home Improvement and was the fourth host of the game show Family Feud from 2002 to 2006.
Karn was born Richard Karn Wilson in Seattle, Washington. His father Gene was a Seabee who served in World War II. Richard graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington Professional Actor Training Program, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi. Karn also gained drama experience in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival.
After earning his drama degree in 1979, Karn moved to New York City, where in less than one week he was hired to do a commercial for Michelob beer that was featured during Super Bowl XIV. When he joined the Screen Actors Guild, he was informed there was already a Richard Wilson, prompting him to drop his last name.
In 1989, his wife Tudi convinced him to move to Los Angeles. He found a place for them to live by managing an apartment complex, catering events at a Jewish synagogue on the side. After receiving a traffic citation, Karn attended a traffic school and sat beside an agent who told him about casting for the new television show Home Improvement. The role of Al Borland had already been given to Stephen Tobolowsky, but when taping was scheduled, Tobolowsky was busy with another movie and the role had to be recast. Karn was a guest star in the pilot episode but became a regular cast member when the show was picked up by the network.
In 2002, Karn replaced Louie Anderson as the fourth host of the game show Family Feud. Karn left Family Feud in 2006 and was replaced by John O’Hurley.
In 2002, Karn made an appearance in The Strokes’ music video for “Someday”, which featured segments of the band on a fictional showing of Family Feud against the band Guided by Voices.
On October 6, 2008, Karn replaced Patrick Duffy as host of Game Show Network’s Bingo America. Karn served as a substitute host on GSN Radio.
Karn did commercials for Orchard Supply Hardware in the 1990s.
Karn has been married to actress Tudi Roche, since 1985. Together they have a son, named Cooper.
In August 2020, news reports stated that Richard Karn died, despite a report from Microsoft News stating the contrary. However, Karn later stated on Twitter that he was alive and well.