August 20, 1971
David Walliams was a comedian and dramatic actor best known for his sketch comedy work with longtime partner Matt Lucas on "Little Britain" (BBC 2003-06) and other series, as well as his altruistic personality, which included extensive work with the charities Comic Relief and Sport Relief. Born David Williams, he changed his surname to Walliams at the beginning of his career after learning that a David Williams was already registered in Britain's Actors' Equity union. He was born in the southwest London borough of Merton and raised in the Surrey village of Banstead. While studying at the National Youth Theatre, he met his close friend and future creative partner Matt Lucas. After studying drama at the University of Bristol, Walliams and Lucas put together a live comedy act full of bizarre characters and toured extensively, with several performances at the high-profile Edinburgh Festival. The comedy duo starred in the music industry spoof "Rock Profile" (UK Play/BBC Two 1999-2000) before hitting the jackpot with the 2003 mega-hit "Little Britain" (BBC 2003-06), which spawned several memorable characters. After a short-lived American spin-off, "Little Britain USA" (HBO 2008), the duo starred in "Come Fly With Me" (BBC 2010-11), a reality show parody set in a small rural British airport. While Lucas struck off on his own via his supporting role in the comedy hit "Bridesmaids" (2011), Walliams crossed over into the film industry himself, co-starring in films like the farce "Dinner for Schmucks" (2010), starring Paul Rudd and Steve Carell, and Michael Winterbottom's dark comedy "The Look of Love" (2013). He next teamed with fellow comedian Catherine Tate for the sitcom "Big School" (BBC 2013-14) before starring in the mystery drama "Partners In Crime" (BBC 2015), based on a pair of novellas by Agatha Christie. Later that year, Walliams returned to his sketch comedy roots with the series "David Walliams and Friends" (BBC 2015- ).