David Lawrence Schwimmer (born November 2, 1966) is an American actor and director. Schwimmer 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, until he starred in the television movie A Deadly Silence in 1989 and appeared in a number of television roles in the early 1990s, including L. A. Law, The Wonder Years, NYPD Blue, and Monty. Schwimmer gained worldwide recognition for playing Ross Geller in the sitcom Friends, for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1995. While still acting in Friends, his first leading film role was in The Pallbearer (1996), followed by roles in Kissing a Fool, Six Days, Seven Nights, Apt Pupil (all 1998), and Picking Up the Pieces (2000). He was then cast in the miniseries Band of Brothers (2001) as Herbert Sobel.