Life Before Fame: 'Modern Family's' "Phil"

Ty Burrell at the FOX Summer TCA 2019 All-Star Party, Los Angeles, California, 2019
August 22, 2020 - 16:07 / Laura Pérez

Ty Burrell came to prominence for his role as "Phil Dunphy" in the American sitcom Modern Family, but the father of two actually began his career in Broadway plays and appeared in several films as well as television shows before Modern Family was even conceived. Find out more about Modern Family's "Phil"... 

If you are a Modern Family fan you probably know that "Phil Dunphy" is a very particular and funny character, also known for making jokes even in unexpected situations. From 2009 to the end of the series, the American actor and comedian Ty Burell portrayed "Phil" in Modern Family, one of the most popular American sitcoms in the past few years. Ty shared credits with Sofia Vergara, Sarah Hyland, Ed O'Neill, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, among other celebrities.

Ty Burrell played "Phil Dunphy" in Modern Family

It is true that Ty Burrell became particularly famous after his work in Modern Family, and the biggest proof of that is that his role as "Phil Dunphy" earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, as well as five Screen Actors Guild Awards. But it is also true that his acting career actually started a couple of years before he even imagined portraying one of the funniest sitcom dads!

ABC's Modern Family stars Ariel Winter as "Alex", Ty Burrell as "Phil", Sarah Hyland as "Haley", Julie Bowen as "Claire" and Nolan Gould as "Luke"

Modern Family's Ty Burrell - his life before fame

Originally from Oregon, Ty Burrell appeared in several Broadway plays like Macbeth before portraying "Phil Dunphy"; in 2001 he debuted in film playing the role of "Colonel Flemming" in the American science-fiction movie Evolution. 

He also appeared in The Incredible Hulk as "Dr. Leonard Samson" in 2008, and a couple of years before he was part of the main cast of the American sitcom Out of Practice, where he portrayed "Dr. Oliver Barnes" from 2005 to 2006. Before reaching the highest peak of his career with Modern Family, he also had some minor roles in other TV shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and The West Wing. 

Ty Burrell at the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council Kentucky Derby Greenroom, Louisville, Kentucky, 2018

A little bit about Modern Family's Ty Burrell personal life

Ty Burrell got married to the professional chef Holly Burrell in 2000. They adopted a baby girl in 2010, and then adopted a second daughter in 2012. They used to live in New York City, then moved to Salt Lake City, and finally relocated to Southern California due to Burrell's work.

Ty Burrell and his wife Holly Burrell at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Los Angeles, California, 2017