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Biography
One of Scotland's most acclaimed comedians, Craig Ferguson first became known to American audiences as Nigel Wick, Drew Carey's evil boss on The Drew Carey Show. A fixture of the series from 1995, Ferguson won over film audiences four years later with his portrayal of Crawford Mackenzie, an indefatigable but naïve hairdresser intent on competing in the World Freestyle Hairstyling Competition in the mock-documentary The Big Tease. Originally hailing from Glasgow, Ferguson started out as a musician, but gradually segued into comedy via the stage and television. He earned great popularity as the star of a series of self-titled specials on the BBC, and also received positive notices as the lead of the West End revival of The Rocky Horror Pictures Show and Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, which was staged at the Edinburgh Festival. By the mid-'90s, Ferguson decided it was time to move on, to set his sights on grander schemes, and duly moved to L.A. Upon his arrival, he found himself being forced to masticate a particularly large slab of humble pie, as the charm and wit that had earned him so many fans back home did little but translate to open casting calls and endless auditions in Hollywood. Ferguson's luck began to change when he landed the role of Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show and he was able to use his initial hard-luck experiences in L.A. as the basis for The Big Tease, which, in addition to starring in, he wrote and executive produced with Sacha Gervasi. The film, which also starred Frances Fisher and contained a pivotal cameo by Carey, was relatively well-received by critics and enjoyed a fairly successful commercial release. Ferguson followed The Big Tease in 2000 with Saving Grace, a comedy about a financially imperiled woman (Brenda Blethyn) who takes to growing pot with her gardener (Ferguson) to pay off the debts left to her by her late husband. The film, which Ferguson also co-wrote and co-produced, found a warm reception amongst critics and audiences, and succeeded in introducing its Scottish lead to a wider audience. That same year, he further increased his recognition with a substantial role in Chain of Fools, a crime comedy featuring a large ensemble cast that included Salma Hayek, Steve Zahn, Jeff Goldblum, and David Hyde Pierce.

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