Richard Karn (Family Feud) Wiki bio, age, net worth, wife, death

• Richard Karn Wilson is an actor and TV show host born in Seattle on 17th February 1956
• His parents were a construction worker (father) and a painter (mother)
• He attended the University of Washington and was part of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity
• He got his first role in a beer commercial and moved to New York and Los Angeles to pursue his acting career
• His net worth is estimated to be over $8 million from his career in the entertainment industry

Known for movies

Who is Richard Karn?

Richard Karn Wilson was born on the 17th February 1956, in Seattle, Washington State, USA. He is a game and TV show host and an actor, who is probably best recognized for his appearances predominantly in sitcoms and TV series, such as “Home Improvement”, “Ctrl”, “Watching Ellie” and “The Bold and the Beautiful”. In addition, he is well known for being a host of several successful TV and game shows such as “Amanda and the Fox” and “Family Feud”.

Early Life and Childhood

Richard is the second child of Louise and Gene Wilson. His father was a construction worker, but also a soldier who fought in World War II which had an impact on Richard as his father was always firm and thought him to be the same. His mother was a tender and artistic woman who was a painter, and who brought the necessary balance into the family – she died of cancer in 1983. Karn has an older sister named Sue Wilson. The only other thing known about his childhood is that he knew from a very early age that acting would be his greatest passion – he enjoyed making-up stories and playing them for his sister and parents.

Later on, all of his extra-curricular activities involved acting and public performances, so he was engaged in a great number of local theatrical organisations and programs.


Following the matriculation from primary school, he started attending Roosevelt High School, located in his hometown. Richard explained in several interviews that by then he was pretty sure what he wanted his profession to be and what he enjoyed the most, so he put all his energy in acting. He continued being involved with local amateur theatres, taking parts in various plays whenever he had enough time.

Richard Karn

After he matriculated from high school with good grades, he enrolled in the University of Washington. He was always proactive and participated in numerous events and organizations, including being a part of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Moreover, he took part in the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, where he got a chance to gain significant acting experience.

Career Beginnings

He graduated in 1979 with a degree in drama which led him to his first job on screen – a commercial for a beer named Michelob. He then moved to New York to pursue a career in acting, believing that it would be much easier to find the job there.

However, after several commercials and parts in a couple of plays, he stopped getting offers and struggled to pay rent, even though he joined an organization called Screen Actors Guild which gave him hope that he would do better in the entertainment industry. He needed to change his last name, as there was already an actor with the same name as him, so he chose Karn instead of Wilson, and moved to Los Angeles, as everybody knew that there were a lot more opportunities for actors.

Richard Karn

Posted by SAG-AFTRA Foundation on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

He desperately needed any kind of job just to make ends meet in his first months there, so he became a manager of an apartment complex, as well as a caterer at a local synagogue. In addition, he enrolled into a traffic school where he met an agent who told him about a new TV series entitled “Home Improvement”, and encouraged him to audition.

Acting Career

The role of Al had already been given to another actor, so Richard got a minor role in the series’ pilot, however, the other actor cancelled, so the producers offer Karn one of the leading roles, which helped him gain a lot of the public’s attention.

As the series aired between 1991 and 1999, and became more popular each year, Richard didn’t have much time and energy to take part in many other projects, but he did make guest appearances in several TV series such as “Carol and Company”, “Burke’s Law” and “Soul Man”. He subsequently starred in the role of Agent Dainville in the 2000 TV movie “The Pooch and the Pauper”, and played Ollie Plant in the comedy “Most Vertical Primate” (2001). Between 2001 and 2008, he was cast as Theo in the popular TV series “The 70’s Show”, appeared in the comedy “Sex and the Teenage Mind” as well as in “Air Buddies”, “Reality School” and many more.

In 2009, he featured as Arthur Piller in the TV series “Ctrl” which was another big project in his career, adding a significant amount to his net worth. His next major role was playing Shane Bingham in the romantic comedy “Head Over Spurs in Love”, which was followed by his portrayals of Perry Merrow in the movie “Gordon Family Tree”, and Jim in the film “Stars Are Already Dead”.

Career as a Host

Besides being an actor, Karn was always interested in becoming a host, as he felt that he had charisma, talent and ideas to share with the audience and other stars, so he landed a job as a host for the 4th season of the game show called “Family Feud”. After four years he needed to step down because of numerous acting projects he got involved with. However, he missed the job so much that after a couple of years he decided to clear his acting schedule and go back to being a host, this time of the game show “Bingo America”. In addition, he tried himself in radio hosting as well, being a substitute host for GSN Radio.

Personal Life and Net Worth

Richard has been married to singer and actress Tudi Roche since 1985 – they met and fell in love long before either of them became famous. They were colleagues on his first major project “Home Improvement”, and welcomed their only child, a son they named Cooper, in 1992 while still filming it. Speaking about his wealth, it is estimated by authoritative sources that Richard counts his net worth at over $8 million, as of mid-2019, largely from a career in the entertainment industry now spanning almost 40 years.

General Info

Full Name Richard Karn
Date Of Birth February 17, 1956
Profession Game Show Host, Actor
Education Roosevelt High School, University of Washington
Nationality American


Spouse Tudi Roche
Children Cooper Karn Wilson
Parents Louise Wilson, Gene Wilson
Siblings Sue Wilson


Awards TV Land Fan Favorite Award
Movies Snow Buddies, Air Buddies, Sex and the Teenage Mind, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, MVP: Most Vertical Primate, Bram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy, Picture Perfect, Mr. Blue Sky
TV Shows Ctrl, Bingo America, Home Improvement, Family Feud

Social profile links


# Marks / Signs
1 Beard
2 Goatie
3 Raspy Voice
4 Always wears Button-Down shirts or LumberJack outfits


# Quote
1 (Commenting on the death of his mother, who succumbed to cancer in 1983): “I thought my parents were invincible. It never occurred to me she would die.”


# Fact
1 Was not the original actor chosen to be Al on Home Improvement. Strphen Tobolowsky was originally cast and Richard filled in as a favor to the directors in the pilot when Stephen wasn’t available. Once Stephen decided to pursue a movie career Richard agreed to stay on as Al.
2 Richard and Casey Sander attended Nathan Eckstein Junior High School in Seattle together, though Richard was a year behind.
3 His son, Cooper, goes to Campbell Hall. This school was also once attended by Andy Garcia’s children, Denzel Washington’s daughter (Olivia), Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen and Andrew Lawrence.
4 Graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington and was often a part of the drama program there.
5 His father Gene is a retired building contractor.
6 His mother Louise was a painter; she died of bone marrow cancer in 1983.
7 His last name is omitted from his stage name because it was discovered that the Screen Actors Guild already had an actor by the name of Richard Wilson.
8 Is a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity from University of Washington
9 Worked as an apartment building manager prior to his success on Home Improvement (1991), and even maintained that job during the show’s first season until he knew that Home Improvement would be successful.
10 Graduated University of Washington with B.F.A. from the Professional Actors Training Program.
11 Has one son, Cooper Karn (b. 1992).
12 His wife, Tudi Roche, periodically appears on Home Improvement (1991) as Jill’s sister.




Title Year Status Character
The Horse Dancer 2017 post-production Jerry
F*&% the Prom 2017 post-production Murphy
Stars Are Already Dead 2016/I completed Jim
Amanda and the Fox 2016 Judge Weartherbee
Christmas Land 2015 TV Movie Mason Richards
A Dog for Christmas 2015 Santa
A Perfect Christmas List 2014 TV Movie Tim
No Such Luck 2014 Short Sheriff Lawrence
A Daughter’s Nightmare 2014 TV Movie Cameron
Gordon Family Tree 2013 Perry Merrow
Last Man Standing 2013 TV Series Bill McKendree
All Star Bowling Trick Shots 2012 Video short Richard Karn
Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury 2011 Bill Witherspoon
The Back-up Bride 2011 Shane Bingham
In Gayle We Trust 2011 TV Series Mayor Thomas
True Jackson, VP 2010 TV Series Fire Marshal O’Dannon
Ctrl 2009 TV Series Arthur Piller
Dirt 2008 TV Series Holt’s Father
Snow Buddies 2008 Video Patrick
Mr. Blue Sky 2007 John Adams
Air Buddies 2006 Video Patrick Framm
The Fast One 2006 Short Gerald
Reality School 2004 TV Movie Founder
Watching Ellie 2003 TV Series Richard Karn
Sex and the Teenage Mind 2002 Stanley Heitmeyer
Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch 2002 Video Patrick
Reality School 2002 Short Victor Cayanne
That ’70s Show 2001 TV Series Theo
MVP: Most Vertical Primate 2001 Ollie Plant
The Chronicle 2001 TV Series David Tally
The Lot 2001 TV Series Stan Lunquist
Recess 2000 TV Series Edmond P. Edmonton
The Pooch and the Pauper 2000 TV Movie Agent Dainville
Home Improvement 1991-1999 TV Series Al Borland
Legend of the Mummy 1998 Brice Renard
Soul Man 1997 TV Series Al Borland
How to Host a BBQ with Richard Karn 1996 TV Short Host
Boy Meets World 1995 TV Series Victor
Picture Perfect 1995 TV Movie George Thomas
Burke’s Law 1995 TV Series David Bergen
ABC Afterschool Specials 1994 TV Series Mr. Delo
ABC TGIF 1990 TV Series Al


Title Year Status Character
Picture Perfect 1995 TV Movie creative consultant


Title Year Status Character
The Story Behind: Home Improvement 2015 TV Movie documentary Himself
Home & Family 2013 TV Series Himself – Guest
Celebrity Poker Live 2012 TV Series Himself
The 8th Annual TV Land Awards 2010 TV Special Himself – Glee Club
2009 Game Show Awards 2009 TV Special Himself – Presenter
Straight from the Horses Mouth 2009 Video Himself
The 7th Annual TV Land Awards 2009 TV Special Himself
Bingo America 2008 TV Series Himself – Host / Himself
GSN Live 2008 TV Series Himself
WWE Raw 2007 TV Series Himself
Big Break All-Star Challenge 2006 TV Special
E! True Hollywood Story 2004-2005 TV Series documentary Himself
Family Feud 2002-2005 TV Series Himself – Host / Host
World Poker Tour 2004 TV Series Himself
Tim Allen Presents: A User’s Guide to ‘Home Improvement’ 2003 TV Movie Himself / Al Borland
TVography: Home Improvement – A Half Hour of Power 2002 TV Special Himself
MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate – Behind the Scenes 2002 Video documentary short Himself – ‘Ollie’
The Rosie O’Donnell Show 1996-1999 TV Series Himself
Home Improvement: Backstage Pass 1999 TV Special documentary Himself; Al Borland
Foot Soldiers 1998 TV Movie documentary Narrator
Sin City Spectacular 1998 TV Series Himself
Road Rules 1998 TV Series Himself
Christmas Miracles 1997 TV Movie Himself
Chariots of the Gods? The Mysteries Continue 1996 TV Movie documentary Host
Oops! The World’s Funniest Outtakes 4 1996 TV Movie Himself
The 21st Annual People’s Choice Awards 1995 TV Special Himself – Accepting Award for Favorite Television Comedy Series
The Walt Disney Company and McDonald’s Present the American Teacher Awards 1995 TV Special Himself
Wheel of Fortune 1995 TV Series Himself – Celebrity Contestant
The 20th Annual People’s Choice Awards 1994 TV Special Himself – Accepting Award for Favorite Television Comedy Series
The 19th Annual People’s Choice Awards 1993 TV Special Himself – Accepting Award for Favourite Television Comedy Series
The 45th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1993 TV Special Himself – Audience Member
Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade 1992 TV Special Himself
The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1992 TV Special Himself – Presenter
The 18th Annual People’s Choice Awards 1992 TV Special Himself – Accepting Award for Favourite New Television Comedy Program

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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