Steve Carell has two kids daughter Annie and son John
Steve Carell may be famous for his hilarious roles in The Office, Anchorman and Crazy Stupid Love, but according to him, his kids — Elisabeth Anne and John — are way more entertaining.
“[My kids] do something funny every day,” the actor previously told PEOPLE. “Kids are funny in general because they’re unfiltered and they’re wise, but they’re not jaded by anything.”
He continued, “Their sense of humor is very pure, and they don’t even a lot of times know when they’re being funny, because it’s just so honest. And I think that’s what makes them so funny."
Carell shares his two children with wife Nancy Walls, whom he met when she took an improv class he was teaching at The Second City training center in Chicago. Walls later went on to briefly star opposite her husband on The Office as Carol Stills, Michael Scott’s realtor and love interest.
The pair wed in 1995 and welcomed their first child, daughter Elisabeth Anne (who goes by Annie) in May 2001. They expanded their family three years later when son John was born in June 2004.
The comedian has kept his children almost entirely out of the spotlight, bringing them to only a handful of red carpet events over the years and seldom speaking about them in interviews as they’ve grown up.
Annie and John made a rare red carpet appearance, however, when they joined their dad for the premiere of Minions: The Rise of Gru in July 2022.
"They're here today. These [movies] started when they were 4 and 7, and now they're 18 and 21," Carell said of his children growing up with the Despicable Me franchise, in which he voices Gru.
They may be all grown up, but Carell said his kids still jumped at the chance to attend the premiere.
"I put it out to them like, 'Well, the premiere is this week, do you want to go?' And they were all over it, like not even a hesitation," the actor said. "I think it's nostalgic at this point. They love the characters and they love the franchise. It's been a big part of our family."
In August 2023, the whole family attended the F1 Grand Prix in Zandvoort, Netherlands.
Here’s everything Steve Carell has said about his two kids, Annie and John.
Carell and Walls welcomed their first child together, Annie, on May 25, 2001. Carell credits the arrival of Annie as having had a major impact on his career.
“When we had kids, my career completely changed. I’ll never forget the first audition after my daughter was born. I nailed it because I didn’t care anymore,” he told The Guardian in 2013.
As Annie neared adolescence and her little brother approached double-digits, Carell told PEOPLE that he knew his family was facing a “period of time that’s going to be a very, very different and difficult growth period for everybody.” Part of that growth included allowing space for his kids to have their hearts broken, he added, even though it hurt him to think about it.
“You don’t want to see your kids get hurt. That’s the main thing,” Carell said at the Despicable Me 2 press day held in June 2013. “You know they’re going to have their hearts broken at some point, and you can’t ultimately protect them against having that happen.”
Carell’s older child attended Oakwood School in North Hollywood before studying at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She graduated in 2023.
Annie has joined her dad at a few red carpet events and public outings over the years, starting in 2015 when she posed alongside him and the rest of their family backstage at the Finding Neverland musical on Broadway in New York City.
The following year, she supported her dad when he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Annie made another red carpet appearance at the 2018 premiere of Carell’s film Beautiful Boy in Beverly Hills, where she posed with her father's costar, Timothée Chalamet.
Carell and his wife welcomed their second child, John, just over three years later in June 2004.
From early on, John appeared to follow in his dad’s funny-man footsteps, often cracking jokes around his family.
Carell opened up about his son’s cleverness to Good Housekeeping in June 2008. “Our son, John, really doesn’t want to eat vegetables. He just hates them,” he told the outlet. “So my wife was begging him, ‘Please, Johnny, you have to eat some vegetables. You have to.’ Finally he broke down and said, ‘OK, fine.’ ”
“So my wife said, ‘All right, what are you going to eat?’ And he said, ‘Carrots.’ So my wife asked, ‘And when are you going to eat them?’ He just looked at her and calmly said, ‘Next Tuesday at 10:30.’ It was so great, because he completely set up that line! He knew it was funny, too. He knew it,” he continued.
When it comes to disciplining his kids, Carell told Babble in July 2010 that it’s a “fine line.”
“I try to be a hybrid,” he told the outlet of playing good cop vs. bad cop. “You walk a fine line there. You want your kids to have respect; you don’t want to coddle them. You don’t want to be their buddy — but you do. You want to have that connection, but you also want them to respect you when you need to draw the line because kids need a sense of structure.”
The Get Smart star added that his kids were “cagey” at the time and would try to play to each parent’s sympathies, so he and his wife worked to maintain “a united front.”
“They’ll ask one parent, then go around to the other and try to work the same thing on the other side,” he shared. “So it’s having communication with your spouse and knowing what the parameters are.”
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