8 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Simon Helberg

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For almost 10 years now, Simon Helberg has been stealing the scenes on The Big Bang Theory as sometimes creepy, sometimes sweet, and always hilarious, Howard Wolowitz. In real life, the actor is down-to-earth and very sweet, quite unlike his on-screen persona, and because so many fans related him to Wolowitz, we dug up 8 things not widely known about the star, so fans can get to know him better outside of his role! Check it out:

8. Destined For Fame

As it turns out, Simon Helberg was well on his way to fame early on thanks to his family who was already involved in the industry. His mother, Harriet, was a casting director while his father, Sandy, was an actor himself. Sandy began his career in New York City before moving to L.A. where he became one of the original members of the iconic Los Angeles improv group, The Groundlings. He is best known for his roles in High Anxiety, History of the World: Part 1 and Spaceballs. 

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7. Hidden Talents

By now, fans know that Simon Helberg is a talented and hilarious actor, but he is also hiding some pretty amazing talents. As it turns, the actor was a black belt in karate by the time he was 10 years old. As for a less aggressive talent, Helberg is actually a very skilled pianist which he has shown off a few times on The Big Bang Theory, but also in the 2016 film Florence Foster Jenkins alongside Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. In fact, Helberg landed the role because of his well-known talent. “The film’s composer Alexandre Desplat came to me and said, ‘You can’t hire someone who can’t play the piano at a really high level. I told my casting director in New York and they immediately said, ‘You want Simon Helberg,'” Florence Foster Jenkins‘ director Stephen Frears revealed.

Nick Wall / © Paramount Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

6. Early Life

Simon Maxwell Helberg was born on December 9, 1980, to Sandy and Harriet Helberg. He was raised in Judaism when he was younger but moved towards Reform as he got older. He lived his whole life in Los Angeles and attended both middle school and high school at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. He attended school with actor Jason Ritter, the son of John Ritter, and the two became roommates when they both attended New York University after high school. Helberg attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and during that time trained at the Atlantic Theater Company.

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5. First Roles

After beginning his career in 1999, Helberg added to his resume with roles in series such as Undeclared, Son of the Beach, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He quickly moved on to landing bigger film roles, however, and in 2002 appeared alongside Ryan Reynolds in Van Wilder: Party Liaison and that same year landed a role on MADtv for a few episodes. He is perhaps most recognized for his role as Jerry in Old School, and then the role of Terry in the hit 2004 teen rom-com A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray!

4. Nicolas Cage

With both parents in the film industry in L.A., Helberg grew up around many famous faces and one of his funniest and first celebrity encounters was with none other than Nicolas Cage. “I think I was probably eight, and I remember seeing him at somebody’s house – it was an event and he happened to be there. People would ask me if I was his son because I looked like him at that point, so I do remember feeling some sort of connection and just wanting to say, like, ‘Papa!'” Now, Helberg has perfected his Nicolas Cage impression, and his impressions of other major celebrities, adding, “I sort of fear the moment that I see them and they’ll be like, “Youuuu son of a b–ch!”

3. Becoming Howard

At this point, it is impossible to think of any other actors perfecting the role of Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory like Simon Helberg has, but it almost didn’t happen. In an interview with Stephen Colbert in 2016, Colbert revealed the news that Helberg almost passed on the show. “I understand that you almost didn’t do this job, that you had another gig. You were like, ‘I’m not even sure I want to do Big Bang Theory.” Helberg admitted, ‘Yes. I have great instincts. Like the instincts of a squirrel. You know, like when you’re driving and a squirrel stops in the middle of the road, and you’re like, ‘really, that’s your instinct!?’ Well that was mine, I almost got hit.” The actor was actually working on a different show when he was offered the part on BBT, but with that other show coming upon cancellation, he took a chance on Big Bang Theory and the rest is history.

© CBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection

2. Personal Life

Although it took quite some time for Howard Wolowitz to go from a somewhat creepy woman chaser to a family man, in real life Simon Helberg has been a family man for a while. The actor married actress Jocelyn Towne on July 15, 2007, and the pair welcomed their first child, a daughter Adeline, on May 8, 2012. Two years later they welcomed their second child, a son named Wilder on April 23, 2014. When asked in an interview if he hits on a lot of woman like his Big Bang Theory character, Helberg jokingly replied, “I’m married, so I tend not to hit on every girl.”

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1. Net Worth

Simon Helberg officially began his on-screen career back in 1999 with a role in Mumford. In the almost 20 years since he has racked up 55 acting credits to his name, but despite his numerous roles, he is definitely best known for his role on The Big Bang Theory. He now has an estimated net worth of $45 million which is thanks to the whopping $1 million per episode as the stars of the shows negotiated.

Photo by Brian To/REX/Shutterstock
Telisa Carter

Telisa Carter

Telisa enjoys learning and writing about all things entertainment in the world of Hollywood. When she isn't catching up on her favorite TV shows, she likes to read, and obsess over all things football.