Child Star Fred Savage

Fred Savage is an American actor, director, and producer best known for the role of Kevin Arnold in the long running TV series The Wonder Years. It was one of the most popular TV shows in America from 1988 to 1993. The show’s first episode was aired on January 31, 1988 and the last episode aired on May 12, 1993. Savage played the role of a young boy and the series depicted his life experiences during the teenage years. He was just twelve years old when he appeared in the lead role of the series. It was the role of his life and he won awards such as the People Choice award and Quality Television Awards. He also acted in the movies Vice Versa and Little Monsters. For Vice Versa, he was presented with the Best Performance award at the Saturn Awards.

Prior to The Wonder Years, Savage played the role of a grandson in the film The Princess Bride in 1987. This was when he got noticed for his acting skills. For the movie Little Monsters in 1989, he was joined by his younger brother Ben Savage. In 1989, Savage appeared in The Wizard with Christian Slater, Luke Edwards, Beau Bridges and Jenny Lewis. In 1997, he returned to the small screen in the hit TV series Working.

Currently, Savage is involved in the production of a number of movies and TV series. He had been credited for directing some episodes of popular TV series like Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Hannah Montana, Ugly Betty and Phil of the Future.

Born on July 9, 1976, his full name is Fredrick Aaron "Fred" Savage. He started acting at the age of 9 in the movie The Boy Who Could Fly but got very famous through The Wonder Years. Fred Savage is the son of Joanne and Lewis Savage, an industrial real estate broker and consultant. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and his ancestors were Jewish folks who immigrated from Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, and Germany. Fred Savage graduated in English from Stanford University in 1999 and he graduated from the Brentwood School in Los Angeles in 1994.

He married his childhood friend, Jennifer Stone who happened to be his neighbor. Interestingly, his marriage with Jennifer Stone almost resembled the romance between Kevin Arnold and his neighbor, Winnie Cooper. He proposed to his wife with a 5 carat sapphire ring which he bought from the Neil Lane Jewelers, and his wedding took place at the L'Orangerie Restaurant in Los Angeles, California. During the wedding, he requested the guests to give donations to the Children's Hospital Cancer Center in lieu of the gifts, in the memory of one of his childhood friends.

His sister Kala Savage and brother Ben Savage are both in the entertainment field. Ben joined Fred in the movie Little Monsters and later acted in the popular TV show Boy Meets World. His sister Kala Savage married Jared Flamm, a member of the music band Biirdie. Savage and his wife became proud parents on August 5, 2006 when his wife gave birth to a baby boy named Oliver Philip Savage, and later on 3 May 2008, they had a daughter named Lily Aerin Savage.

Fred Savage’s first performance was recorded in 1987 when he appeared in a video called Dinosaurs. He later appeared in the film The Boy Who Could Fly as Louis Michaelson. Savage also had small parts in other TV shows like The Crime Story and The Twilight Zone. He was first noticed for his role as a sick grandson in the film The Princess Bride in 1987.

In The Wonder Years, savage played the career defining Kevin Arnold role and he would always be remembered for his excellent performances throughout the entire series. Generally, he was praised for his complex depiction of the teenage boy who had to deal with a lot of problems including sibling rivalry, doubts, romance, peer pressure, and so on. Savage was nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor in A Comedy Series” for two Emmys and two Golden Globe awards. Only 13 when he got nominated for the awards, he was also the youngest actor ever to receive the nominations. He played lead character until 1993, the year the show ended. During the same time, he appeared in some movies and one of his more notable performances was in the movie Vice Versa.

After 1993, Savage acted in a number of movies and TV series like Boy Meets World in which his brother Ben was the lead actor, and the blockbuster comedy Austin Powers in Goldmember. He also appeared in Working and Crumbs and later he took the role of a serial rapist in the TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Savage is ranked 27th on the list of the 100 greatest kid stars. His latest appearance as an actor was in the web series The Rascal on Crackle in 2008 where he was a guest actor.

Savage worked as a director in some episodes of popular TV series like Drake & Josh, Ned's Declassified, and Big Time Rush. For the Disney Channel, he directed some episodes of Hannah Montana, That’s So Raven, and Wizards of Waverly Place. He produced the original series of the Disney Channel’s Phil of the Future. In 2007, Savage was nominated for the Directors Guild award for the episode called Not-So-Great-Great Grandpa.

He produced many episodes of Phil of the Future, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Party Down. Savage also directed many short films and a few episodes of the popular TV series Ugly Betty.

Here’s a more detailed look at Fred Savage’s filmography.

Movies

The Boy Who Could Fly (1986): He played the role of Louis Michaelson who’s the little brother of 15-year-old Milly Michaelson. The story is about Milli and her family moving to a suburban home after the death of her father. Louis is eight years old and he has to deal with bullies on the street.

Dinosaurs! - A Fun-Filled Trip Back in Time! (1987): This was an educational film about prehistoric life. Cartoons are used in the movie to explain dinosaurs and their extinction. In the film, Savage plays the role of a boy who has to make a class report in science. The boy annoys his mother as he’s trying to find some ideas while listening to loud music. He goes to sleep and dreams of dinosaurs.

The Princess Bride (1987): The Princess Bride was a turning point for Savage. He was critically acclaimed for his role as the sick grandson of actor Peter Falk. The film was based on the novel by William Goldman and it had a mixture of romance, fantasy, adventure, and comedy.

Vice Versa (1988): Starring Judge Reinhold and Savage in the lead roles, the film was based on the novel in the same name of 1882 by F. Anstey. Savage plays the role of Charlie, the son of Marshall Seymour who has divorced Charlie’s mom. When Charlie comes to stay with his father, he wishes his father was more involved in their lives and with some magical powers of a skull, the souls of father and son exchange bodies. The film performed averagely at the box office.

The Wizard (1989): The Wizard is an adventurous movie with Fred Savage, Jenny Lewis, and Luke Edwards in the lead roles. In the movie, Savage plays a boy who lives with his father while his brother lives with his mother and step father. The film did not receive good reviews though the performance of Savage was generally praised.

Little Monsters (1989): In the movie Little Monsters, Savage played the role of Brian Stevenson who is a sixth grader. It’s essentially a fantasy film in which Howie Mandel is a friend of Brian’s but he has a monster under his bed. Ben Savage played Eric, the character who is kidnapped during the fantasy game.

Animation Movies and TV Series

Runaway Ralph, Jungle Book, and Oswald: Mowgli's Story, Oswald and Runaway Ralph are the animation movies in which Savage had either lent his voice or appeared in a role. In the movie Runaway Ralph, he played the role of lonely boy Garfield, who befriends the runaway mouse Ralph. In Jungle Book, he is the narrator. Oswald is an animated TV series in which Savage provides the voice for Oswald.

TV Acting Credits

The Twilight Zone (1986): Savage appeared in the episode: “What Are Friends For”. The show is one of the most popular TV series in America and the stories usually have some unexpected twists in the end. The series was created by Rod Serling.

The Wonder Years (1988–1993): The comedy drama ran for six seasons from 1988 to 1993. The show was ranked number one in the best 20 shows of the 1980s. After airing six episodes, the show received the Emmy Award for the best comedy series in 1988. The story of the show is set in 1968 when Kevin and Winnie meet and remain friends for long, even after many ups and downs in their life. It shows the issues in the Arnold household in the initial series, and in the later seasons, it chronicles Kevin’s student’s life, growing from a boy to a teenager, his trials and tribulations, romances, and friends. Daniel Stern provided the voice for the adult Kevin Arnold, the narrator of the series.

The nostalgia of the 60s was highlighted in the show and Savage’s performances lighted up the series. As Kevin Arnold matures, it can also be seen how Savage also matured in his acting skills. The Wonder Years is widely regarded as one of the best TV series to capture that era with the music, fashion, and innocence. Moreover, the problems of acne breakout, grades, tests, and the Vietnam War were all included in the series, giving a great perspective of those times.

Working (1997): This is a comedy about office life which was aired on NBC from 1997 to 1999. The series was praised by fans and critics, but the show could not go beyond the second season because of changes in the cast.

Crumbs (2006): The sitcom debuted on ABC in January 2006. Savage played the role of a screenwriter who leaves Hollywood to get back home to take care of his mom who was released from a mental institution. His mother had tried to run over her husband for leaving her for a younger woman. The show started in Feb 2006 and ended in May 2006.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2002): One of the highest rated series, it was nominated for a number of awards. Savage appeared as the serial rapist Michael Gardner in the episode “Futility”.

Director Credits

1999

In 1999, Savage directed the episode “The Other Executive” of the Working TV series.

2004–2007     

He directed the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide TV series.

In 2003, he directed the TV series Oliver Beene.

In 2005 he directed the TV movie Stephen's Life and later the episodes “Oops! I Meddled Again” (2006) and “The Idol Side of Me” (2007) in Hannah Montana.

He made a film called Daddy Day Camp in 2007 which attained average success. During this time, he was also working on the TV show Phil of the Future.

2007 - 2009    

Savage directed the episode “Granny Pants” of Ugly Betty. He directed “The Crazy 10 Minute Sale” (2007), “You Can't Always Get What You Carpet” (2007), and “Credit Check” (2008) episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place.

He directed 18 episodes of “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” from 2007 to 2009.

Achievements in TV Series Working Behind the Scenes

Zeke and Luther: This is a situational comedy in which two friends become the world’s best skateboarders. The show was aired on Disney XD. Fred Savage was nominated for the DGA Outstanding Directorial Achievement Award in 2010 for his work in the pilot episodes.

Wizards of Waverly Place: It was Disney channel’s Original television show which was premiered on 2007. The story is about the Italian Mexican Russo family where three siblings are getting wizard training. For the episode “The Crazy 10 Minute Sale”, Savage was nominated for the DGA Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs in 2008.

Phil of the Future: This is a sitcom which aired on Disney in 2004. The show is about time travel where a family belonging to the year 2121 is stranded in 2004. Savage was nominated for the DGA Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs for the episode “Not So Great Great Great Grandpa”.

Party Down: This is another American comedy directed by Fred Savage and Bryan Gordon. The story revolves around Hollywood actors and writers dreaming to get their break but they get tangled in a number of hilarious situations. Adam Scott produced the show and the initial season ran from March 2009 to April 2010. Season 2 premiered in April 2010 and it ran until June 2010.

Awards and Nominations

Young Artist Award: Savage won the Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture for The Princess Bride in 1987. He won the Best Young Actor award in 1989 and 1990 for appearing in The Wonder Years. Savage was nominated for the Young Artist Award for his role in The Wizard in 1990.

Saturn Award: Savage won the Best Performance Award for Vice Versa in 1990.

Quality Television Awards: Savage won the Best Actor award for comedy series The Wonder Years for two consecutive years in 1989 and 1990.

People's Choice Awards: He was awarded the People's Choice Awards as Favorite Young TV Performer in 1990 and 1991.

Emmy Awards: Savage was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for The Wonder Years in 1989 and 1990.

Golden Globes: He was nominated for the Golden Globes for The Wonder Years in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series - Comedy/Musical in 1989 and 1990.

Razzie Award: Savage was nominated for Worst Director for the film Daddy Day Camp in 2007.

Directors Guild of America: He was nominated for the DGA Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs for episodes in Zeke and Luther (2009), Wizards of Waverly Place (2007), and Phil of the Future (2004).

In 2010, he worked in the TV series Party Down and the episode “The Golden Ticket” in Sons of Tucson. Recently, Savage was involved in the post production work of the TV series The Paul Reiser on the episodes “The Generator” and “Friends with Benefits”. Another post production work is the episode called “Your Couples Friends & Neighbor” in Happy Endings.

Presently, Fred Savage is working on a number of TV series. His work in children fiction films has been acclaimed by critics and viewers. He’s also involved with two upcoming TV movies in 2011, namely, Everyday Kid and Tax Man. Savage is also involved in production work in movies, short films, and TV films.

Check out these links to find out more about Fred Savage.