Richard Karn Wilson was born Feb. 17, 1956 in Seattle, where he attended the University of Washington's Professional Actor's Training Program. Before Richard rose to fame on Home Improvement, he appeared in many off-Broadway and Broadway shows. It was on stage that he met his wife Tudi Roche. Karn found out about Home Improvement while attending traffic school after running a red light; there he ran into an agent who told him about the show. Although Karn landed the gig as Tim Allen's 'Tool Time' sidekick Al Borland, he wasn't certain it would pay the bills - so he kept his day job as an apartment manager until the end of the first season. Karn became the spokesperson for Wayne-Dalton, the world's largest garage door manufacturer, and sponsor of the annual Wayne Dalton/Richard Karn Celebrity Golf Classic, which raises funds for Seattle's internationally renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Overlake Hospital. The tournament is broadcast on ESPN, and focuses attention on the disease that claimed the life of Karn's mother, noted Pacific Northwest artist Louise Wilson. Karn and his wife - who occasionally appeared on HI as Jill's sister - have a son, Cooper Andrew Wilson. In 2008, Karn hosted Bingo America on the Game Show Network (a role previously occupied by Patrick Duffy), and appeared in a Kodak printer commercial.
Tim's BFF and 'Tool Time' co-star, quiet Al is also the king of flannel - capable of donning more shirts than the entire population of Seattle in its '90s grunge heyday. He's there to lean on, irritate, provide comic relief and keep Tim on track. His puns are legendary, as is his loyalty. He's also much handier with tools, but is too humble to honk his own horn. He is only seen without his trademark beard in one episode, which reflects upon Tim and Al's 'Tool Time' premiere.