Kevin George Knipfing (born April 26, 1965), better known by his stage name, Kevin James, is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He is widely known for playing Doug Heffernan on the hit CBS sitcom The King of Queens. He is also known for his lead roles in the comedy films I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Grown Ups, Zookeeper, Here Comes the Boom and Hitch.
Kevin James was born Kevin George Knipfing in Mineola, New York and was raised from a young age in Stony Brook, both on Long Island. He is the second son of Janet, a homemaker who also worked in a chiropractor’s office, and Joseph Valentine Knipfing Jr., who owned an insurance agency. He is of German descent. He has a brother, Gary Joseph Knipfing, known as Gary Valentine, who is also a comedian and actor, and one sister, Leslie Knipfing Leslie works for James and helped raise money through charity events for retinitis pigmentosa, with which she is afflicted. Kevin James was raised Catholic, and stated in 2012 that he is involved in his faith.
James graduated from Ward Melville High school While there, he reached the number one spot on the wrestling team, just ahead of friend and WWE star Mick Foley. A season ending back injury resulted in Foley taking over the first string position James went on to study at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he played halfback on the varsity football team until another back injury permanently ended his sporting hopes.
In 2004, James married actress Steffiana de la Cruz in California. They have four children: daughters Sienna-Marie (b. 2005), Shea Joelle (b. 2007), son Kannon Valentine (b. 2011), and daughter Sistine Sabella (b. 2015). James is the younger brother of comedian Gary Valentine (born Gary Knipfing), who played Doug’s cousin Danny Heffernan on King of Queens. He is a close friend of retired MMA fighter Bas Rutten, and trains with him at his school in Thousand Oaks, California. James is also known for being a big sports fan, particularly of the New York Knicks, New York Jets, New York Mets, and New York Islanders, as well as the UFC. James attended high school with former professional wrestler Mick Foley. Both wrestled in high school. James was varsity, while Foley was JV. James, a Catholic, appeared on Catholic-themed channel EWTN’s The World Over Live in 2012.