William Emerson Arnett (; born May 4, 1970) is a Canadian actor and comedian. He is best known for his roles as Gob Bluth in the Fox/Netflix series Arrested Development (2003–2006, 2013, 2018–2019), receiving a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and as BoJack Horseman in the Netflix series of the same name. He has appeared in films such as Let’s Go To Prison (2006), Blades Of Glory (2007), Semi-Pro (2008), G-Force (2009), Jonah Hex (2010), and Show Dogs (2018). His performance as Devon Banks in 30 Rock earned him four Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series nominations.His baritone voice has landed him voice acting jobs, including Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Ratatouille (2007), Horton Hears a Who! (2008), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), Despicable Me (2010), The Nut Job (2014), Dolittle (2020), and as Batman in the Lego Movie franchise. He also served as an executive producer and voices the titular character of the Netflix series BoJack Horseman (2014–2020), for which he won an Annie Award at the 46th Annie Awards. His involvement with The LEGO Group continues as Fox Network announced him as the host of their show LEGO Masters, which premiered on February 5, 2020. Since July 2020, he has co-hosted the comedy podcast SmartLess.
Arnett lists Steve Martin and Chevy Chase as his two biggest comic influences. He is an avid follower of his hometown teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, Toronto Blue Jays, and Toronto Raptors.Arnett married Penelope Ann Miller in 1994. They divorced in 1995.Arnett married Amy Poehler on August 29, 2003. They appeared together in four episodes of Arrested Development, one episode of Parks and Recreation, and the films Blades of Glory, Horton Hears a Who!, On Broadway, Spring Breakdown, Monsters vs. Aliens and the Disney American English dubbing of The Secret World of Arrietty. They have two sons, the first being born in October 2008 and the second born in August 2010. Arnett and Poehler separated in 2012, and their divorce was finalized in July 2016. In June 2020, it was announced that Arnett's girlfriend, Alessandra Brawn, had given birth to his third son in May 2020. Brawn also has a son with her ex-husband.Arnett is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.Arnett has struggled with alcoholism in the past, a topic explored in his shows Flaked and BoJack Horseman. He managed to achieve sobriety for 15 years until a relapse during the production of Flaked.
Arnett was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Edith Alexandra "Alix" (Palk) and Emerson James "Jim" Arnett, who was a corporate lawyer and brewer, among other occupations. His parents were originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and he has roots on both sides of his family in Manitoba going back many generations. Arnett has two older sisters and a younger brother. His father, a graduate of Harvard University and a corporate lawyer, served as the president and CEO of Molson Breweries from 1997 to 2000.Arnett briefly attended Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario, but was asked not to return after a semester for being a troublemaker. The Subway Academy II allowed him to take theatre classes at the Tarragon Theatre. He eventually graduated from Leaside High School and attended Concordia University, Montreal for a semester but dropped out. As a teenager, he was encouraged by his mother to pursue an acting career. He auditioned for commercials in Toronto and enjoyed acting. In 1990, he moved to New York City to study acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. He appeared in plays in New York, and his first acting role was in Felicity Huffman's independent film Erie, which was filmed on the Erie Canal.