David Cross (born April 4, 1964) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, director, and writer known for his stand-up performances, the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show (1995–1999), and his role as Tobias Fünke in the Fox/Netflix sitcom Arrested Development (2003–2006, 2013–2019).
Cross created, wrote, executively produced, and starred in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (2010–2016); developed and had a prominent role in Freak Show (2006); appeared on Modern Family (2011–2012); and portrayed Ian Hawke in the first three live-action/CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks films (2007–2011). Cross has also done voice work for the sitcom Oliver Beene (2003–2004), and has had lead voice-over roles in Curious George (2006), Battle for Terra (2007), the Kung Fu Panda film franchise (2008–2016), Megamind (2010) and Next Gen (2018).
In 1993, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for his work on The Ben Stiller Show. For Mr. Show, he gained three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and for Arrested Development, Cross was nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television Series, and, along with his cast, for three Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. For his stand-up specials, he was nominated for several Grammy Awards.
In August 2011, after four years of dating, Cross became engaged to Amber Tamblyn. They married in 2012. On February 21, 2017, Tamblyn announced that she and Cross had recently had a daughter.Cross, who was raised into Judaism, has described himself as an atheist. He describes his political philosophy as "definitely more socialist Democrat than centrist politician". In an interview in 2016, Cross praised Senator Bernie Sanders and said he admired Sanders "way before he ran for President". In 2021, Cross featured on a video produced by the Gravel Institute, a progressive think tank.On September 26, 2013, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler revealed that Cross was the first investor in the crowdfunding platform. Strickler included Cross among the "friends and family" who first financed Kickstarter in 2006.Cross is a fan of and friends with the musical group Beastie Boys. He is sampled on the beginning of the group's single "Ch-Check It Out" from their album To the 5 Boroughs. One of the group's members, Mike D, did not believe that this was Cross's voice in the sample, and Cross says he had to perform the voice in front of Diamond to prove it was actually him. Cross revealed this while hosting the Beastie Boys SiriusXM channel. Cross also appeared in the group's music video for "Make Some Noise" which was nominated for Video of The Year at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. In Spike Jonze documentary Beastie Boys Story, Cross has a post-credit scene in which he interrupts the group's theater performance to poke fun at the commercial failure of their second album, Paul's Boutique.
Cross was born in Roswell, Georgia, to a Jewish family. His parents are Barry and Susi, the former of whom emigrated from Leeds, England. Six months after his birth, Cross's family moved to Florida. After additional moves to New York and Connecticut, the family settled back in Roswell, where Cross remained for nearly a decade. He is the oldest of three children and has two younger sisters, Juli Cross and Wendy Cross.The family had little money. Cross recalled they were evicted from their home and that he spent some time living in motels and at friends' homes in his youth. Barry left the family when David was 10 years old; the two have not spoken since he was 19, though they both primarily resided in New York City until Cross sold his home there in 2011.He attended Northside High School of the Performing Arts (now North Atlanta High School). Cross was elected treasurer of his senior class and was voted "Most Humorous" by his classmates. He graduated in 1982.