Photos with Ken Tipton
BiographyEl Paso, Texas, USA
Ken Tipton grew up in the small St. Louis suburb of St. Charles, Missouri. He was one of those "geeks" who could tell you everything about movies. He acted in every play possible in high school, during his stint in the Air Force and while working for IBM. Ken's other passion was business. He is a natural-born "entrepreneur" in every sense. He ran a "chain" of eight Kool-Aid stands at age 11, and opened an aerial advertising company that used powered-hangliders called "High Signs" at age 24. Read more... first video rental stores in the St. Louis area called "Video Library" in 1981. With a lot of hard work, things went well and by the time he left IBM in 1985, he had six stores and was rated as one of the "Top 100" video companies in America by "Video Store" magazine. After seeing an episode of L.A. Law (1986) called "Splatoon" where everyone on the show was running around the woods shooting each other with paintball guns, Ken was inspired to open his own business called "Paintball Wargames". During this time he started doing stand-up comedy in St. Louis. While visiting his brother in L.A., Ken performed at several comedy clubs and after returning to St. Louis, discussed the idea of pursuing a serious acting career with his family. With the support of his ex-wife and family, he moved to Los Angeles with his 12-year-old son to pursue their careers in Hollywood (he and his ex-wife are still the best of friends). Ken and his son have been in many TV and movie projects in small parts as well as recent co-starring roles in independent films that will be making the film festival circuits. Ken has also continued his stand-up and improv comedy work at the Comedy Store, The UpFront Comedy Club and The Groundlings. When he is not acting or in acting/improv classes, Ken makes a living as a licensed bodyguard. Ken's career received some wonderful assistance from the late John Candy. Ken had met John in St. Louis when his film Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) was shot there. Ken was invited to the set because he was the owner of the largest independent video store chain in St. Louis. After they saw Ken's resemblance to Candy, he was asked if he would like to work as John's stand-in. Ken had a great time and became friends with Candy. He told John about his community theater and stand-up work and his dream to work in Hollywood. John offered to help Ken if and when he ever made it to Hollywood. When Ken finally arrived in Los Angeles, it took him many months to contact Candy. They finally got together and John was true to his word. He gave Ken solid advice about finding work, getting into the union, and getting an agent. With Candy's advice, Ken was able to earn his SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card quickly. Candy left to work on a movie called Wagons East (1994) in Mexico, and said he would continue his mentorship when he returned. On March 4, 1994, Candy died while filming. Ken felt like he had lost a brother. Shortly after Candy's death, Ken earned his SAG card, and the very first SAG job Ken received was completing photo double insert shots for John in the movie "Wagons East". It was then that he decided to try to fill the void in Hollywood left by John's passing. As far as "Big Guy" comedians go in Hollywood, there was Chris Farley on the zany end of the comedy scale, and John Goodman on the dramatic end of the comedy scale. John Candy was right in the middle. There is no way Ken could be another John Candy, John was unique and original. The way Ken saw it, there is an opening for the next "Ken Tipton". With lots of hard work, a little luck, and meeting the right people, anything is possible.