With a TV career that’s rapidly rising, Bob Odenkirk is no longer living the dead-end life he felt stuck in while growing up in Naperville, Illinois. Hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live in 1987, the 53-year-old has worked with some of the greats in Adam Sandler, David Spade, and Chris Farley, among others. Nearly 30 years later, He’s now the star of AMC’s hit show Better Call Saul, the prequel to the small screen classic, Breaking Bad; a role he may not of taken if it weren’t for his children’s approval.
Although his Jimmy McGill character makes his living as shoddy lawyer negotiating for shady criminals, Odenkirk is a legit family man with a wife and two kids.
Here’s what you need to know about the Odenkirks:
1. He’s Been Married to Naomi Yomtov for Over 15 Years
Odenkirk and wife, Naomi Yomtov, have been married since 1997. While she was a producer on his 2003 debut movie Melvin Goes to Dinner, Yomtov first laid eyes on her TV star hubby in 1994 while he was performing comedy at the UnCabaret in West Hollywood, California.
A year and a half before meeting Odenkirk, Yomtov — by her own admission —continually spoke about her crush on him to anyone that would listen. On March 13, 2014, spoke to Playboy about the extent of it.
“People would offer to introduce me to him, but I didn’t want to force it. I would say, ‘No, no, no. A week later I was driving around doing errands, and I thought, That’s the man I’m going to marry. It popped into my head just like that. I was disturbed at first. I wasn’t marriage-minded. In fact, I was very career-minded. But I couldn’t ignore this thought. I went home that night and told my roommates, ‘I know which man I’m going to marry. But I’m embarrassed because I don’t actually know him yet.”
Yomtov’s first interaction with Odenkirk didn’t go as planned. She bumped into Odenkirk, who was with director Bobcat Goldthwait. While Yomtov spoke to Goldthwait, the actor — as she described it — just stared at the floor.
“That’s how disinterested he was in me,” she told Playboy.
Eventually, Yomtov ended up interacting with Odenkirk outside of a Santa Monica comedy club where the two hit it off, according to the site.
“He had no idea who I was, or that I had been to all his shows and that I knew all these other people around him. I don’t know why he finally noticed me. It’s not like I suddenly became his type. I still don’t think I’m his type, but we got along great.”
2. Odenkirk Grew Up With Seven Siblings & An Alcoholic Father
Odenkirk was raised in Naperville, Illinois and is one of seven children born to Walter and Barbara Odenkirk, who were both Roman Catholics of Irish and German descent. His parents ultimately divorced due to Walter’s alcoholism. The actor’s father passed away of bone cancer in 1986.
Odenkirk was quick to acknowledge both his father’s intellect and downfall to Chicagomag on January 22, 2015.
“My dad was a dick. He was really smart, and he could’ve done great, but he was just a jackass dick.”
3. Odenkirk’s Brother Is a Writer for ‘The Simpsons’
4. Naomi’s First Client Was Flo From Progressive Auto Insurance
Yomtov has built herself a stellar reputation as a talent manager. Her first client was Stephanie Courtney, mostly known as Flo from the Progressive Auto Insurance commercials. Unbeknownst to many, Courtney has actually had roles in Mad Men and 2 Broke Girls, to name a few.
Nonetheless, Yomtov’s client list now includes some of following Hollywood names:
5. His Son & Daughter Convinced Him to Accept the Saul Goodman Role
Yomtov and Odenkirk have two children, Nathan (born on December 3, 1998) and Erin Odenkirk (November 24, 2000). The couple’s children were responsible for him taking the Saul Goodman role on Breaking Bad as the actor told Vulture on January 27, 2015.
I was looking for a chance to talk to my kids and say, ‘Is it okay if I’m gonna do this?’ But there was no way I could put it on them. He’s your father. Of course you’re gonna say yes.
Ultimately, Odenkirk’s kids pushed him to accept the role, which he was on the fence about it being “on a much grander stage than before.”