James “Jim” Rash (born July 15, 1970) is an American actor, comedian, producer, and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. He is best known for playing Dean Pelton on the NBC sitcom Community.
Rash was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, and after graduating there spent a post-graduate year at the Lawrenceville School, located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He later attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.
Rash played Mr. Grayson/Stitches, a sidekick to the super villain 'Royal Pain' in the 2005 film Sky High and as the recurring character Fenton on That '70s Show, and "Andrew the Whore House Guy" on Reno 911!. He also guest starred in the last episode of Friends, and played the role of Head T.A. Philip in Slackers. Since 2009, Rash has starred on Community as Dean Craig Pelton.
Rash and comedy partner Nat Faxon moved into screenwriting. They wrote a pilot, Adopted in 2005, about an adult who finds out his parents are not his birth parents. Yet, they were not cast and the show didn't take off. Their screenplay, based on Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel The Descendants, was on the 2008 edition of the Black List, a list of the most popular unproduced scripts in Hollywood. The film was produced in Hawaii, directed by Alexander Payne, starred George Clooney, and was released on November 18, 2011 to critical acclaim. Payne, Faxon and Rash received a Golden Globe nomination and won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for their work.
Rash and Faxon co-wrote and directed the film The Way, Way Back, which received a standing ovation at its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Parts of the film are actually based on Rash's life as a teenager.
Rash is a member of the Los Angeles improvisational and sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings.