- 1. Career
Simon Maxwell Helberg is an American-French actor and comedian. He is known for playing Howard Wolowitz in the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019), for which he won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and as Cosmé McMoon in the film Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.
Helberg has appeared on the sketch comedy series MADtv, and has further performed in films such as Old School (2003), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), A Serious Man (2009) and Annette (2021).
Since the early 2000s, Helberg performed with comedian Derek Waters as the sketch comedy duo Derek & Simon. In 2007, the two starred together in Derek and Simon: The Show, a web series they created with comedian Bob Odenkirk for the comedy website Super Deluxe. They previously made two short films "Derek & Simon: The Pity Card" (co-starring Zach Galifianakis and Bill Hader) and "Derek & Simon: A Bee and a Cigarette" (co-starring Casey Wilson and Emily Rutherfurd) and had a pilot deal with HBO in 2005. One of Helberg's earliest jobs in television was briefly joining the cast of MADtv for one season in 2002.
Helberg appeared in the 2002 feature film Van Wilder as one of the geeky students for whom Van Wilder was throwing a party. He had a minor role in the 2003 movie Old School. In 2004, he was in two episodes of Reno 911!: Student Driver in "Raineesha X" and Hooker Buying Son in "Not Without My Mustache". He had a small role in the sixth episode of Quintuplets, "Get a Job", as a man called Neil working behind the counter at a shoe shop where Paige and Patton were working.
In 2004, he appeared in the film A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. Helberg played the minor role of Simon in George Clooney's 2005 film Good Night, and Good Luck, where he had one line. In 2005, he had a bit part on Arrested Development as Jeff, an employee of the film studio where Maeby worked. From 2006 to 2007, he had a minor supporting role as Alex Dwyer in the drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In 2006, he appeared in a series of comical TV commercials for Richard Branson's UK financial services company Virgin Money. He played a small role in the 2007 film Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story as a Jewish record producer.
In 2007, Helberg was cast as Howard Wolowitz, in the CBS comedy series The Big Bang Theory. In 2004, Helberg portrayed Seth Tobin in Joey, a character similar to Howard.
He appeared as the character Moist in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and had a small role in the pilot episode of the Judd Apatow-produced sitcom Undeclared. In the 2009 Coen brothers film A Serious Man, he played junior Rabbi Scott Ginsler. He had a minor role in the season 4 finale of The Guild as one of the Game Masters.
In 2016, Helberg starred alongside Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins, directed by Stephen Frears; he played pianist Cosmé McMoon and his performance was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture. Not only did Helberg act in the film, he also played the piano. Helberg next starred in Annette, opposite Adam Driver.
Forbes placed him third in its world's highest-paid TV actors list in 2018, his revenues rising to $23.5 million in that year.