Allen began his career as a stand-up comedian. He rose to fame with the television series Home Improvement (1991-1999) on ABC in which he played Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor.
At one point in the mid-1990s, he starred in the most watched television show, Home Improvement, the highest grossing film, The Santa Clause, and had the best selling book in North America, Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man, simultaneously. His Home Improvement fame spawned Tim Allen Signature Tools, a line of power tools distributed by Ryobi.
Allen's material consists mainly of discussions on masculinity, male-female relationships, raising children, hardware, and tools. These themes make him accessible to a wide audience. He writes in his first book that although he is enthusiastic about hardware, he is far from expert. This became the basis for his sitcom. Near the end of the show, Allen published I'm Not Really Here, a book detailing his thoughts on quantum philosophy, intergender relationships, and the male mid-life crisis.
For his contribution to the entertainment industry, Allen has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Blvd.
Joe Somebody (2001) USD$12,000,000
Toy Story 2 (1999) $5,000,000
Toy Story (1995) $50,000
"Home Improvement" (1991) $1,250,000/episode (1998-1999 season)
Allen was born to Gerald and Martha Dick (Gerald was killed by a drunk driver when Allen was young). He grew up in Birmingham in suburban Detroit, Michigan and attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He later received an honorary degree and its existence was used for the main plot of a Home Improvement episode.
Allen was married to Laura Diebel from April 7, 1984 until their divorce in 2003; they have a daughter, Kady, born in 1989. Diebel once served as chief executive officer of Allen's tool line.
On October 2, 1978, Allen was arrested with an accomplice at an airport in Kalamazoo, Michigan while possessing 1.4 pounds of cocaine. Because of the huge quantity, he was facing life in prison. Instead, Allen agreed to testify against his partner in exchange for a sentence of three to seven years in prison; He ultimately ended up serving two years and four months.
On May 24, 1997, Allen was arrested for DUI in Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan. He pleaded guilty on June 16 and was fined, sentenced to a year of probation, and ordered to seek counseling.