Award-winning Modern Family star reveals dad stepped in to stop him joining the mob
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 17
Ed O’Neill revealed he nearly pursed a career in crime in his younger years (Picture: Anna Pocaro/IndieWire/Penske Media via Getty Images)

Ed O’Neill has revealed he very nearly pursued a career in crime.

The actor, 77, is on and .

But after finding himself unemployed in his youth, a friend offered him a job with questionable duties.

Ed, who had been a professional American football player before being cut, was chatting to a friend one day discussing his next move.

Looking for a job in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, Ed recalled how his childhood friend Jim took him for a drive.

‘We’re driving and he said, “How you doing? You know, you, you got cut, you got no money”. I said, “No, I’m broke. You know, I don’t know what I’m going to do”,’ he said on Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s podcast.

The actor was at a crossroads after finding himself unemployed (Picture: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

The pair then stopped at a bar, the kind of ‘fancy place’ the actor said he ‘never would go’.

After his friend started talking to the bartender, he asked for someone called Jimmy Demeko.

‘”Do you know him?’ And the guy says, “No, it doesn’t ring a bell”. So he gives him 20, and he says, “Look, he’s an old friend of mine, I haven’t seen him in years, you know, I’m looking to reconnect, but I’d like to surprise him. So if he comes in again, this is my, you can call this number. You can reach me.”’

After this encounter, Ed was then offered a job.

‘We left and he said, “You can do this kind of stuff for me, you know, I’ll protect you”,’ he said. “I’ll give you easy stuff. Just you collect here. You do that. You run, you drop something off here and there. You know, you may have to lean on a guy. You’re good at that. You can make some good money… I said, “Let me think about it, Jim. Cause I’m, I don’t know. I might be leaving town to pursue this acting thing.”‘

He later went on to star in Married…with Children (Picture: Columbia Pictures/Embassy Pictures/ Kobal/ REX/ Shutterstock)

Although Ed said he was genuinely considering the proposal, when he went home and discussed it with his dad, it was made clear he should steer clear.

‘I was thinking about it. I thought, you know, “What else am I going to do?”,’ he said.

However, the next day he had a conversation with his dad Edward, who knew about his friend’s shady associations.

‘He said, “I saw you take a ride with Jimmy… I just want to ask you a question. Can you do time?”, Ed recalled of their chat.

After replying ‘no’, he was told he would likely ‘have a hard time being in jail’, enough of a warning to make him decline the offer.

He also appeared in Modern Family from 2009 until 2020 (Picture: Disney General Entertainment Con)

Later calling his friend and thanking him for the offer, Ed decided he was going to move to New York to ‘try this other thing’, with his acting career soon taking off after the sliding doors moment.

Although Ed pushed back against pursuing a life in crime, his former Modern Family co-star Sofia Vergara has for her latest role.

The actress, 51, stars in the upcoming Netflix series as Griselda Blanco, who was also known as the Cocaine Godmother.

The episodes, which come from the same creators and executive producers behind Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, will show Blanco’s reign of terror from the 1970s. At one point, Blanco is thought to have earned around $80 million every month.

Modern Family is streaming on Disney Plus.