Having made his mark as an angry man comedian in the early 1990s with a stand-up act that lambasted every aspect of popular culture, actor Denis Leary put his abrasive persona to good use when he made the transition to the screen. He first gained widespread notice with his fast-talking rants that were featured in between commercials on MTV. After achieving a minor hit in the music world with the sardonic 1993 single "Asshole," Leary starred in the funny, but under-performing comedy "The Ref" (1994) before appearing in the cringe-worthy comedy "Operation Dumbo Drop" (1995). He delivered sturdy performances in uncharacteristically dramatic fare like "Love Walked In" (1997), "Monument Ave" (1998), "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1999) and "Jesus' Son" (1999). Despite a series of uneven roles, Leary finally found his groove as the star, co-creator and executive producer of "Rescue Me" (FX, 2004-2011), a gritty and acerbically funny look at a group of fireman coping with their dysfunctional lives post-9/11. Irreverent, shocking and sometimes controversial, "Rescue Me" proved to be the perfect vehicle for Leary's sardonic wit, playing a recovering alcoholic who struggles to keep together what's left of his family while constantly battling his inner demons. Hailed by critics and blasted by some of the more overzealous watchdog groups, the show allowed Leary to put the full force of his talents on display while opening doors to more mainstream projects.