Alan Tudyk was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Plano, where he attended Plano Sr. High. In 1990, he went on to study drama at Lon Morris Jr. College. While there, he was awarded the Academic Excellence Award for Drama. He was also named Most Likely to Succeed and Sophomore Beau. During this time, Alan was also an active member of the Delta Psi Omega fraternity.
After leaving LMJC, Alan went on to study at the prestigious Juilliard conservatory but left in 1996 before earning a degree.
After a number of smaller stage productions and a small role in the movie Patch Adams (1998), Alan landed his first Broadway role in 1999 with "Epic Proportions." He quickly became a sought-after comedic actor, with roles in such films as 28 Days (2000) and A Knight's Tale (2001).
In 2002, Alan got the role of Wash, the wise-cracking pilot of Serenity on the short-lived series Firefly (2002). Although it lasted only eleven episodes, this may be Alan's most well-known and best-loved role. No other networks would buy the failed series, but Universal Pictures began courting creator Joss Whedon to produce a big-screen version of the series. While awaiting the final news of Firefly's fate, Alan played the beloved Steve the Pirate in the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) and the voice of the robot Sonny in I, Robot (2004).
In 2005, Alan finally reprised the role of Wash in Serenity (2005), the feature-film version of the series Firefly. The same year, he went back to Broadway from June to November, taking over the role of Lancelot for Hank Azaria in the successful musical "Spamalot."