Kevin James: 5 Things to Know

Columbia TriStar

His new comedy, “Zookeeper,” opens nationwide on Friday. Here are 5 tidbits about the former “King of Queens” star.

Kevin James heads back to the big screen this weekend in his latest comedic offering, Zookeeper. The actor will share the spotlight with several four legged creatures – and one really big gorilla – in his latest film, but has previously starred with the likes of Adam Sandler, Will Smith and Vince Vaughn.

STORY: 'Zookeeper': Film Review

Widely known for his role as Doug on the hit CBS sitcom King of Queens, here are 5 things you may not know  about James.

STORY: Watch the Trailer for Kevin James' 'Zookeeper'

1.     Born of German descent, his real last name is Knipfing. His father owned an insurance agency while his mother was a homemaker.

2.     Comedian Gary Valentine, born Knipfing, is his older brother. Valentine played the role of James’ cousin on Queens.

3.     James practiced wrestling in high school, graduating in 1983. Afterward, he attended SUNY Cortland and was a member of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity, though he did not ultimately earn his degree.

4.     He and wife Steffiana de la Cruz named their 2nd daughter, Shea Joelle, after Shea Stadium. The baseball park was subsequently torn down and replaced with Citi Field.

5.     This is only the second time James has been the solo lead after Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which opened to $31.8 million and grossed $146.3 million domestically. Zookeeper is looking to gross around $20 million.