Johnny Knoxville (born Philip John Clap) didn't make it into movies the traditional way. He moved to California from Knoxville, Tennessee, and he acted in a few bit parts in the the likes of The Ben Stiller Show and Desert Blues , and starred in a few commercials, but when his career didn't take off as planned, he took work on skateboard magazine Big Brother.
After pitching a feature in which he tested self defence equipment on himself, Jackass was tentatively born, and gradually Knoxville recruited the various members of the team.
Spike Jonze helped launch the show, which was grabbed by MTV, and Knoxville suddenly became one of the best known faces on TV.
Pain Rating? Ludicrously high, with Knoxville committing various heinous acts of disrespect upon his own person. Though it was ultimately the breakdown of the relationship with MTV, as opposed to any physical injuries, that brought the show to an end.
Life Without Dick (2002)
Jackass (and the perpetual controversy cloud that hung over it) brought Knoxville international fame, and it wasn't long before he started flexing his 'proper' acting muscles again. The first such movie was Life Without Dick .
Knoxville plays title character Dick, an obnoxious private eye whose put upon girlfriend (Sarah Jessica Parker) accidentally shoots (and kills) him, before eloping with his would-be assassin.
Paint Rating? Well taking a slug in the guts has gotta hurt, but he probably did the right thing by ducking out of this lame comedy early on.
Big Trouble (2002)
Knoxville's next movie role was in comedy Big Trouble , which must have seemed like an amazing stroke of luck for the prankster stuntman. Director Barry Sonnenfeld was hot off the back of Men in Black and Get Shorty , and Knoxville got to rub shoulders with a talented comedy cast including Tim Allen, Stanley Tucci, Janeane Garofalo and Jason Lee.
Perhaps the vastness of the cast was part of the problem, with Knoxville failing to get much of a look in. Sadly this overstuffed crime comedy doesn't have anywhere near the amount of laughs or thrills required to sustain interest in the convoluted plot. The fact that the film was postponed in aftermath of 9/11 didn't help matters.
Pain Rating? Average: a fire extinguisher in the head probably counts as small fry for Prince of Pain Knoxville.
Deuces Wild (2002)
More criminal activity for Knoxville here. This 50s-set drama had Martin Scorsese billed as exec-producer, and was directed by The Basketball Diaries ' Scott Calvert.
The period detail is convincing, but cliches abound, and once again Knoxville is drowned in an overstuffed cast including Matt Dillon, Brad Renfro, Steven Dorff, James Franco, Debbie Harry, Malcolm in the Middle 's Frankie Muniz and at least three Sopranos regulars.
Pain Rating? As the gang violence escalates, it's hard to even keep track of Knoxville, let alone assess any damage he suffers.
Men in Black II (2002)
Undoubtedly Knoxville's highest profile acting gig to date, he took direction from Barry Sonnenfeld once again to play henchman to big bad Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle). He kinda played two roles: humanoid alien Scrad, and argumental, superfluous mini-head Charlie.
It's a shame that the film was such an absolute stinker, with a plot that shamelessly re-trod the original's footsteps with none of the clever laughs or freshness that made the first such a winner. Knoxville's given nothing to serve his comic sensibilities in this poor sequel that sets the bar low for MIB III .
Pain Rating? Dunno: Knoxville's character seems to just disappear unexplained in the middle of a fight scene, and isn't deemed worthy of a follow-up mention.
Jackass: The Movie (2002)
It wasn't long before Johnny Knoxville was back to doing what he does best in the first movie adaptation of the TV show. The team were able to take the stunts to extremes that would've never made it onto the network-censored TV show.
Playing like an extended episode (don't worry, the movie format doesn't mean that Knoxville and crew try to include a story of any description), the stunts include golf buggy bumper cars, human bowling and crawling across a floor of mousetraps. Wince-inducing, sure, but you're also likely to hurt your sides laughing.
Pain Rating? Knoxville's animal encounters are often the worst, and here he has a baby alligator clamp onto his nipple. Watch through your fingers.
Grand Theft Parsons (2003)
Knoxville slipped into semi-serious mode for this loosely-based-on-fact drama. It's 1973, and influential country singer Gram Parsons (Gabriel Macht) has died, aged 26. His road manager Phil Kaufman (Knoxville) tries to fulfil a promise to his departed friend by cremating his body in the Joshua Tree National Park.
Knoxville shows surprising restraint in this black comedy, his first proper lead role ( Jackass doesn't count). Christina Applegate is the ex-girlfriend who's after Parsons' body to secure her inheritance, and Michael Shannon is a fellow stoner who joins Kaufman on the Easy Rider -esque pilgrimage.
Pain Rating? He survives relatively unscathed by downplaying his Jackass persona.
Walking Tall (2004)
One of the stepping stones in Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's journey to action cinema domination, before he decided to go down the kiddie-friendly family flick route.
Army guy Chris Vaughn (Johnson) returns home to find that a casino owner is driving the town to ruin. In an effort to sort things out, he runs for Sheriff, gets the job, and makes his wisecracking buddy Ray (Knoxville) his deputy. An entertaining, if unchallenging, actioner.
Pain Rating? The Rock does most of the heavy lifting here, though Knoxville has since experienced some pain in the WWE ring.
A Dirty Shame (2004)
Knoxville was very much back in broad humour mode for John Waters' sex comedy. A small-town community are gradually becoming sex addicts after a series of bumps on the head, and Knoxville's sex guru Ray Ray Martin takes full advantage of the burgeoning revolution.
The role plays up to Knoxville's wolfy charisma, but the crude humour is the wrong side of cartoonish, and the movie fails to engage the brain while stimulating the gag reflex.
Pain Rating? He's all about pleasure in this one.
Lords of Dogtown (2005)
Next up for Knoxville was a small role in Catherine Hardwicke's movie about the 'Z Boys', a group of surfers who took to the streets to become a skateboarding phenomenon.
Knoxville turns up as Topper Burks, a white-suited impresario who coaxes one of the boys away from the team with the promise of big bucks. The movie sports some decent performances, notably from Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch, and boasts a script from real-life Z boy Stacy Peralta (who also directed an ace documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys , on the same subject).
Pain Rating? Knoxville doesn't actually set foot on a board in this movie, so he avoids any embarrassing wipeouts.
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Yee-hah, indeed. Knoxville once again proves that his talents extend further than his high tolerance for pain, making an effective brotherly pairing with Sean William Scott, and investing the knowing laughs with genuine charm and screen presence.
In fact, Burt Reynolds, Willie Nelson and Jessica Simpson are all pretty well-suited to their roles, but sadly the script doesn't quite know what to do with its retro source material. The biggest sin, though, is that the car chases lack the thrill and excitement that the Charger so desperately needs for its big-screen rampage.
Pain Rating? Redneck Luke manages to get into a few bar-room scrapes.
Daltry Calhoun (2005)
Knoxville proves that he's often at his best when playing in smaller-scale, offbeat fare, such as this Quentin Tarantino-produced number. He was back on familiar soil in this Tennessee-set movie, in which he plays a ne'er-do-well reunited with his musical prodigy daughter.
Decent moments, and the presence of the ever-charming Elizabeth Banks, fail to help this cohere into a meaningful whole, despite the quality of Knoxville's performance.
Pain Rating? It's quirky indie emotional pain here, as opposed to any kind of physical torture.
The Ringer (2005)
Knoxville took the lead in the this Special Olympics comedy. He puts the effort in, approaching his hateful character with the same zeal as Adam Sandler at his most irritating, but fails to snag any laughs.
The weak script treads too cautiously around the touchy subject matter, making Knoxville's character (and his romance with Katherine Heigl) impossible to root for. Thankfully the game supporting cast, and a delightfully un-PC Brian Cox, save this from being totally unwatchable.
Pain Rating? Satisfyingly high: the premise affords Knoxville any number of pratfalls and much-deserved beatings.
Jackass: Number Two (2006)
Knoxville stepped away from acting again to return to the Jackass fold. After a having a few of his fictional efforts underwhelm at the box office, he returns to the guaranteed profitability of his signature injury-centric franchise.
Despite having forged a respectable acting career, Knoxville refuses to back down in the dumb stunt stakes: the can't-bear-to-watch highlight has to be Knoxville's blindfolded showdown with an angry bull. It's hardly going to convert any newcomers, but for fans it's as gleefully good fun as ever.
Pain Rating? Raging bulls, rocket-powered bicycles, and a game of dodgeball (with medicine balls) up the already excruciatingly high ante…
As well as a few guest voice roles in King of the Hill , The Goode Family and Family Guy , Knoxville also appeared in the pilot episode of Unhitched , a sitcom revolving around the life of a recently divorced guy (Craig Bierko) who struggles to re-enter the dating scene.
The show was produced by the Farrelly Brothers (who also oversaw The Ringer ), but it only lasted for six episodes before cancellation.
Pain Rating? Knoxville's brief role as a pimp doesn't see him come to any physical harm.
Father of Invention (2010)
Knoxville is back in quirky indie comedy territory for this movie, which stars Kevin Spacey as a sleazy entrepreneur sentenced to eight years in prison for selling a faulty product. When he emerges from the slammer, he tries to patch up his relationship with his daughter, and is reduced to working for Oswald (Knoxville).
Father of Invention has had an extremely limited release around the world, and it's unlikely we'll see it on these shores any time soon.
Pain Rating? We'll probably be excused from the opportunity of ever finding out.
Jackass 3D (2010)
Knoxville returns to what he does best in this latest, three-dimensional installment in the spectacular self-harm franchise (which is now a decade old). Old favourites Bam Margera, Steve-O and Wee Man join Knoxville in this new pain odyssey.
Along with the 3D, the production values have been further improved by the use of 1000-frames-per-second super-slo-mo cameras, so expect this one to really bruise.
The box office receipts in the US showed that there's still a healthy profit to be made from injuring yourself in style. Will you be catching Jackass 3D when it hits cinemas this Friday?