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Modern Family's Ty Burrell Was A 'Creepy Guy In A Van' While Getting His Start In Acting

"Modern Family" is easily one of the most successful sitcoms of the last decade. Taking the faux documentary approach of "The Office" and applying it to a layered, multicultural family, the series utilized the dual format to regularly get twice the laughs out of its increasingly absurd scenarios.

In fact, the show became such a hit that even its less famous stars like Ariel Winter, Sarah Hyland, and Ty Burrell became breakout successes. However, while Burrell is now famous for portraying bumbling dad Phil Dunphy on "Modern Family," the actor has a hilariously off-putting take on what his life was like when getting his start as an actor.

As Burrell explained to Playboy (via USA Today), when he was going through graduate school, he regularly lived in a van and only had a single date over the course of a year. "Basically, when my date figured out I was living in my van, I didn't hear from her again," Burrell recalled.

"The funniest thing was I was confused about why. I was like. 'What's the problem?' I didn't realize I was the creepy guy in a van," the actor mused. "What could possibly be holding up this relationship? The van pretty much eliminated my dating life completely."

Ty Burrell says he still has fond memories of this time

Despite not realizing how he might have been perceived during this time period, the "Modern Family" star explained that he has a lot of happy memories from his late 20s. "Honestly, some of my best memories are of that period," Ty Burrell explained. "I was busy with grad school, so I had real purpose. I had focus and a routine."

"I would get up, go shower in the gym, read scripts, and memorize them in the van," the actor continued. "You know the way people talk about prison as a meditative, transforming place? The van was like a little prison cell — only without all the other terrible prison stuff going on."

However, even if Burrell wasn't setting the dating world on fire during that time of his life, he did have support. "I would stay with my mentors, husband-and-wife professors, and then sleep on their porch for a while," the actor recalled. "Then I'd live in the van." Well, fortunately for Burrell, after spending over a decade on "Modern Family," it would appear that his days of living such a meager life are well behind him.