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Paul Dooley

Paul Dooley

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Also Known As: Paul Brown Died:
Born: February 22, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA Profession: actor, executive, screenwriter, clown, magician

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An agreeably rumpled, very hard-working character actor of film and television, Paul Dooley has been active in big-budget and independent features, excelling in both lead roles and bit parts. Initially an aspiring cartoonist, Dooley got his start with the Second City theater group, making his New York stage debut in the early 1950s. Here he was discovered by Mike Nichols, who cast the actor as one of the poker buddies in the original 1965 Broadway production of "The Odd Couple". When star Art Carney left the play, Dooley replaced him as Felix opposite Walter Matthau's Oscar. The actor started his film career soon thereafter with work in such features as "What's So Bad About Feeling Good?" (1968), "The Out-of-Towners" (1970), "Death Wish" (1974) and "Slap Shot" (1977). Dooley's big break finally came at the age of 50 when Robert Altman cast him as the patriarch in his all-star "A Wedding" (1978). The actor went on to work with the director several more times, starring in "A Perfect Couple" (1979), acting in and co-writing the comedy "Health" (1980), playing Wimpy in the odd "Popeye" (also 1980), taking lead in "O.C. and Stiggs" (1987) and contributing a cameo to "The Player" (1992). ...

An agreeably rumpled, very hard-working character actor of film and television, Paul Dooley has been active in big-budget and independent features, excelling in both lead roles and bit parts. Initially an aspiring cartoonist, Dooley got his start with the Second City theater group, making his New York stage debut in the early 1950s. Here he was discovered by Mike Nichols, who cast the actor as one of the poker buddies in the original 1965 Broadway production of "The Odd Couple". When star Art Carney left the play, Dooley replaced him as Felix opposite Walter Matthau's Oscar. The actor started his film career soon thereafter with work in such features as "What's So Bad About Feeling Good?" (1968), "The Out-of-Towners" (1970), "Death Wish" (1974) and "Slap Shot" (1977). Dooley's big break finally came at the age of 50 when Robert Altman cast him as the patriarch in his all-star "A Wedding" (1978). The actor went on to work with the director several more times, starring in "A Perfect Couple" (1979), acting in and co-writing the comedy "Health" (1980), playing Wimpy in the odd "Popeye" (also 1980), taking lead in "O.C. and Stiggs" (1987) and contributing a cameo to "The Player" (1992).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Cars 2 (2011)
2.
 Thanks (2011)
3.
 Horsemen (2009)
4.
 Chronic Town (2008)
5.
6.
 Bedtime Stories (2008)
7.
 Hairspray (2007)
9.
 Cars (2006)
10.
 Come Away Home (2005)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1946:
Served in the United States Navy
1951:
Began acting career
:
Appeared in the Off-Broadway production of "The Threepenny Opera"
:
Joined (and remains a charter member of) New York comedy troupe Second City
1965:
Spotted by Mike Nichols, who cast him as a poker player in "The Odd Couple"; subsequently replaced Art Carney as Felix opposite Walter Matthau's Oscar
:
Had early TV role in "Get Smart" (NBC, CBS)
1968:
Screen acting debut in "What's So Bad About Feeling Good?"
1968:
Appeared on "The Dom DeLuise Show" (CBS)
1970:
Acted in Arthur Hiller's "The Out-of-Towners"
1971:
Co-created and co-wrote the acclaimed children's TV show "The Electric Company" (PBS)
1974:
Had early film roles in "The Gravy Train" and "Death Wish"
1977:
Featured in the comedy "Slap Shot"
1979:
Played the grumpy father of Dennis Christopher in "Breaking Away"
1979:
Starred in Altman's "A Perfect Couple"
1980:
Reteamed with Altman, playing Wimpy in "Popeye"
1980:
Co-wrote screenplay and acted in Altman's "Health"
:
Starred in the one-man Off-Broadway production "The Amazing Casey Stengel" at the American Place Theatre
1981:
Made TV-movie debut in "Momma the Detective" (NBC)
1981:
Featured in David Steinberg's directorial debut "Paternity"
1983:
Acted in the "Faerie Tale Theatre" production of "Hansel and Gretel" (Showtime)
1983:
Co-starred in "Strange Brew", the film starring and directed by SCTV's McKenzie brothers, Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis
1983:
Acted in Steinberg's spoof "Going Berserk"
1984:
Played Molly Ringwald's father in the John Hughes comedy "Sixteen Candles"
1985:
Guest starred on the ABC drama "Spenser: For Hire"
1986:
Featured in the John Cassavetes comedy "Big Trouble"
1987:
Acted in Altman's "O.C. and Stiggs"
:
Had a recurring role as a neighbor on the NBC sitcom "ALF"
:
Made TV series regular debut as a reluctant retiree on the CBS sitcom "Coming of Age"
1989:
Played the father of a young woman fighting for justice after an acquaintance raped her in the CBS TV-movie "When He's Not a Stranger"
1990:
Had a recurring role on "thirtysomething" (ABC)
1990:
Featured in the TNT biopic "The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson"
1991:
Made guest appearances on episodes of "Evening Shade" (CBS), "Coach" and "The Wonder Years" (both ABC)
1991:
Played Hal Roach in the TV-movie dramatization "White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd" (NBC)
1992:
Acted in the comedy TV series "The Ben Stiller Show" (Fox)
1993:
Had an Emmy-nominated guest turn on the HBO sitcom "Dream On", playing the gay father of the series protagonist
1993:
Had supporting roles in the silly comedy "My Boyfriend's Back" and the gothic drama "A Dangerous Woman"
:
Had recurring role on the ABC sitcom "Grace Under Fire"
1994:
Played Herb Tolliver in the PBS miniseries "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City"
1994:
Appeared in episodes of the drama series "Chicago Hope" (CBS), "Sisters" (NBC) and "My So-Called Life" (ABC)
:
Had recurring role as the self-involved refinery boss on the ABC sitcom "Grace Under Fire"
:
Acted on the syndicated series "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"
1995:
Featured in Steven Soderburgh's "The Underneath"
1997:
Starred as Coach Buck in the ABC "Wonderful World of Disney" presentation "Angels in the Endzone"
1997:
Played a priest in "Telling Lies in America"; featured in the independents "Clockwatchers" and "Loved"
1999:
Had a recurring guest role as Judge Swackheim on "The Practice" (ABC); was nominated for an Emmy for his performance
1999:
Played Julia Roberts' hard-drinking widowed father in the romantic comedy "Runaway Bride"
2001:
Featured in the sports drama feature "Madison" (filmed in 1999); screened at Sundance; released theatrically in 2002
2001:
Had a co-starring role in the romantic comedy "A Woman's A Helluva Thing" ; screened at Seattle Film Festival
2005:
Cast opposite Jenny McCarthy in John Mallory Asher's "Dirty Love"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

West Virginia University: Morgantown , West Virginia - 1952
West Virginia University: Morgantown , West Virginia - 1952

Notes

"I've been hired for many father roles where the producers think they'll get the same performance as in 'Breaking Away', but they don't realize you can't do it without that kind of writing. I'm the same actor, but the words have to be right." --quoted in Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1999.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Donna Lee Wasser. Married in 1958; divorced.
wife:
Winnie Holzman. Writer. Second wife; married on November 18, 1984; wrote for the last two seasons of "thirtysomething"; creator of (and writer for) the acclaimed teen drama series "My So-Called Life" (ABC, 1994-95).

Family close complete family listing

father:
Peter James Brown. Factory worker.
mother:
Ruth Irene Brown.
child:
Robin Dooley. Mother, Donna Wasser.
son:
Adam Dooley. Mother, Donna Wasser.
son:
Peter Dooley. Mother, Donna Wasser.
daughter:
Savannah Dooley. Mother, Winnie Holzman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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