Well known for his seamless and varied characterizations, Oscar nominated actor David Paymer has starred or co-starred in more than 40 motion pictures, several television movies and countless television series. He discovered his love of acting while performing in school plays. He continued his pursuit of acting at the University of Michigan, where he double-majored in theatre and psychology and appeared in many summer stock and dinner theatre productions.
Shortly after graduation Paymer attended an open casting call for the musical "Grease," and landed the role of "Sonny Latieri" in the national touring company and on Broadway. Not long after his Broadway stint, he was cast in his first feature film, "The In-Laws," directed by Arthur Hiller, which eventually brought him to Hollywood.
His first job after moving to Los Angeles was playing an inept burglar on a memorable episode of "Barney Miller." Other TV shows followed, including guest starring roles on "Hill Street Blues," "Taxi," "Lou Grant," "Cheers," "Murphy Brown," "L.A. Law" and "Moonlighting." It wasn't long before he began appearing regularly in such notable films as "No Way Out," "Irreconcilable Differences," "Heart and Souls," "Crazy People" and "Searching For Bobby Fischer." He also co-starred in the highly successful "City Slickers" and "City Slickers 2: Curly's Gold." However, it was his role in "Mr. Saturday Night" that brought his best notices to date. His performance as Billy Crystal's put-upon brother in the film won him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor of 1992, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.
Paymer's sly, subtle portrayal of the conniving producer in "Quiz Show," directed by Robert Redford, ultimately led to more edgy and textured characters in such movies as "Get Shorty," directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, "Nixon," directed by Oliver Stone, and "The American President," directed by Rob Reiner. He also starred in and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for HBO's dramatic film about the Lindberg baby kidnapping, "Crime of the Century" directed by Mark Rydell. Other notable films notable films include "Payback," "Mighty Joe Young," "Mumford," directed by Lawrence Kasdan, "The Hurricane," directed by Norman Jewison, "State and Main," directed by David Mamet, and "Amistad," directed by Steven Speilberg.
Paymer is also venturing behind the camera. He directed the short film "Candor City Hospital" for Showtime, and will direct an upcoming episode of the series "Everwood" this season.
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Paymer currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Liz Georges, and their daughters Emily and Julia.
HOMETOWN: LongIsland, NY
BIRTHDATE: August 30