David Paymer

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David Paymer
Born (1954-08-30) August 30, 1954 (age 60)
Oceanside, New York, U.S.
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Actor, director
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Liz Georges (1988-present; 2 children)

David Paymer (born August 30, 1954) is an American actor and television director, seen in such films as Mr. Saturday Night, Quiz Show, Searching for Bobby Fischer, City Slickers, Crazy People, State and Main, Payback, Get Shorty, Carpool, The American President, Ocean's Thirteen, and Drag Me to Hell. Paymer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1992 for Mr. Saturday Night. He played the lead role as the Boss in Bartleby, an adaptation of Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener." He played a mob boss in the short-lived series Line of Fire.

Personal life[edit]

Paymer was born in Oceanside, New York, the son of Sylvia, a travel agent, and Marvin Paymer, a pianist and musical director[1] who originally worked in the scrap metal business. The two divorced in 1973.[2] Paymer is Jewish; his mother was born in Belgium and left for the United States because of the Nazi occupation.[3] Paymer has a brother, Steve, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in theater and psychology. Paymer is married to Liz Georges, with whom he has two children.


Paymer's acting career began in 1979 with the film The In-Laws. Paymer has appeared in over 90 films in his career. He has also appeared in many popular television shows, including Taxi, Happy Days, L.A. Law, Ghost Whisperer, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Entourage. He has had recurring roles on Cheers, Murphy Brown, and The Larry Sanders Show. He has also appeared in such films as Amistad, City Hall, RFK, and Into the West. Paymer has also dabbled into the world of animation, lending his voice to the character "Sheldon" in the Kids' WB cartoon series Channel Umptee-3 and in Balto 3: Wings of Change as neurotic Welsh Terrier Mel.

Paymer has directed episodes of several popular television series, including Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Melrose Place, Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, and Bunheads. He also appears in a cameo for an AT&T commercial in 2011.


Year Film Role Notes
1979 The In-Laws Cab Driver
1981 This House Possessed Pasternak
1982 Airplane II: The Sequel Court Photographer
1982 Fame The Salesman episode 6
1983 Grace Kelly Jay Kanter
1984 Best Defense Kurly
Irreconcilable Differences Alan Sluiser
1985 Perfect Managing Editor
1986 Downtown Captain David Kiner
Howard the Duck Larry
Night of the Creeps Young scientist
1987 No Way Out David
1988 Rock 'n' Roll Mom Boris
1989 No Holds Barred Unger
1990 Crazy People George
1991 City Slickers Ira Shalowitz
1991-96 The Commish Arnie Metzger
1992 Mr. Saturday Night Stan Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1993 Searching for Bobby Fischer Kalev
Heart and Souls Hal
1994 City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold Ira Shalowitz
"In Search of Dr. Seuss" Ad Man
Quiz Show Dan Enright
Cagney & Lacey: The Return Feldberg
1995 Cagney & Lacey: Together Again Feldberg
Get Shorty Leo Devoe Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The American President Leon Kodak
Nixon Ron Ziegler Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1996 Unforgettable Curtis Avery
City Hall Abe Goodman
Carpool Daniel Miller
Crime of the Century David Wilentz Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1997 The Sixth Man Pederson
Gang Related Elliot Goff
Amistad John Forsyth
Channel Umptee-3 Sheldon S. Cargo (voice)
1998 The Lesser Evil George
Outside Ozona Alan Defaux
Mighty Joe Young Dr. Harry Ruben
1999 Payback Stegman
Chill Factor Dr. Richard Long
Mumford Dr. Ernest Delbanco
The Hurricane Myron Bedlock
2000 State and Main Marty Rossen Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Bait Agent Wooly
For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story Embassy interviewer
Partners Bob
Bounce Prosecuting Attorney Mandel (uncredited)
Enemies of Laughter Paul Halpern
2001 Focus Mr. Finkelstein
Bartleby The Boss
2002 Joe and Max Joe Jacobs
RFK Dick Goodwin
2003 Alex & Emma John Shaw
Line of Fire Jonah Malloy 13 episodes
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
2004 In Good Company Morty
Spartan TV News Anchor (uncredited)
2005 School of Life Matt Warner
Warm Springs Louis Howe
Checking Out Ted Applebaum
2006 Ghost Whisperer Adam Godfrey Episode: "A Grave Matter"
2007 Resurrecting the Champ Whitley
Ocean's Thirteen V.U.P.
2008 Redbelt Richard
2009 Drag Me to Hell Mr. Jacks
2009-2012 The Good Wife Judge Richard Cuesta 5 episodes
2011 Twixt Sam Malkin
2012 The Five-Year Engagement Pete Solomon
2014 Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Dixon Lewis[4]


External links[edit]