Paul Willson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Paul Willson
Paul Lee Willson

(1945-12-25) December 25, 1945 (age 73)
Years active1970–present

Paul Lee Willson[1] (born December 25, 1945) is an American actor, most notable for his television work. He was born in Fairmont, Minnesota, the son of Doris Geraldine and Lee Wilford Willson.[1]

Willson has played numerous guest characters on a variety of shows including Full House as Stu in episode "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor" in 1990, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boston Public, Caroline in the City, The Newsroom and Star Trek: Voyager. He is perhaps most famous for his repeated guest character of "Paul Krapence" on the television show Cheers (which he also reprised in an episode of the Cheers spin-off, Frasier). His character was originally called "Gregg" because Paul Vaughn was already playing a character named "Paul" on Cheers. For five years (1986-1990) he was Garry Shandling's neighbor "Leonard Smith" on It's Garry Shandling's Show. Willson also appeared on Garry Shandling's The Larry Sanders Show playing Larry's accountant, and the brother of Sid the cue card holder. He played Ed, a neighbor, in a few episodes of Malcolm in the Middle. His film appearances include The Pack (1977), The Devonsville Terror (1983), My Best Friend Is a Vampire (1987), Moving (1988), 976-EVIL (1988), Problem Child 2 (1991), Circuitry Man (1990), Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II (1994) and the comedy film Office Space (1999) as one of "The Bobs". Willson also appeared on the CBS sitcoms The King of Queens and The Big Bang Theory. He was recently[when?] in a promotional video for the Nintendo DS game Personal Trainer: Cooking with Fred Willard.

Although primarily recognized for his television work, he has been noted as a "great improv player" by Garry Shandling as a result of their time working together doing improv in the late 1970s.[2] Cheers producer Ken Levine has also acknowledged Willson as "one of the greatest improv artists I have EVER seen."[3]

Since 2012 he has appeared in television ads for Safeco Insurance.


  1. ^ a b "Paul Willson Biography (1945-)". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ DVD commentary from It's Garry Shandling's Show, season 2, episode 18, "No Baby, No Show"
  3. ^ Levine, Ken. "The CHEERS names not everybody knows". Retrieved 21 October 2016.

External links[edit]