David Paymer: Versatile Actor With Decades Of Comedy In Hollywood

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By David

Real Name:David Emmanuel Paymer
Birthday:August 30, 1954
Net WorthN/A
Height:170 cm
Occupation:American Actor, Comedian, Television Director

David Paymer is a versatile and accomplished actor, comedian, and television director. With a career spanning decades, Paymer has established himself as one of the modern TV and movie industry’s most reliable character actors. Hailing from a traditional middle-class Jewish family, Paymer defied expectations to pursue his passion for acting from an early age.

Over the years, David Paymer has delivered memorable performances in an array of films, including Mr. Saturday Night, Quiz Show, Searching for Bobby Fischer, City Slickers, Crazy People, State and Main, Payback, Get Shorty, and The American President, among others. His dedication to the craft has earned him recognition and respect from both peers and audiences alike, as he continues to captivate viewers with his distinct on-screen presence.

Early Life and Education

David Paymer was born on August 30, 1954, in Oceanside, New York. He grew up in a middle-class, Jewish family, with his parents Marvin and Sylvia. Marvin Paymer worked as a pianist and musical director, while Sylvia was a travel agent. The couple eventually divorced in 1973. Sylvia, born in Belgium, had immigrated to the United States to escape the Nazi occupation during World War II.

As a young adult, Paymer left Oceanside to attend the University of Michigan, where he pursued his passion for acting. It was here that he began honing his skills and laying the foundation for his future career as a successful character actor in film and television.

Career in Film and Television

Big Break

David Paymer’s career in film and television began with smaller roles, but his big break came with the 1992 film Mr. Saturday Night, where he portrayed the character of Stan. This role catapulted him into the spotlight and established him as a highly sought-after actor.

Best Supporting Actor

Paymer’s exceptional performance in Mr. Saturday Night earned him a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. This nomination further cemented his position in the industry and opened up various opportunities for diverse roles.

Character Actor

A versatile actor, Paymer has since portrayed a wide range of characters in both film and television. Notably, he has appeared in movies such as Quiz Show, City Slickers, Payback, Get Shorty, The American President, The Hurricane, and Drag Me to Hell. He has also been a part of acclaimed films like Silver Linings Playbook, Amistad, and Nixon, showcasing his ability to adapt and excel in various genres.

In TV, Paymer has appeared in numerous shows including a recurring role on Line of Fire. Apart from acting, he has expanded his skillset, delving into producing and directing as well. His experience in the world of television has further solidified his position as a well-respected figure in the industry.

Directing and Producing

Television Director

David Paymer has had a successful career as a television director, showcasing his skills and creativity behind the camera. Working on various television series throughout the years, Paymer has consistently demonstrated his talent for directing compelling stories and performances. One notable example of his work as a television director is the Rocket Power series, where he enhanced the show’s unique visual style and engaging narratives.


Though primarily known for his work in films and television, David Paymer’s contributions to the world of directing and producing extend to the Broadway stage. As an accomplished creative force in the industry, Paymer has brought his expertise, dedication, and artistry to many projects, garnering respect and admiration from his peers and critics alike.

In conclusion, David Paymer’s work as a director and producer spans various mediums, from television shows to Broadway productions. His proficient storytelling skills and commitment to excellence have earned him a well-deserved reputation in the entertainment industry.

Personal Life

Liz George

David Paymer married actress Liz George in 1988. Liz George, a talented voice actress, has been an essential part of his life ever since. Together, they share a strong bond and support each other in their respective careers.

The couple has two children, Jules and Emily Paymer. They have managed to maintain a successful personal life and continue to nurture their family with love and care.

Jewish Roots

Paymer was born to a family with Jewish roots. His father, Marvin Paymer, was a pianist and musical director, while his mother, Edythe, worked as a travel agent. It is evident that his Jewish background has played a significant role in shaping his life and career.

Growing up in a creative family environment, Paymer developed an interest in acting from an early age. The support and encouragement from his parents helped pave the way for his success in showbiz.

Legacy and Recognition

Academy Award Nomination

David Paymer’s impactful performances throughout his career have earned him recognition and accolades within the entertainment industry. One notable milestone in his career was his Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1992 for his role in the film Mr. Saturday Night. Although he did not win the award, this achievement reflects the high regard for his acting talents and his ability to leave a lasting impression on audiences.

Character Actor

Throughout his career, David Paymer has solidified his reputation as a skilled character actor, taking on a wide range of roles in films and television series. His dedication to his craft has resulted in unforgettable portrayals of various characters, such as in films like Quiz Show, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and The American President. His ability to embody diverse roles and bring them to life with depth and nuance has made him a sought-after talent in the industry.

Moreover, Paymer’s extensive body of work showcases his versatility as an actor, taking on roles in dramas, comedies, and thriller films. This range of genres highlights his adaptability and skill, earning him respect and admiration from both peers and critics alike. With a career spanning several decades, David Paymer’s legacy and recognition as a remarkable character actor in Hollywood is well-deserved and continues to be celebrated.