Paul Dooley - Rotten Tomatoes

Paul Dooley

Highest Rated:   98% The Player (1992)
Lowest Rated:   11% Employee of the Month (2004)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA
Paul Dooley is fondly remembered by fans of '80s cinema as the forgetful but well-intending father of a disgruntled Molly Ringwald in the John Hughes teen classic Sixteen Candles (1984). The longtime character actor's droopy, distinctive features and endearing onscreen warmth have kept him a familiar figure in both film and television. A Parkersurg, WV, native who originally aspired to become a cartoonist, Dooley drew comic strips for a local newspaper before entering the navy. Upon discharge, the future actor entered college, where he discovered his passion for the stage. A move to New York found the aspiring actor landing frequent stage work, and after discovering a previously untapped ability for comedy, Dooley tried his hand at standup for about five years. Always looking to expand his skills, he made his film debut in the 1970 comedy The Out-of-Towners. From 1971 to 1972, Dooley was also head writer for the popular children's television series The Electric Company. After showing promise in such late-'70s efforts as Slap Shot (1977) and A Wedding (1978), Dooley made a big impression with his supporting role as the lead character's worrisome father in Breaking Away (1979). Though he was overlooked at Oscar time, he was nominated for a New York Film Critics Circle award and won the National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actor. He kicked off the most successful decade of his film career with a performance as Wimpy in the much-maligned Robert Altman musical comedy Popeye (1980). Besides his memorable turn in Sixteen Candles, Dooley also delivered hilarious performances in the 1980s films Strange Brew (1983) and John Cassavetes' Big Trouble (1985). Fans of the extraterrestrial comedy series ALF will also remember him as the curiously named Whizzer Deaver.Though his feature roles through the 1990s largely consisted of such B-grade fare as My Boyfriend's Back (1993) and Error in Judgment (1998), Dooley managed to stay on top thanks to parts in such popular television series as Mad About You, Dream On, Grace Under Fire, and The Practice. He also took on occasional roles in more notable films, including Waiting for Guffman (1996), Clockwatchers (1997), Happy, Texas (1999), and Runaway Bride (also 1999), which served to remind movie buffs just how funny the talented comic actor could be when given the opportunity. Dooley's performances in such later efforts as Insomnia (2002) hinted at a darker side rarely explored by the usually jovial actor. In 2003, after re-teaming with Waiting for Guffman cohort Christopher Guest to blow A Mighty Wind, he took a supporting role in former MTV beauty queen Jenny McCarthy's comedy Dirty Love.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
88% Other People
  • Ronnie
2016
No Score Yet My Santa
  • Martin
2013
39% Cars 2
  • Sarge
2011
72% Sunshine Cleaning
  • Actor
2009
25% Bedtime Stories
  • Hot Dog Vendor
2008
No Score Yet Chronic Town
  • Eleanor's Father
2008
91% Hairspray
  • Mr. Spritzer
2007
51% For Your Consideration
  • `Paper Badge' Sergeant
2006
74% Cars
  • Sarge
2006
No Score Yet Come Away Home
  • Grandpa Donald
2005
29% Madison
  • Mayor Don Vaughn
2005
11% Employee of the Month
  • Rev. Ben Goodwin
2004
88% A Mighty Wind
  • George Menschell
2003
No Score Yet Comfort and Joy
  • George Berry
2003
No Score Yet Stealing Time
  • Hank
2003
92% Insomnia
  • Chief Charles Nyback
2002
No Score Yet Crazy Little Thing (The Perfect You)
  • Dad
2002
No Score Yet A Woman's a Helluva Thing
  • Hank
2001
81% Happy, Texas
  • Judge
1999
86% Guinevere
  • Walter
1999
46% Runaway Bride
  • Walter Carpenter
1999
No Score Yet I'll Remember April
  • Earl Schimmel
1999
83% Clockwatchers
  • Dad
1998
No Score Yet Angels in the Endzone
  • Coach Buck
1997
63% Telling Lies in America
  • Father Norton
1997
No Score Yet Loved
  • Leo
1997
91% Waiting for Guffman
  • UFO Abductee
1996
No Score Yet God's Lonely Man
  • Polo
1996
57% The Underneath
  • Ed Dutton
1995
No Score Yet The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
  • Sen. Thatch
1995
No Score Yet Out There
  • Emmett Davis
1995
No Score Yet Evolver
  • Jerry Briggs
1994
No Score Yet State of Emergency
  • Jim Anderson
1994
67% A Dangerous Woman
  • Tupperware Salesman
1993
14% My Boyfriend's Back
  • Big Chuck
1993
No Score Yet Mother of the Bride
  • Richard
1993
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Heartbroken Bride
  • Actor
1992
98% The Player
  • Himself
1992
38% Shakes the Clown
  • Owen Cheese
1992
No Score Yet Frogs!
  • Twittenham
1992
No Score Yet White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd
  • Hal Roach
1991
No Score Yet The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson
  • Actor
1990
38% Flashback
  • Stark
1990
No Score Yet Last Rites
  • Father Freddie
1988
No Score Yet The Murder of Mary Phagan
  • William Burns
1988
No Score Yet Lip Service
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet O.C. and Stiggs
  • Randall Schwab
1987
No Score Yet Monster in the Closet
  • Roy Crane
1987
90% Little Shop of Horrors
  • Actor
1986
No Score Yet Dot and the Whale
  • Actor
1986
No Score Yet Big Trouble
  • Noozel
1986
86% Sixteen Candles
  • Jim
1984
No Score Yet Going Berserk
  • Dr. Ted
1983
73% Strange Brew
  • Claude Elsinore
1983
No Score Yet Kiss Me Goodbye
  • Kendall
1982
No Score Yet Endangered Species
  • Joe Hiatt
1982
No Score Yet Faerie Tale Theatre - Hansel and Gretel
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet Paternity
  • Kurt
1981
59% Popeye
  • Wimpy
1980
No Score Yet Health
  • Dr. Gil Gainey
  • Screenwriter
1980
94% Breaking Away
  • Mr. Stohler
1979
No Score Yet A Perfect Couple
  • Alex Theodopoulos
1979
No Score Yet Rich Kids
  • Simon Peterfreund
1979
78% A Wedding
  • Snooks Brenner
1978
No Score Yet Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure
  • Gazooks
1977
81% Slap Shot
  • Hyannisport Announcer
1977
No Score Yet Up the Sandbox
  • Statue of Liberty Guard
1972
54% The Out-of-Towners
  • Day Hotel Clerk
1970

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
Grace Under Fire
1993-1998
  • John Shirley
No Score Yet Ally McBeal
1997-2002
  • Nicholas Engbloom
No Score Yet Law & Order: Criminal Intent
2001-2011
  • Stan Coffman
No Score Yet Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
1993-1999
  • Enabran Tain Tain
Lass es, Larry!
2000
  • Cheryl's father Cheryl's Father
71% Grey's Anatomy
2005
  • Dr. Walter Tapley
No Score Yet ER
1994-2009
  • Henry Lewis Henry
98% Curb Your Enthusiasm
2000-2011
  • Cheryl's Dad Cheryl's father Cheryl's Father
90% Huge
2010
  • Salty
No Score Yet Desperate Housewives
2004-2012
  • Addison Prudy
No Score Yet Major Crimes
2012
  • Actor
No Score Yet Scrubs
2001-2010
  • Paul
45% The Client List
2012-2013
  • Actor
No Score Yet Private Practice
2007-2013
  • Abe Nussbaum
No Score Yet Criminal Minds
2005
  • Chip Gordon
Boston Legal
2004-2008
  • Judge Wendel Donahue
No Score Yet CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
2000-2015
  • Buddy
No Score Yet Hot in Cleveland
2010-2015
  • Actor
33% Super Fun Night
2013-2014
  • Old Man

Quotes from Paul Dooley's Characters