The Drew Carey Show
American comedian and actor Diedrich Bader is famous for his performance as Oswald Lee Harvey in the ABC sitcom “The Drew Carey Show” (1995-2004). He landed his first regular role on the short lived “Danger Theatre” (1993) and after “The Drew Carey Show” left the airwaves, made an unsuccessful attempt with “Center of the Universe” (2004-2005). Bader has also guest starred in many TV series, including “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “21 Jump Street,” “Quantum Leap,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Murphy Brown,” “Still Standing,” “7th Heaven,” “Monk,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Reno 911,” “CSI: Miami” and “Bones.” On the big screen, he is known for playing roles in “The Beverly Hillbillies” (1993), “Office Space” (1999), “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001), “Napoleon Dynamite” (2004), “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” (2005), “Balls of Fury” (2007) and “Meet the Spartans” (2008). Moviegoers should look forward to his performance in the upcoming comedy “Calvin Marshall” (2010), which stars Alex Frost.
Thanks to his intense easily recognizable tones, Balder has also built a prolific side career as a voice actor. He has lent his distinctive voice to animated series like “Hercules,” “Batman Beyond,” “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” “King of the Hill,” “Kim Possible,” “Grim & Evil,” The Penguins of Madagascar,” “Chowder,” “The Secret Saturdays,” and “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” among others, and the feature films “Ice Age” (2002), “The Country Bears” (2002), “Surf’s Up” (2007) and “Bolt” (2008).
Bader has been married to actress Dulcy Rogers since 1998. They have two kids.
Childhood and Family:
Karl Diedrich Bader, professionally known as Diedrich Bader, was born on December 24, 1966, in Alexandria, Virginia, to William Bader, a former chief of staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the Carter administration, and Gretta Bade, a sculptor. He has two brothers, Christopher and John Bader and a sister named Kathy Pfeiffer. His family relocated to Paris, France, when he was two years old. Bader later returned to the U.S. to attend Groveton High School. He graduated from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, and then attended college at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
In 1998, Diedrich married actress Dulcy Rogers. The couple welcomed their first child, Sebastian, in 2003. Their second child, a daughter named Ondine CaolIla, was born in 2005. The family currently resides in Los Angeles.
While growing up in Paris, Diedrich Bader became a fan of movie legends Fred Astaire and Charlie Chaplin. He knew he wanted to become an actor at the tender age of 4 after getting a standing ovation for his imitation of the “Little Tramp.” Young Bader jumped on stage and entertained audiences after a fragile Chaplin movie reel burned in the theater's projector.
Bader moved back to the United States for high school and after graduating began his professional training in North California. During spring break, he was spotted by a casting director in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a meeting that led to an audition for a small role in a pilot. Bader instead won a starring role, but the pilot was not picked up. Undaunted, he packed his stuff and moved to Los Angeles to find other opportunities.
In 1989, Bader made his TV series debut when he was cast in a small role in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” called “The Emissary,” which was broadcasted on June 24, 1989. Later, in September, he made his TV film debut in ABC's “The Preppie Murder,” which starred William Baldwin and Lara Flynn Boyle. In the early 1990s, he received guest spots in the TV series “21 Jump Street,” “Quantum Leap,” “Broken Badges,” “Cheers,” “Shannon's Deal,” “Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures” and “Flying Blind.” Bader also landed a two episode role in the Will Smith comedy series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1991), where he portrayed Frank Schaeffer.
After struggling for a number of years, Bader finally scored his first break when director Penelope Spheeris cast him as the motorbike riding, leather clad hero on the Fox series “Danger Theatre” (1993). Although the show had a short life (axed after seven episodes), it earned success through syndication. “Danger Theatre” debuted on the BBC in the United Kingdom in 1994.
Still in 1993, Bader again worked with Spheeris in the director's family film “The Beverly Hillbillies,” based on NBC's classic sitcom of the same title. In the movie, he played the important role of Jethro Bodine, a role originated by Max Baer, Jr. in the TV series. Bader starred in the film alongside Jim Varney, Erika Eleniak, Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin and Lea Thompson. The next year, Bader landed a supporting role in the independent film “Teresa's Tattoo,” which was directed by Julie Cypher and starred C. Thomas Howell, Lou Diamond Phillips, Melissa Etheridge, K.D. Lang and Kiefer Sutherland.
Bader returned to series television with guest stints in “Diagnosis Murder,” “All-American Girl” and “Frasier” (all 1995). However, he did not land a regular gig until he was cast as Oswald Lee Harvey, one of Drew's friends, in the sitcom “The Drew Carey Show,” which debuted on ABC on September 13, 1995. He remained on the show throughout its nine seasons run until September 8, 2004.
In 1996, Bader began his career as a voice actor with a three episode role in the ABC animated series “Gargoyles,” where he provided the voice of Jason Canmore. He went on to voice Adonis in the series “Hercules” (1998-1999) and the direct to video sequel “Hercules: Zero to Hero” (1999) and Vol in the animated film “Bartok the Magnificent” (1999), which was released straight to video. He then voiced the zoo director in the cartoon made-for-TV film “Olive, the Other Reindeer” (1999), which starred the voice of Drew Barrymore. He also contributed vocals to three episodes of “Disney's 'Pepper Ann'” (from 1999 to 2000). Besides voice acting, Bader appeared in the TV film “The Assassination File” (1996, starred Sherilyn Fenn and Tom Verica), guest starred in “Murphy Brown” (1997) and offered a memorable portrayal of Peter Gibbons' (played by Ron Livingson) neighbor in the cult hit comedy “Office Space” (1999), helmed and written by Mike Judge.
In 2000, Bader starred as Josh in Robert Dorfman's “Couple Days... A Period Piece,” worked with his wife, Dulcy Rogers, in Stephen James' “Certain Guys” (2000), and reprised the role of Oswald for the TV movie version “Rock & Roll Back to School Special” (2001). He was then cast in Kevin Smith's “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001) and costarred in “Evil Alien Conquerors” (2002). Bader's voice could also be heard in episodes of “The Simpsons” (2000), “Batman Beyond” (2001), “The Legend of Tarzan” (2001), “Baby Blues” (2000-2002,), Disney's animated science fiction series “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command” (8 episodes, 2000-2001, as Warp Darkmatter) and “What's New, Scooby-Doo” (2002, as Uncle Evan), as well as in the animated films “Recess: School's Out” (2001), “Ice Age” (2002, as Saber-Toothed Tiger) and “The Country Bears” (2002). He also recreated the role of Zee in the animated science fiction series “The Zeta Project” (2001-2002), a spin off of “Batman Beyond.”
In 2004, Bader portrayed the supporting role of Rex, a martial arts instructor, in the cult favorite “Napoleon Dynamite,” which was co-written and directed by Jared Hess. He also appeared in the comedies “EuroTrip” and “Dead & Breakfast,” helmed by Matthew Leutwyler. He returned to series TV as a regular after the demise of “The Drew Carey Show” in the CBS short lived sitcom “Center of the Universe” (2004-2005), playing Tommy Barnett, opposite John Goodman as John Barnett. He followed it up with a notable portrayal of stylist Joel Meyers in the Sandra Bullock starring vehicle “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous” (2005), an installment to the surprising hit 2000 film “Miss Congeniality.”
The following years saw Bader land roles in the films “Cook-Off” (2006), which won the Film Discovery Jury Award at the 2007 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, “National Lampoon's Cattle Call” (2006), “Sunny & Share Love You” (2007), “Balls of Fury” (2007, directed by Robert Ben Garant and starring Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken and George Lopez) and “Meet the Spartans” (2008, as Traitoro), among others. He also made guest appearances in “Still Standing” (2005), “Shark” (2006), “7th Heaven” (2007), “Monk” (2007), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (2007), “Reno 911” (2008), “CSI: Miami” (2009), “Drop Dead Diva” (2009) and “Bones” (2009, as Andrew Hacker).
Meanwhile, as a voice actor, Bader worked on countless projects from 2004 to 2009. He lent his voice to the animated movies “Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone” (2005), “Surf’s Up” (2007, as Tank 'The Shredder' Evans) and “Bolt” (2008) as well as the video release “Open Season 2” (2008). In addition, he contributed vocals to a series of the video sequels of “Holly Hobbie and Friends” (as Uncle Dave) and the TV animated series “Grim & Evil” (as Hoss Delgado), “Kim Possible,” “The Replacements,” “Higglytown Heroes,” “The Batman,” “King of the Hill,” “Ben 10: Alien Force,” “The Goode Family,” “The Penguins of Madagascar” and “Chowder.” He also costarred as the voice of Fiskerton in the animated adventure series “The Secret Saturdays” (2008-2009) and had the title role in “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” (2008-2009).
Bader is set to portray Fred Deerfield in the upcoming comedy feature “Calvin Marshall” (2010), which was written and directed by Gary Lundgren and stars Alex Frost. Other actors in the movie include Jeremy Sumpter, Michelle Lombardo, Steve Zahn, Jane Adams, Andrew Wilson and Cynthia Watros.