Paul Reiser
Birth Date:
March 30, 1957
Birth Place:
New York, New York, USA
5' 10" (1.78 m)
Famous for:
His role as Paul Buchman on Mad About You
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Mad About You


“I always loved comedy, but I never knew it was something you could learn to do. I always thought that some people are born comedians, just like some people are born dentists.” Paul Reiser

Paul Reiser is best known for his portrayal of Paul Buchman on the NBC sitcom “Mad About You” (1992-1999), from which he earned nominations for an Emmy, a Golden Globe, an American Comedy Award, a Golden Satellite and a Screen Actors Guild award. In addition to acting, he also produced, composed the theme song and co-created the show. Starting out as a standup comedian in New York, Reiser made his feature acting debut in the Barry Levinson critically acclaimed movie “Diner” (1982). He went on to appear in a number of movies, including “Beverly Hills Cop” (1984) and its sequel “Beverly Hills Cop II” (1987), “Aliens” (1986), “Cross My Heart” (1987), “The Marrying Man” (1991), “The Tower” (1993, TV), “Bye Bye Love” (1995), “The Story of Us” (1999), “One Night at McCool's” (2001), “My Beautiful Son” (2001, TV) and “The Thing About My Folks” (2005), which he also wrote and produced. Prior to “Mad About You,” he had a regular role on “My Two Dads” (1987-1990). In 2005, Reiser was awarded an Artistic Achievement Award at the 2005 Florida Film Festival.

Reiser is also an author and wrote the best selling books “Couplehood” and “Babyhood.” He has a production company called Nuance Productions.

New York

Childhood and Family:

Paul Reiser was born on March 30, 1957, in New York City, New York, to Sam Reiser, a wholesale health food distributor, and Helen, a homemaker. He was educated at the East Side Hebrew Institute in Manhattan and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City in 1973. He then majored in piano and composition at State University of New York, in Binghamton, New York, and received his bachelor's degree in 1977. Paul discovered his knack for comedy early and was active in drama classes while in college. During summer breaks in college, he performed at the Improv and Comic Strip clubs.

On August 21, 1988, Paul married Paula Ravets, a psychotherapist. The couple welcomed their first child, son Ezra Samuel Reiser, in September 1995. Their second son, Leon, was born in 2000. The family currently resides in Los Angeles, California.



Paul Reiser began performing standup comedy in New York City when he was 20. Several years later, he branched out to feature films with the noted supporting role of Modell on the Barry Levinson dramatic comedy “Diner” (1982), opposite Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke and Kevin Bacon. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and brought Levinson an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay. “Diner” spawned a television spin-off of the same name that was broadcasted on CBS in August 1983 with Levinson directing and writing and Reiser reprising the role of Modell. Prior to his role on the TV pilot, Reiser made his television acting debut playing Ivan Turbell on an episode of the NBC hit detective series “Remington Steele” called “A Good Night's Steele,” which aired in January 1983. Later that same year, he made his TV movie debut with the CBS comedy “Sunset Limousine,” alongside John Ritter and Susan Dey.

In 1984, Reiser returned to the big screen in the box office hit “Beverly Hills Cop,” where he played Detective Jeffrey Friedman. Starring Eddie Murphy and directed by Martin Breast, the film debuted at No. 1 at the U.S. box office and became the highest grossing film of 1984. Then, after guest starring in “George Burns Comedy Week” (1985), he starred with Robert Townsend in the TriStar Pictures comedy “Odd Jobs” (1986), was cast as Carter J. Burke in the James Cameron highly successful science fiction film “Aliens” (1986, starred Sigourney Weaver), reprised his role of Detective Jeffrey Friedman on the sequel “Beverly Hills Cop II” (1987), costarred with Annette O'Toole and Martin Short in the film “Cross My Heart” (1987) and played the role of Dexter Bunche on the TV film “You Ruined My Life” (ABC), alongside Tammy Bass, Nan Brennan and Tony Burton. In 1987, Reiser received his first comedy special, “Paul Reiser: Out On a Whim” (HBO), which he also wrote. It was also in 1987 that Reiser made his television series debut as a regular player on the NBC situation comedy “My Two Dads,” opposite Greg Evigan and Staci Keanan. The show lasted from September 20, 1987, to April 30, 1990.

Reiser was reunited with James Cameron for the short film “Reach,” which premiered in Los Angeles on January 16, 1988. He resumed his film career as character Stephen Bachman in the 1990 comedy “Crazy People,” for director Tony Bill. Costars of “Crazy People” included Dudley Moore, Daryl Hannah, J. T. Walsh and Danton Stone. He then supported Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger on the Neil Simon written comedy “The Marrying Man” (1991), starred, produced and wrote his next TV special, “3 1/2 Blocks from Home” (1992) for Showtime, appeared with Joe Mantegna and Anne Archer in the 1993 feature “Family Prayers” (directed by Scott M. Rosenfelt) and starred in the TV film “The Tower” (1993, with Susan Norman and Richard Gant). He also starred as Charlie Fischer in “Mr. White” (1994), an adaptation of Howard J. Morris's play, was cast as a divorced man raising his daughter in Sam Weisman's “Bye, Bye Love” (1995), opposite Matthew Modine, Randy Quaid, Janeane Garofalo, Amy Brenneman, Eliza Dushku, Rob Reiner and Lindsay Crouse, and appeared in the documentary film “Get Bruce” (1999), with Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Lily Tomlin. He was also featured with Larry Miller and Tommy Davidson in “Pros & Cons” (1999) and had an unaccredited role in the Rob Reiner directed film “The Story of US” (1999), which starred Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Reiser's career enjoyed a huge boost in the 1990s thanks largely to his work on the sitcom “Mad About You” (NBC, 1992-1999), which he co-created with Danny Jacobson, produced and starred in. Playing Paul Buchman opposite Helen Hunt as his onscreen wife, Reiser received six Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1994-1999), four Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical, two Screen Actors Guild nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (1995 and 1996), and an American Comedy nomination for Funniest Male Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication (1996), to name a few nominations. He also shared four Screen Actors Guild nominations in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1995-1998). As producer/executive producer, he jointly nabbed four Emmy nominations in the category of Outstanding Comedy Series (1994-1997). Reiser also composed the show's theme song, “Final Frontier,” with Don Was. He and composer David Kitay shared three BMI TV Music Awards for their music on the show.

In 2001, Reiser costarred with Matt Dillon and Liv Tayler in the Harald Zwart helmed comedy “One Night at McCool's” and portrayed a man looking for his birth mother in the television movie “My Beautiful Son,” opposite Amber Sealey and Lachele Carl. The next year, he portrayed Bruce in the TV film “Women vs. Men,” had a supporting role in the feature “Purpose,” starring Mia Farrow, and made a guest appearance in Larry David's critically acclaimed HBO sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

In 2005, Reiser wrote, produced and starred in the comedy film “The Thing About My Folks,” which was loosely based on his life. The film was directed by Raymond De Felitta and also starred Peter Falk and Olympia Dukakis. He recalled, “I was visiting my parents and I walked into a room where my father was watching a Peter Falk movie on TV. I think it was 'The Cheap Detective.' Anyway, my father was belly-laughing and he never really did that. I thought, 'If Peter Falk can make my dad laugh, then I'm going to come up with a movie in which Peter Falk plays my father.’”

Reiser will star in the semi-autobiographical comedy series “The Paul Reiser Show,” which is set to air on NBC as a midseason replacement during 2011. He also serves as executive producer and the show's creator.


  • Florida Film Festival: Artistic Achievement Award, 2005

  • BMI TV Music: “Mad About You,” 1998

  • BMI TV Music: “Mad About You,” 1997

  • BMI TV Music: “Mad About You,” 1995

  • Viewers for Quality Television: Q Award, Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series, “Mad About You,” 1994

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