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Paul Dooley Biography

Birth Name:
Paul Brown
Birth Place:
Parkersburg, West Virginia, United States

Fast Facts

  • Aspired to be a clown or a magician as a young man
  • Joined the Navy after college, toward the end of World War II, because many of his friends were getting drafted into the Army and he wanted to put his fate into his own hands
  • Moved to New York City after the Navy and started to make a name for himself in the world of comedy—shortly thereafter, he was named head writer for the popular children's show and Sesame Street spin-off for older children, The Electric Company
  • Came up with his stage name while pursuing his comedy career; "Dooley" was chosen because he thought that Irish names ending in the letter "y" had a funny ring to them
  • Often plays roles in movies of fathers that have a heart of gold but have a difficult time expressing themselves, and he channels his own father for these parts


  • 2008Critics' Choice Awards-Best Acting Ensemble: nominated
  • 2007Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: nominated
  • 2000Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: nominated
  • 1979National Board of Review-Best Supporting Actor: winner