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Episode 125

The Movie Dad Whose Real Life Kids Went Missing

Episode  125
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Iconic comedic character actor Paul Dooley carved out a role as Hollywood’s go-to movie Dad while his own children were missing. Paul played dad to Julia Roberts, Mia Farrow, Toni Collette, Dennis Christopher in Breaking Away and Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, all as his ex-wife was on the run with his kids.

The pandemic pause compelled Paul to chronicle his story in the new book, Movie Dad: Finding Myself and My Family, On Screen and Off. Paul joins us to share his casting secrets, his encyclopedic joke memory, his improv inspirations, his clowning history and his journey from small town West Virginia, to Greenwich Village to Broadway, to Hollywood and a proud place in movie dad history.

Paul has stories about Mike Nichols, Neil Simon, Carol Burnett, Don Knotts, Alan Alda, Lin Manuel Miranda and so many more. Was Walter Matthau a scene hog? Turns out, yes!


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