Beloved character actor Paul Dooley started his career by entertaining his family in the house his father built. Already in love with comedy and movies as a little boy, he knew he wanted to be on the big screen. Today, he is an instantly recognizable "household face" best known for his roles as the father in films such as Sixteen Candles, Breaking Away, and Runaway Bride. With over sixty-five years as an actor and countless movies, TV shows, advertisements, and stage performances to his name, Dooley describes the hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking life behind the man on screen.
In Movie Dad, Dooley reveals that before he played father to Hollywood stars like Julia Roberts, Molly Ringwald, Toni Collete, and Mia Farrow, his personal life included a painful episode involving his wife and children. Overcoming the shock of the traumatic event, he found fresh success as a movie actor, especially playing fathers.
Brimming with show-business anecdotes, Movie Dad is a warmly remembered account of a life well-lived, told with wry irony but suffused with an uncommon sincerity and tenderness.
Paul Dooley has been an actor for sixty-five years on film, TV, and the stage and has appeared in hundreds of movies, shows, and plays. He is best known for his roles as the father in Breaking Away, Sixteen Candles, and Run Away Bride. Other films include Hairspray, Insomnia, Strange Brew, and Wating for Guffman. His TV roles include The Good Doctor, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Grey’s Anatomy, thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, and Star Trek.
"This book captures the extraordinary life of this legendary character actor. What a life! It's a really fun read."—Bryan Cranston, actor
"Paul Dooley opens his heart in this memoir and out tumble stories that are as honest as they are hilarious. You meet a young man from the humblest beginnings as he learns to become both a comic artist and a person. You cheer for him as he succeeds in both— in ways that are surprising, funny and moving."—Alan Alda, actor, writer, director
"I’ve always enjoyed Paul Dooley’s work. Now that I’ve read his autobiography I have even more reason to admire him."—Leonard Maltin, film critic & historian
"What a thrill to be able to read about the life, times and experiences of someone I actually know, have worked with, and admired. You don’t have to be an aspiring actor to enjoy Paul Dooley’s wonderful book MOVIE DAD."—Joe Mantegna, actor
"Paul Dooley isn’t just a wonderful actor and all around funny person he’s a masterful storyteller. His transformation from a quirky little kid in a tiny West Virginia town to one of Hollywood’s most iconic character actors is filled with unforgettable encounters with everyone from Carol Burnett to Buster Keaton to Robert Altman. His ongoing search for a meaningful relationship is touching, endearing and every bit as compelling."—Bob Balaban, actor, director
"Paul Dooley, for whom I wrote the part "Wimpy" in the film, Popeye, herein unwinds a sweet and charming memoir of an almost accidental career. We and he are lucky that it all worked out."—Jules Feiffer, cartoonist, author, screenwriter
"I would highly recommend this book even if Paul was not a friend of mine and didn't have nice things to say about me."—Alan Arkin, actor, director, writer