REISER, PAUL (1957– ), U.S. actor and writer. Born in New York to a health food distributor, Reiser studied classical piano and composition at the State University of New York-Binghamton. He began performing stand-up comedy at New York comedy clubs, such as the Improv and Comic Strip. His big break came in Barry Levinson's Diner (1982). Reiser went on to appear in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Aliens (1986), and Beverly Hills Cop ii (1987). He also appeared on television specials, award shows, and pilots, including a Diner pilot in 1983. He starred on the nbc sitcom My Two Dads (1987–90). After the show ended, Reiser returned to feature films with roles in Crazy People (1990) and The Marrying Man (1991). Toward the end of Dads, Reiser developed a new show based on his own marriage. Mad About You debuted in 1992, featuring Reiser and Helen Hunt as a recently married couple dealing with life after the honeymoon, and ran successfully until 1999. The show's theme song, The Final Frontier, was written by Reiser and musician Don Was. In 1994, Reiser published his first book, Couplehood, a bestseller that featured unused material from his sitcom. That same year, Reiser received an Emmy nomination as a lead actor in a comedy series. In 1997, he released his second book, Babyhood. He continued to appear in movies, including The Thing about My Folks (2005), which he wrote.
[Adam Wills (2nd ed.)]