This former child actor first gained notice with his TV debut as a gang member on a two-part episode of the Fox series "21 Jump Street" (1989), a role that earned the neophyte an Emmy nomination. That same year he appeared in Adam Rifkin's debut film, "Never on Tuesday" and in a small role in Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July." After appearing as a kooky law officer on the failed sitcom "Grand" (NBC, 1990), Lauer reteamed with Stone as an alcoholic and drug-addicted film student in "The Doors" (1991). The compact, brown-haired Lauer was featured as one of the medical students in the ensemble comedy-drama "Going to Extremes" (ABC, 1992-93) before landing a supporting berth on the NBC sitcom "Caroline in the City" (1995-99). As Charlie Banks, the off-the-wall wacky employee at a greeting card company, Lauer took a small role and infused it with manic glee. In 1996, Lauer had a meaty supporting role as Ace, a young trouper helping veteran Peter Weller in the sci-fi thriller "Screamers."