For years, character actor David Paymer appeared in a multitude of film and television projects, though his name remained unrecognizable to most. But that all began to change with his breakthrough supporting performance in "Mr. Saturday Night" (1992), which earned his first Academy Award nomination. Ever since that time, Paymer delivered noted turns in several prominent features, including "Quiz Show" (1994), for which he earned perhaps his greatest critical acclaim and showed filmmakers the depths he could take a performance, particularly as a villain. He continued to land interesting roles, often in historical films like playing former White House press secretary Ron Ziegler in "Nixon" (1995), Secretary of State John Forsyth in "Amistad" (1997) and noted defense attorney Myron Beldock in "The Hurricane" (1999). His portrayal of a smarmy Hollywood producer who only thinks of money in David Mamet's satirical "State and Main" (2000) only boosted the actor's already elevated profile. Later in his career, Paymer began directing episodes of several popular shows, while continuing to appear in a variety of onscreen roles, proving that he was both versatile as well as talented.