William Gerald "Jerry" Paris was raised by his stepfather, Milton Grossman, but used his real name when he decided to become an actor. Paris attended first New York University, then the University of California Los Angeles, but put his career on hold to enlist in the Navy during World War II. On returning to America, he enrolled at the Actor's Studio and soon found himself auditioning for, and being cast in Broadway plays. His first film role came with a small part in "Outrage," followed by acclaimed films like "The Wild One," "Marty" and "The Great Impostor." The year 1961 was when Paris found the role for which most people will remember him, that of next-door-neighbor Jerry Halper in "The Dick Van Dyke Show." "Dick Van Dyke Show" producer Carl Reiner gave Paris his first opportunity to direct one of the show's episodes, and within a couple of years, he was a regular director on the show. In 1964, he was rewarded with an Emmy Award for Best Directing. This led to a new direction in his career as he started focusing on work behind the camera, including directing several episodes of shows like "Happy Days" and "The Odd Couple." In 1986 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and died of complications following surgery.