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Wallace Michael Shawn (born November 12, 1943) is an American actor, voice actor, playwright, essayist and comedian. His film roles have included those of Wally Shawn in the Louis Malle-directed comedy-drama My Dinner with Andre (1981), Vizzini in The Princess Bride (1987), Ezra in The Haunted Mansion, providing the voice of Rex in the Toy Story franchise, providing the voice of Gilbert Huph in The Incredibles (2004), and providing the voice of Calico in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010). He also starred in a variety of television series, including Gossip Girl and recurring appearances as Grand Nagus Zek in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–99). His most notable post GG work is Young Sheldon.

His plays include The Designated MournerAunt Dan and Lemon and Grasses of a Thousand Colors. He also co-wrote the screenplay for My Dinner with Andre with Andre Gregory, and he scripted Vanya on 42nd Street, a film adaptation of Anton Chekov's play Uncle Vanya. His book Essays was published in 2009 by Haymarket Books. His latest film from June 2014 was A Master Builder based on the play by Henrik Ibsen.


Shawn was born on November 12, 1943 in New York City, to William Shawn (1907-1992), the long-time editor of The New Yorker, and journalist Cecille Shawn (née Lyon) (1906-2005); his brother, Allen, is a composer. Shawn attended The Putney School, a private liberal arts high school in Putney, Vermont, and graduated with an A.B. in history from Harvard College. He studied philosophy, politics and economics, as well as Latin, at Magdalen College, Oxford, originally intending to become a diplomat. He also traveled to India as an English teacher, on a Fulbrightprogram. He then taught Latin in Manhattan but, since 1979, has made a living primarily as an actor.

Acting Career[]

Shawn's involvement with theater began in 1970 when he met Andre Gregory, who has since directed several of his plays. As a stage actor, he has appeared mostly in his own plays and other projects with Gregory. He made his film debut in 1979, playing Diane Keaton's former husband in Woody Allen's Manhattan and an insurance agent in Bob Fosse's All That Jazz. His best-known film roles include Earl in Strange Invaders (1983) and Mr. Hall in Clueless (1995). After seeing his performance in My Dinner With Andre (1981), casting director Janet Hirshenson was so fond of his delivery of the word "inconceivable" that she cast him as Vizzini in The Princess Bride (1987). Other roles include Baron Von Westphalen in Southland Tales, on Gossip Girl as Cyrus Rose, and in The Haunted Mansion (2003) as Ezra.

His rare non-comedic film roles include two collaborations with Andre Gregory and Louis Malle: the semiautobiographical dialogue My Dinner with Andre, and a combined production-and-backstage-drama of Uncle Vanya titled Vanya on 42nd Street. Shawn quite often appears on television, where he has appeared in many genres and series. He has had recurring roles as the Grand Nagus Zek in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Stuart Best in Murphy Brown, Jeff Engels in The Cosby Show, Dr. Howard Stiles in Crossing Jordan, Arnie Ross in Taxi, and a reprisal of his role as Mr. Hall in Clueless (based on the film). He appeared in the 1985 music video for Chaka Khan's "This is My Night". On February 4, 2010, Shawn appeared as Alan Rubin in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He appeared in Vegas Vacation (1997) as Marty. Shawn's latest film opened in his birthplace in New York in June 2014 titled A Master Builder.

Shawn was honored in 2005 with the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a Master American Dramatist.

Shawn is also a voice actor for animated films and television series, including Rex in the Toy Story franchise, Mr. Gilbert Huph in The Incredibles, Principal Mazur in A Goofy Movie, Bertram in Family Guy, Munk in Happily N'Ever After, and as a caricature of himself in BoJack Horseman.

In The Fox and the Hound, he was originally going to voice Boomer, but dropped out and was replaced by Paul Winchell. In Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Shawn replaced Jon Lovitz as the voice of Calico. Coincidentally, Lovitz and Shawn both appeared in I Could Never Be Your Woman.

Writing Career[]

Shawn's early plays, such as Marie and Bruce (1978), portrayed emotional and sexual conflicts in an absurdist style, with language that was both lyrical and violent. In a conversation with Andre Gregory, parts of which were used to create My Dinner with Andre, Shawn referred to these plays as depicting "my interior life as a raging beast." Critical response was extremely polarized: some critics hailed Shawn as a major writer, while John Simon called Marie and Bruce "garbage" and described Shawn as "one of the unsightliest actors in this city".[4] His 1977 play A Thought in Three Parts caused controversy in London when the production was investigated by a vice squad and attacked in Parliament after allegations of pornographic content.

His later plays became more overtly political, drawing parallels between the psychology of his characters and the behavior of governments and social classes. Among the best-known of these are Aunt Dan and Lemon (1985) and The Designated Mourner (1997). Shawn's political work has invited controversy, as he often presents the audience with several contradictory points of view, such as Aunt Dan and Lemon, which Shawn described as a cautionary tale against fascism. The monologue The Fever, originally created by Shawn to be performed for small audiences in apartments, describes a person who becomes sick while struggling to find a morally consistent way to live when faced with injustice, and harshly criticizes the record of the United States in supporting oppressive anti-communistregimes. In 1997, Shawn discussed the political nature of Aunt Dan and LemonThe Fever and The Designated Mourner in an interview. In this interview Shawn talked extensively with Patrick Mcgrath about the thematic developments between the three plays, as well as his own views on Marxist, communist and socialistpolitics, their relevance to American liberalism, and how government and individual responsibilities for finding solutions to the dichotomy between rich and poor in the world take hold in the characters presented in his plays. Shawn's four plays have been adapted into films: The Designated Mourner (basically a film version of David Hare's stage production), Marie and BruceMy Dinner with Andre and The Fever. Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave stars in The Fever (2004), which first aired on HBO on June 13, 2007.

Shawn has also written political commentary for The Nation, and in 2004 he published the one-issue-only progressive political magazine Final Edition, which features interviews with and articles by Jonathan Schell, Noam Chomsky, Mark Strand and Deborah Eisenberg. Shawn is credited as translator of Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, which opened at Studio 54 in Manhattan on March 25, 2006. He appears briefly in voice-over during "Song about the Futility of Human Endeavor". He published his first nonfiction work, Essays, on September 1, 2009. It is a collection of essays that expresses his perceptions of politics and other subjects that reflect an aspect of his life.

Personal Life[]

In June 2013, Shawn and numerous other celebrities appeared in a video showing support for Chelsea Manning. He has referred to himself as a socialist in an essay titled Why I Call Myself a Socialist: Is the World Really a Stage?, which was published online and later in a nonfiction collection titled Essays.

Shawn was born to Jewish parents, but now identifies as an atheist. He resides in Manhattan, New York City.[14]

Wallace Shawn also voiced his support for the Palestinian people during Israel's Operation Protective Edge, also known as the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.

Wallace is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace and is on the advisory board.



Movie Role Year Notes
A Colt Is My Passport Cave Johnson 1967 Credited as Wally Shawn
Hombre The Paper 1967
Camelot Luke 1967
You Only Live Twice BJ 1967
In the Heat of the Night Pink 1967
Bonnie and Clyde Woody 1967
Cool Hand Luke Danny 1967
Valley of the Dolls E.B. 1967
The Graduate Floyd 1967
Kelly's Heroes Andy 1970
Dirty Harry Jeff 1971
Soylent Green Jim 1973
Westworld Larry 1973
The Towering Inferno Bob 1974
Dog Day Afternoon Junior 1975
Annie Hall Jimmy 1977
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Cosmo the Alien 1978
Manhattan Jeremiah 1979
Starting Over Workshop Member 1979
All That Jazz Assistant Insurance Man 1979
Simon Eric von Dongen 1980
Atlantic City Waiter 1980 Credited as Wally Shawn
Cheaper to Keep Her Mugger 1981
My Dinner with Andre Wally Shawn 1981 Also screenwriter
Strong Medicine 1981 Uncredited
A Little Sex Oliver 1982
Lovesick Otto Jaffe 1983
The First Time Jules Goldfarb 1983
Strange Invaders Earl 1983
Deal of the Century Harold DeVoto 1983
Saigon: Year of the Cat Frank Judd 1983
Crackers Turtle 1984
The Hotel New Hampshire Freud 1984
The Bostonians Mr. Pardon 1984
Micki + Maude Elliot Fibel 1984
Heaven Help Us Father Abruzzi 1985
Head Office Mike Hoover 1986
The Bedroom Window Henderson's Attorney 1987
Radio Days Masked Avenger 1987
Nice Girls Don't Explode Ellen 1987
Prick Up Your Ears John Lahr 1987
The Princess Bride Vizzini 1987
The Moderns Oiseau 1988
She's Out of Control Dr. Herman Fishbender 1989
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills Howard 1989
We're No Angels Translator 1989
Shadows and Fog Simon Carr 1992
Unbecoming Age Dr. Block 1992
Nickel & Dime Everett Willitis 1992
Mom and Dad Save the World Sibor 1992
The Cemetery Club Larry 1993
The Meteor Man Mr. Little 1993
Eligible Dentist 1993
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Horatio Byrd 1994
Vanya on 42nd Street Vanya 1994
The Wife Cosmo 1995
Napoleon Echidna 1995
Canadian Bacon Canadian Prime Minister 1995
A Goofy Movie Principal Mazur 1995 Voice
Clueless Mr. Wendell Hall 1995
Just Like Dad Stan Speigel 1995
Toy Story Rex 1995 Voice
All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Labrador MC 1996 Voice
House Arrest Vic Finley 1996
Vegas Vacation Marty 1997
Just Write Arthur Blake 1997
Critical Care Furnaceman 1997
Blind Men 1998
Noah Zack 1998
The Diary of the Hurdy-Gurdy Man 1999
My Favorite Martian Coleye 1999
Toy Story 2 Rex 1999 Voice
The Prime Gig Gene 2000
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion George Bond 2001
Monsters, Inc. Rex 2001 Voice; Uncredited
Sun Gods Spaulding 2002
Love Thy Neighbor Clinic Doctor 2002
Personal Velocity: Three Portraits Mr. Gelb 2002
Mr. St. Nick Mimir 2002
Monte Walsh Colonel Wilson 2003
Duplex Herman 2003
The Haunted Mansion Ezra 2003
Teacher's Pet Crosby Strickler 2004 Voice
Melinda and Melinda Sy 2004
The Incredibles Gilbert Huph 2004 Voice
Karroll's Christmas Zeb Rosecog 2004
Chicken Little Principal Fetchit 2005 Voice
The 12th Man Marty 2006
Southland Tales Baron Von Westphalen 2006
Air Buddies Billy 2006 Voice
Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers Purple Pirate Barnacle Paul 2006 Voice
Happily N'Ever After Munk 2007 Voice
I Could Never Be Your Woman Math Teacher 2007 Uncredited
New York City Serenade Himself 2007
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mr. Gibson 2008
Mia and the Migoo Migoo 2008 Voice; English language version
Capitalism: A Love Story Himself 2009 Documentary
Jack and the Beanstalk Broker / Booker / Lancelot Squarejaw 2010
Furry Vengeance Christian Burr 2010
Toy Story 3 Rex 2010 Voice
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Calico 2010 Voice
The Speed of Thought Sandy 2011
Tower Heist Mr. McBurns 2011
Hawaiian Vacation Rex 2011 Voice; Short film
Small Fry Rex 2011 Voice; Short film
Partysaurus Rex Rex 2012 Voice; Short film
A Late Quartet Gideon Rosen 2012
Vamps Van Helsing 2012
Admission Clarence 2013
The Double Mr. Papadopoulos 2013
Don Peyote Psychotherapist 2014
A Master Builder Halvard Solness 2014 Also screenwriter
Christmas at Cartwright's Harry Osbourne 2014
Maggie's Plan Klieger 2015
Robo-Dog Mr. Willis 2015
Animal Crackers Mr. Woodley 2017 Voice
Book Club 2018 Filming


Show Role Year(s) Notes
Taxi Arnie Ross 1982-83 2 episodes
How to Be a Perfect Person In Just Three Days Professor Silverfish 1983 Television film
The Cosby Show Jeff Engels 1987-1991 5 episodes
The Double 0 Kid Cashpot 1992
Civil Wars Riley Baker 1992 Episode: "A Bus Named Desire"
One Life to Live Professor Marvel 1992
Matrix Mr. Gonley 1993 Episode: "Lapses in Memory"
The Pink Panther Little Man 1993 Voice; Episode: "Ice Blue Pink/Pink Trek"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Grand Nagus Zek 1993-99 7 episodes
The Nanny Charles Haste 1994 Episode: "Pishke Business"
Murphy Brown Stuart Best 1994-97 4 episodes
Kalamazoo Bobby 1995 Short
Something Wilder Roof Inspector 1995 Episode: "Dr. Roof"
Toy Story Treats Rex 1996 Voice; 18 episodes
Clueless Mr. Hall 1996-97 17 episodes
King of the Hill Phillip Ny 1997 Voice; Episode: "How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying"
The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story Tarzan 1998 Television special
The Lionhearts 1998 Voice; 5 episodes
Homicide: Life on the Street Frank Hopper 1999 Episode: "A Case of Do or Die"
Cosby Mr. Fleming 1999 2 episodes
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins Rex 2000 Voice
Teacher's Pet Crosby Strickler 2000-01 Voice; 6 episodes
Ally McBeal Mr. Dune 2001 Episode: "Falling Up"
Blonde I.E. Shine 2001 2 episodes
Three Sisters Dean Webb 2001 Episode: "Don't Be Thrown"
Crossing Jordan Howard Stiles 2001-06 8 episodes
Family Guy Bertram 2001-2011 3 episodes
Teamo Supremo Gauntlet 2002 Voice; Episode: "Running the Gauntlet"
Stanley Mr. Goldberg 2003 Voice; Episode: "Going-Away Goose/Time to Climb!"
Sex and the City Martin Grable 2004 Episode: "Splat!"
Fat Actress Sigmund von Oy 2005 Episode: "The Koi Effect"
Stargate SG-1 Arlos 2005 Episode: "The Ties That Bind"
Desperate Housewives Lonny Moon 2005 1 episode
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Film Professor 2006 Episode: "Weeping Willow"
The Return of Jezebel James Garson Leeds 2008 Episode: "I'm With Blank"
Cashmere Mafia Animal Handler 2008 Episode: "Dog Eat Dog"
Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King Mr. Gibbles 2008 Voice
The L Word William Halsey 2008-09 5 episodes
Gossip Girl Cyrus Rose 2008-2012 Recurring role; 11 episodes
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Roy Batters 2009 Episode: "Snatched"
Life on Mars Stephen Morrell - "The Sorcerer" 2009 Episode: "Let All the Children Boogie"
ER Teddy Lempell 2009 Episode: "The Beginning of the End"
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Alan Rubin 2010 Episode: "Don't Forget to Thank Mr. Zedeck"
Damages Sterling Biddle 2010 1 episode
Eureka DoD Psychological assessor Warren Hughes 2011 3 episodes
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness Taotie 2011-16 Voice; 9 episodes
Fish Hooks Rat King 2012 Voice; Episode: "Guys' Night Out"
Adventure Time Rasheeta 2013 Voice; Episode: "Puhoy"
Uncle Grandpa Ule Gapa 2013 Voice; Episode: "Belly Bros"
Toy Story of Terror! Rex 2013 Voice; Television special
The Good Wife Charles Lester 2013-15 3 episodes
Phineas and Ferb Saul 2014 Voice; Episode: "Phineas and Ferb Save Summer"
Courage the Cowardly Dog Eustace Bagge 2014 Voice; Short: "The Fog of Courage"
Toy Story That Time Forgot Rex 2014 Voice; Television special
The Mysteries of Laura Kenneth Walters 2014 Episode: "The Mystery of the Sex Scandal"
Club Penguin: Monster Beach Party Gary the Gadget Guy 2014 Voice; Television special
The 7D Not-So-Magic Mirror 2014 Voice; Episode: "Mirror, Mirror"
Mozart in the Jungle Winslow Elliot 2014-16 4 episodes
Club Penguin: Halloween Panic! Gary the Gadget Guy 2015 Voice; Television special
The Night Shift Mr. Neville 2016 Episode: "Unexpected"
The Stinky & Dirty Show Tall 2016 Voice; 3 episodes
Life in Pieces Samuel 2016 Episode: "Eyebrow Anonymous Trapped Gem"
Regular Show The Evil Brain 2016 Voice; Episode: "The Brain of Evil"
Graves Jerry North 2017
OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes Wally the White 2017 Episode: "You Got Me"

Video Games[]

Title Role Year(s)
Toy Story: The Video Game Rex 1996
Toy Story Activity Center Rex 1996
The Incredibles: The Video Game Gilbert Huph 2004
Family Guy Video Game! Bertram 2006
The Princess Bride Game Vizzini 2008
Toy Story 3: The Video Game Rex 2010
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse Bertram 2012
King's Quest Manny / Manannan 2016


Production Year(s) Notes
Four Meals in May 1967
The Family Play 1970
The Hotel Play 1970
The Hospital Play 1971
Our Late Night 1975
A Thought in Three Parts 1976
Marie and Bruce 1978
Aunt Dan and Lemon 1985
The Fever 1990
The Designated Mourner 1997 Film directed by David Hare, 1998
The Threepenny Opera 2006
Grasses of a Thousand Colors 2008
Evening at the Talk House 2015


Show Year Notes
Charlie Rose 1995 1 episode
Showbiz Today 1995 1 episode
As You Wish: The Story of The Princess Bride 2001
E! True Hollywood Story 2001 1 episode
Now 2005 2 episodes
Clueless: The Class of '95 2005
Strange Culture 2007
Up Close with Carrie Keagan 2007 1 episode
USIDent TV: Surveilling the Southland 2008
The Windmill Movie 2008
Capitalism: A Love Story 2009
Made in Hollywood 2009 1 episode
MindFlux 2010
Up with Chris Hayes 2012 1 episode
BoJack Horseman 2014 1 episode

Written Works[]

Title Year Notes
My Dinner with Andre 1981
The Designated Mourner 1997 Play

Written by

Marie and Bruce 2004 Screenplay
The Fever 2004 Play


Essays 2009 Book collection of essays, by Haymarket Books
Tea Time 2010 Short


Evening at the Talk House 2015 Play

Written by