Paul Lee Willson
December 25, 1945
Fairmont, Minnesota, U.S.
Willson has played numerous guest characters on a variety of shows including Full House as Stu in episode "Crimes and Michelle's Demeanor" in 1990, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boston Public, Caroline in the City, The Newsroom and Star Trek: Voyager. He is perhaps most famous for his repeated guest character of "Paul Krapence" on the television show Cheers (which he also reprised in an episode of the Cheers spin-off, Frasier). His character was originally called "Gregg" because Paul Vaughn was already playing a character named "Paul" on Cheers. For five years (1986-1990) he was Garry Shandling's neighbor "Leonard Smith" on It's Garry Shandling's Show. Willson also appeared on Garry Shandling's The Larry Sanders Show playing Larry's accountant, and the brother of Sid the cue card holder. He played Ed, a neighbor, in a few episodes of Malcolm in the Middle. His film appearances include The Pack (1977), The Devonsville Terror (1983), My Best Friend Is a Vampire (1987), Moving (1988), 976-EVIL (1988), Problem Child 2 (1991), Circuitry Man (1990), Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II (1994) and the comedy film Office Space (1999) as one of "The Bobs". Willson also appeared on the CBS sitcoms The King of Queens and The Big Bang Theory. He was recently[when?] in a promotional video for the Nintendo DS game Personal Trainer: Cooking with Fred Willard.
Although primarily recognized for his television work, he has been noted as a "great improv player" by Garry Shandling as a result of their time working together doing improv in the late 1970s. Cheers producer Ken Levine has also acknowledged Willson as "one of the greatest improv artists I have EVER seen."
Since 2012 he has appeared in television ads for Safeco Insurance.