Family & Companions
A television character actor and busy voiceover artist, Richard Kind came up through the 1980s improv comedy scene before becoming one of the more prolific supporting players on primetime. He was best recognized for his concurrent roles on the long-running sitcoms "Mad About You" (NBC, 1992-99) and "Spin City" (ABC, 1996-2002), but throughout his career, he held down a busy schedule in New York musical theater and as an occasional film player. Kind was often cast as bookish, whiny, nebbish types, including in his film career high-water mark in the Coen Brothers' "A Serious Man" (2009), but Kind's voice characterizations in Disney/Pixar animated hits like "A Bug's Life" (1998) and "Cars" (2006) truly afforded the actor the opportunity to stretch his legs and exercise his talent for unpredictable stage comedy.
Born Nov. 22, 1956, Kind was raised in Bucks County, PA, where as a child, he was an enthusiastic performer in school plays. He went on to attend Northwestern University as a pre-law major and graduated in 1978, but thanks to the encouragement of a family friend, decided to pursue acting instead. He relocated first to New York then Chicago, where he garnered positive attention as a member of the Practical Theatre Company, an improv comedy group founded by future "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) players Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Hall and Gary Kroeger. Later, Kind joined the venerable Second City troupe, before moving to Los Angeles where he performed with their West Coast arm. By the mid-1980s, Kind was finding regular work on episodic television, starting in 1985 with "Mr. Belvedere" (ABC, 1985-1990) and "Anything But Love" (ABC, 1989-1992).
His first series role came with the very short-lived crime/suspense drama, "UNSUB" (NBC, 1989), which was soon followed by turns on two short-lived Carol Burnett series, "Carol and Company" (NBC, 1990-91) and "The Carol Burnett Show" (NBC, 1991). Kind landed what would be the first of many voiceover jobs in 1992 when he became the voice of the venerable cartoon cat Tom in "Tom and Jerry: The Movie." In a significant career breakthrough, he was next cast as Mark Devanow, husband to Jamie Buchman's (Helen Hunt) best friend Fran (Leila Kenzle) on "Mad About You," where he returned repeatedly during the series' seven-year run. He also appeared in a handful of features, including small roles in "Stargate" (1994) and the offbeat Martin Short comedy "Clifford" (1994), but television provided Kind's most consistent showcase. When not seen as an amusingly oily and crooked accountant on the comedy "Blue Skies" (ABC, 1994), Kind enjoyed providing comic relief in his recurring role on the Michael Chiklis series, "The Commish" (ABC, 1991-95).
Continuing to split his time with "Mad About You," Kind also took on a recurring role in 1996 on the ABC series, "Spin City," playing nebbish New York City press secretary Paul Lassiter. Kind remained a reliable constant on the show throughout its tumultuous history, which saw the departure of star Michael J. Fox after revealing his Parkinson's disease affliction and the arrival of a new lead, Charlie Sheen. Meanwhile, he played an attorney in John Ridley's modern noir, "Cold Around the Heart" (1997) and appeared on Broadway in "The Allergist's Wife" and as Max Bialystock opposite his former "Spin City" co-star, Alan Ruck, in "The Producers." Meanwhile, Kind's roster of animated voiceover work grew with his role as the chatty Molt in the Pixar film "A Bug's Life" (1998), as Pongo, the Friendly Dragon on the Nickelodeon pre-school series, "Oswald" (2001-04), and The Disney Channel's "Kim Possible" (2002- ), as faux Euro villain, Frugal Lucre.
"Mad About You" ended in 1999, followed by the cancellation of "Spin City" in 2002, but Kind remained on the small screen with a recurring role as Larry David's obnoxious and needy cousin on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ). He was also a consistent source of amusement on the NBC series "Scrubs" (2001-08; ABC, 2009-10), as ultra-hypochondriac and litigious patient, Harvey Corman. Kind occasionally surfaced on the big screen in feature's such as close friend George Clooney's directorial debut, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), and in "The Station Agent" (2003) and "Bewitched" (2005). Teaming with Clooney again, Kind played himself in Clooney's short-lived HBO series, "Unscripted" (2005), and the following year, appeared in the hugely successful animated family films, "The Wild" (2006), and the Disney/Pixar production "Cars" (2006), in which he voiced Van.
A busy primetime guest star and frequent New York stage player throughout the remainder of the decade, Kind carried on the unsung heroics of a character actor until his 2009 supporting role in the Coen Brothers "A Serious Man," for which the ensemble cast took home an Independent Spirit Award.
Cast (Feature Film)
Performed with Second City in both Chicago and L.A.
Made TV-movie debut in "Two Fathers' Justice" (NBC)
Had bit role in feature film "Vice Versa"
Made TV series debut as regular in "UNSUB" (NBC)
Was part of the regular cast of the NBC variety series "Carol & Company"
Had regular role on the NBC sitcom "Mad About You"
Provided voice of Tom in "Tom and Jerry: The Movie"
Appeared on the ABC sitcom "Blue Skies"
Cast as a scientist in feature "Stargate"
Played the mayoral press secretary on "Spin City" (ABC)
Appeared on Broadway in "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife"
Had a recurring role as Cousin Andy on the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Guest starred on NBC's "Scrubs," as the hypochondriac Mr. Corman
Starred on Broadway in "Sly Fox"
Appeared as the 'Jury Foreman' in the film "The Producers"
Played himself on the short-lived HBO series "Unscripted," which is executive-produced by Clooney
Appeared in Jeff Garlin's feature directing debut, "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese with"
Appeared in the animated family film "The Wild" as Larry the anaconda
Cast in supporting role in the Coen Brothers' drama "A Serious Man"
Voiced the character of Bookworm in "Toy Story 3"