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Paul Bartel (August 6, 1938 – May 13, 2000) was an American actor, writer and director. Bartel was perhaps most known for his 1982 hit black comedy Eating Raoul, which he wrote, starred in and directed. He also plays the Movie Theatre Manager in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).

Life and career

Bartel was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jesse and William Bartel, who was an advertising executive. Bartel was openly gay; this influenced his career choice, as he found himself more accepted and afforded more opportunities within the independent film industry than he would have in Hollywood.

In 1979, he was a member of the jury at the 29th Berlin International Film Festival.

Bartel appeared in over 90 movies and TV episodes, including such titles as Eat My Dust (1976), Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), Get Crazy (1983), Amazon Women on the Moon (1987; directed by Joe Dante and others), Hollywood Blvd. (1976; Dante directed), Piranha (1978; Dante directed), Joe's Apartment (1996) and Tim Burton's Frankenweenie (1984 short film). He frequently co-starred with friend and former Warhol girl Mary Woronov; the pair appeared in 17 films together, often as husband-and-wife.

Bartel also directed 11 low-budget films, many of which he also acted in or wrote. His started in 1968 with the short The Secret Cinema, a paranoid delusional fantasy of self-referential cinema. He graduated to features in 1972 with the horror-comedy Private Parts. He would go on to direct such cult films as Death Race 2000 (1975), Eating Raoul (1982), Lust in the Dust (1985) and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989).


Bartel died May 13, 2000 of a heart attack two weeks after liver cancer surgery; he was 61 years old. His final screen appearance was a posthumous role as "Dad" alongside Mary Woronov ("Mom") in the 2001 independent film Perfect Fit.


The Belgian horror movie Calvaire paid a tribute to the late Bartel – the mad innkeeper character is named "Paul Bartel".