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.
Bartel was born in Brooklyn, the son of Jesse and William Bartel, who was an advertising executive. Bartel was openly gay and this influenced his career choices as he found himself more accepted and afforded more opportunities within the independent film industry than he would have in Hollywood.
Bartel also appeared as an actor in several films. Some of his other well known cameos were in the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000, which he also directed, and the 1979 Cult classic Rock 'n' Roll High School alongside Eating Raoul co-star Mary Woronov. Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov appeared together in approximately 17 different film roles, including Joe Dante's Hollywood (1976), and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989), another kinky cult comedy directed by Paul Bartel.
Bartel made an appearance in Tim Burton's short film Frankenweenie as Victor's science teacher. Bartel directed ten movies, mostly low-budget comedies that he was hired to direct after the success of Eating Raoul. He sometimes contributed to the writing of these movies as well. A typical Bartel film of this period stars one or more "B-list" celebrities, includes modest sexual content (often presented ironically), a song and dance routine, and a cameo by Bartel himself.
He also made many guest appearances on TV shows. Bartel died May 13, 2000 of a heart attack, following liver cancer surgery two weeks prior. He was 61.
The Belgian horror movie Calvaire paid a tribute to the actor and director: the mad innkeeper is called Paul Bartel.
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