A member of the Compass Players, soon developed into The Second City
Had his own CBS sitcom, Paul Sand in Friends & Lovers
Used Viola Spolin’s book to found his own children’s theatre company at age 11
Paul Sand was one of the founding members of improv comedy in America, his career starting on the southside of Chicago and reaching Broadway and beyond. At the age of eleven, he started at Viola Spolin‘s Children’s Theatre Company, using the book that Viola Spolin published, Improvisation for the Theater. Paul Sand used the improvisational games in Spolin’s book to put modern improv comedy on the stage.
From there, Sand attended Los Angeles State College before moving to Paris at eighteen. In Paris, Sand met one of his heroes, mime Marcel Marceau, who was so impressed by his talents that he asked Sand to join his touring mime troupe.
In 1960, along with Alan Arkin, Mike Nichols, Elaine May, and Del Close, Sand was a cast member of The Second City in Chicago. In 1966, he co-starred with Linda Lavin and Jo Ann Worley in the off-Broadway hit production The Mad Show, inspired by Mad Magazine.
Sand’s film and TV credits include The Hot Rock, The Second Coming of Suzanne, The Main Event, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The X-Files, True Colors, The Twilight Zone, Gimme a Break!, St. Elsewhere, Laverne and Shirley, and Bewitched. In 1974-75, he was the star of a short-lived CBS situation comedy, Paul Sand in Friends & Lovers.
In 1971, he received a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his work on Broadway in Paul Sills’ Story Theatre and two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Performances on Broadway in Story Theatre and Metamorphosis.