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Katz in September 2007

Jonathan Paul Katz (born December 1, 1946) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. He is known for his role as Dr. Katz in Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Katz won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" in 1995.

Early life and education

Katz was born in New York City to a Jewish-Hungarian immigrant family. He was educated at Goddard College.

Career

Katz is a close friend of playwright David Mamet, with whom he attended Goddard College. Katz co-wrote "House of Games]" with Mamet and had small roles in the Mamet-directed films "Things Change," "Homicide," "The Spanish Prisoner," and "State and Main".

Originally a musician and songwriter, Katz fronted a rhythm and blues group called "Katz and Jammers" before serving as the musical director for Robin Williams' 1979 standup tour. In 1998, he released Brandon Project, a blues album.

Health

In 1996, Katz was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The initial symptoms began that year: "I was working on a TV show called "Ink" with Ted Danson, and after every episode we would take a curtain call and I noticed that I needed a head-start."

Hiding his condition became too much of a burden for Katz and he eventually disclosed it. He began speaking publicly as part of a tour sponsored by a manufacturer of medications used to treat MS.

"People have been pretty supportive; nobody ever had me in mind for an action film because of the kind of work I do -- mostly in the world of animation, which is not a big issue because as a person, I can't run that fast; as a cartoon character, I can fly -- literally."

Katz, who now gets around with the help of a motorized scooter and performs onstage with the aid of a cane, says he doesn't regret his decision: "One of the reasons I disclosed my condition is because it is much easier to live with MS than to pretend you don't have it. If I could convince everyone of that, my job here is done."

Personal life

Katz is married to Suzan Katz. They have two children.


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