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An accomplished character actor most readily at home playing average and undistinguished domestic types (particularly fathers and husbands), Holmes Osborne appeared in scattered projects very occasionally during the 1970s and '80s, but his career only took off at the tail end of the 1990s, culminating with a small role in Alexander Payne's critically worshipped high-school satire Election (1999) -- as the father of class jock Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) and "bad girl" Tammy Metzler (Jessica Campbell). Osborne went on to grace the casts of several key Hollywood and independent films during the next several years, including Donnie Darko (2001), Windtalkers (2002), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), in addition to scattered appearances on such television programs as Ally McBeal, The Drew Carey Show, and Invasion. In 2006, Osborne re-teamed with Darko director Richard Kelly for the filmmaker's epic-sized dystopian black comedy Southland Tales.

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