- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2000

William Bader, the distinguished United States undersecretary of state for cultural and intellectual affairs, and his wife, renowned portrait sculptor Greta Bader, are enormously proud of their four high-achieving children.

Their three eldest offspring have earned doctorates and teach linguistics, political science and medieval history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Los Angeles and Duke University, respectively. Diedrich Bader, their fourth child, is a clown and the one-time slacker makes more money than all of them combined.

Now totally devoted to work ("as long as it's fun"), the 6-foot-3, dark, lanky and good-looking Mr. Bader spends up to eight months a year playing the goofy Oswald Harvey on "The Drew Carey Show" and the off-season supplying voices to dozens of cartoon characters. Mr. Bader's latest venture is providing the larynx for Kenny, the total jerk-golf-nut posing as harried patriarch Darryl's best friend and co-worker on the family-oriented summer-run animated series "Baby Blues" (Friday 8 to 8:30; 8:30 to 9 p.m., WB).

"I got excited about 'Baby Blues' because it's a prime-time show that appeals to a wide range of people, including friends with children and my brothers and sister," the 33-year-old Alexandria, Va. native says. "Even though I get paid only about one-100th per episode of what I make on the sitcom, I love voice-over work, because it's the closest to real pretending that you can possibly get as an actor."

Mr. Bader has scores of cartoon vocals to his credit, including that of the handsome Adonis in the recent "Hercules" series and the heavy Warp Dark Matter in the upcoming "Star Command." Next, he stars in "The Zeta Project," a Saturday morning show revolving around a killer android who has developed a conscience.

At this pace, the Baders probably are worried about their normally laid-back progeny's physical and mental well-being. Not to worry, he even gets free vacations. Shortly after "The Drew Carey Show" wrapped production in late May, the good-natured actor and his beautiful actress wife, Dulcy Rogers, were on a chartered jet to Cancun, Mexico, courtesy of Mr. Carey.

"Drew is an incredibly generous star in terms of laughs, time and money," Mr. Bader says.

The unpretentious actor was born on Christmas Eve 1966 in Alexandria and reared in the Washington area except for a couple of years in Paris when his father served as the European representative of the Ford Foundation.

There was never any doubt in Mr. Bader's mind about becoming an actor.

"Being a child in France made me feel somewhat alienated and drove me inside my head," he explains. "The one thing I loved in Paris was going to the movies and [I] soon became quite good at mimicry. And by the time my parents got around to me, they had run out of brains. I had a big head, but it was good only to play football with. Basically, I always wanted to be an actor."

After a relatively short stint studying acting at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, Mr. Bader ran into a Hollywood casting director during a spring break in Santa Fe, N.M., and promptly was cast in a tiny role on "Longarm," a Western series pilot for ABC. He dressed like a cowboy and rode a lot of horses for a week or two, but the show died before it came out of the chute.

"I was fired pretty much from every crappy job I had during the first couple of years in California, except acting jobs," Mr. Bader says, laughing, "but the series pilots kept coming. 'Drew Carey' was my seventh pilot, and now we're going into our sixth season. There's a lot of luck involved in this business."

He didn't work for 1* years after he portrayed Jethro/Jethrine in the horrendous feature film version of "The Beverly Hillbillies" (1993). Life imitated life when Mr. Bader and Miss Rogers, now settled in a Hollywood duplex ("We rent the other half out to people who pay our mortgage") were married three years ago.

"We met on a movie, 'The World According to Noah,' when cast as husband and wife about six years ago," he says. "We're really enjoying being a couple and aren't rushing into starting a family. We travel all the time, including a trip to Alsace, France, this summer. I just wish we had more time together."

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