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HANK AZARIA (Animal) recently starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Great Expectations. Last year, he appeared with John Cusack and Dan Aykroyd in Grosse Pointe Blank, and in 1995 he won kudos for his scene-stealing portrayal of Guatemalan houseboy Agador Spartacus in Mike Nichols' The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

Azaria, who is the voice of many celebrated characters on the long-running comedy series, "The Simpsons," also gave voice to Bartok, the comical bat, in the animated feature Anastasia, opposite the voice of Meg Ryan.

Azaria will also appear in the forthcoming Mystery, Alaska, and lend his voice talents to the animated feature Planet Ice, both slated for release next year. He is starring with Billy Bob Thornton in the upcoming Homegrown, a black comedy about pot plantation workers.

Additional film credits include Michael Mann's action-thriller Heat, Now and Then, produced by Demi Moore, and Garry Marshall's Pretty Woman. He also turned in a bravura performance as Al Freedman, a television producer caught up in the behind-the-scenes machinations of tainted television game shows in Robert Redford's Quiz Show.

On television, Azaria starred in the CBS romantic comedy, "If Not For You," as well as the innovative comedy series "Herman's Head." He appears in a recurring role on the NBC series "Mad About You" as Nat, the idiosyncratic dog walker. The part began as a one-episode commitment, but the response to Nat was so incredible that he became a permanent member of the series' popular ensemble.

Azaria trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and played Hamlet in a Columbia University production of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." He continued his theater studies at Tufts University, where he appeared in productions of such plays as "Uncle Vanya," "The Merchant of Venice," "The Ballad of the Sad Caf‚" and "The Dumb Waiter." He subsequently moved to Los Angeles, where he became a favorite at local comedy clubs. He co-wrote "An Evening on Thin Ice," which was presented at The Comedy Store. He also won a DramaLogue Award for his work in the play, "Conspicuous Consumption."

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