American actor Cliff Osmond was working in Southern repertory, summer stock and children's theatre when he was plucked from obscurity by director Billy Wilder, who cast Osmond as an oafish gendarme in Irma La Douce (1963). Osmond remained a loyal and stalwart member of Wilder's unofficial stock company. He played wannabe lyricist Barney Milsap in Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), flummoxed insurance detective Purkey in The Fortune Cookie (1966), and political stooge Jacobi in The Front Page (1974). After his "Wilder" days, Osmond was seen in such menacing roles as Pap in the 1981 TV adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In 1988, Cliff Osmond wrote and produced the independent feature The Penitent.