California native Harry Shearer was one of the busier child actors of the 1950s. He appeared in such films as The Robe (1953) (as the boy David) and Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953); he could be heard on such radio programs as Suspense, Lux Radio Theatre, and the Jack Benny Show; and among his many TV guest roles was the character who would evolve into Eddie Haskell in the 1955 Leave It to Beaver pilot.
After attending U.C.L.A., Shearer flourished as a standup comedian and comedy writer. He was frequently employed on the writing staff for such TV laughspinners as Laverne and Shirley and America 2Night; he also worked both sides of the camera in the 1984 rockumentary parody This Is Spinal Tap, co-starring as rock idol Derek Smalls and co-writing the script with director Rob Reiner and fellow cast members Christopher Guest and Michael McKean. In league with another top satirist, Albert Brooks, Shearer concocted the screenplay for another faux documentary, 1979's Real Lampoon. During the 1984-1985 TV season, Shearer joined the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on NBC's Saturday Night Live.
The soft-spoken, saturnine Harry Shearer is most famous however for lending his voice to the Fox Network cartoon series The Simpsons.