The younger brother of Family Ties star Justine Bateman, actor Jason Bateman has been a mainstay on television since the 1980s, starring in countless sitcoms of varying success. He first displayed his scene-stealing propensity in the role of young sharpster Derek Taylor, best friend of star Ricky Schroder, on Silver Spoons. The audience response to Bateman was so positive that the 15-year-old was given his own sitcom vehicle in 1984, as "teenaged con man" Matthew Burton on It's Your Move. When this series was cancelled after one season, Bateman moved to the long-running role of wise-guy teen David Hogan on the mid-1980s series Valerie, which of course later changed names (and leading actresses) to emerge as The Hogan Family.
During this period, Bateman also found time to star or co-star in a handful of feature films, such as the 1985 made-for-TV summer-camp comedy Poison Ivy, Teen Wolf, Too, and 1991's Necessary Roughness. However, none of the projects were successful enough to give Bateman a springboard to bigscreen stardom.
Following the conclusion of The Hogan Family in 1991, Bateman embarked on a decade plagued by failed TV outings. On top of several pilots that never even saw the light of day, he was the lead in no less than four ill-fated sitcoms, Simon, George and Leo, Chicago Sons, and Some of My Best Friends. Fortunately, as the new millenium was ushered in, things started to look bright for Bateman. After a supporting turn in the Cameron Diaz comedy The Sweetest Thing, his first major theatrical feature in a decade, he was tapped to lead the eclectic ansemble cast of the Ron Howard-produced Fox sitcom Arrested Development. Acclaimed for its smart humor and fresh concept, the show became a hit with critics and viewers.
In the wake of Arrested Development's success, Bateman continued to increase his presence in the world of comedy, but henceforth on the silver screen. He made memorable appearances in 2004 comedies like Starsky and Hutch and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as well as more serious fare, like the 2007 Iraq War movie The Kingdom, but Bateman's next major hit seemed to come later that year, with a memorable supporting role in the comedy Juno. He would continue to be a mainstay in comedy, however, with appearances in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Invention of Lying, Extract, Couples Retreat, and The Switch, but the actor would continue to surprise audiences with more dramatic films as well, like 2009's State of Play and Up in the Air.
For comedy fans, Bateman couldn't be avoided in 2011, with roles in Horrible Bosses as well as The Change-Up. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi