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Frank Langella

Frank Langella

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Also Known As: Frank A. Langella Jr. Died:
Born: January 1, 1938 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bayonne, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, playwright, theatrical producer, theatrical director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Frank Langella's status as one of the most highly regarded actors of the American stage was well-deserved, as his grand presence earned two Tony Awards by the time he was 30 years old. During his career of 75-plus stage plays and three dozen films, Langella, with his penchant for bold, romantic leads and chilly villains, was entrusted with such classic characters as Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Cyrano de Bergerac. He favored period classics during his early years, but middle age found him more at ease in contemporary film drama, where he earned critical notice for "Dave" (1993), "Good Night and Good Luck" (2005) and a portrayal of Richard Nixon that migrated from the West End to Broadway to movie screens in "Frost/Nixon" (2008). Even as high profile film roles eventually brought the actor mainstream recognition, Langella maintained his residency in the world of professional thespians rather than being a Hollywood commodity.

Frank Langella's status as one of the most highly regarded actors of the American stage was well-deserved, as his grand presence earned two Tony Awards by the time he was 30 years old. During his career of 75-plus stage plays and three dozen films, Langella, with his penchant for bold, romantic leads and chilly villains, was entrusted with such classic characters as Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Cyrano de Bergerac. He favored period classics during his early years, but middle age found him more at ease in contemporary film drama, where he earned critical notice for "Dave" (1993), "Good Night and Good Luck" (2005) and a portrayal of Richard Nixon that migrated from the West End to Broadway to movie screens in "Frost/Nixon" (2008). Even as high profile film roles eventually brought the actor mainstream recognition, Langella maintained his residency in the world of professional thespians rather than being a Hollywood commodity.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Driftless Area (2015)
2.
 Noah (2014)
4.
5.
 Draft Day (2014)
6.
7.
 Grace of Monaco (2014)
8.
 Genius on Hold (2013)
9.
 Time Being, The (2013)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1959:
Toured Europe with folk-singing group
1963:
New York stage debut, "The Immoralist"
1967:
First appeared onstage in the play "Dracula"
1967:
Acted in the innaugural performance of "The Devils" at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum
1968:
Portrayed a young Will Shakespeare in the stage drama "A Cry of Players"
1969:
Stage directing debut with "John and Abigail"
1970:
Film debut, "Diary of a Mad Housewife"; also acted that year in Mel Brooks' "The Twelve Chairs"
1971:
Cast in the title role of "Cyrano de Bergerac" at the Williamstown Theater Festival
1973:
Made TV debut on an episode of the short-lived romantic anthology series "Love Story" (NBC)
1974:
First TV-movie, "The Mark of Zorro" (ABC), playing the title role
1975:
Appeared in the Williamstown staging of "The Seagull"; filmed for public television's "Theater in America"
1975:
Broadway debut as a lizard in Edward Albee's "Seascape"; earned a Best Supporting Actor Tony
1976:
Starred with Blythe Danner in Tennessee Williams' "Eccentricities of a Nightingale" at the Williamstown Theater Festival
1977:
Scored Broadway triumph in the title role of "Dracula"; earned a Best Actor Tony nomination
1979:
Reprised "Dracula" for the screen
1980:
Directed playwright Albert Innaurato's "Passione" on Broadway
1980:
Undertook role of "Cyrano de Bergerac" for a second time at the Williamstown Theater Festival
1982:
Played Salieri on Broadway in "Amadeus"
1984:
Co-starred with Jill Clayburgh in Noel Coward's "Design for Living"
1984:
Produced and starred as Quentin in off-Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's "After the Fall"
1985:
Returned to Broadway as Eddie in David Rabe's acclaimed "Hurlyburly"
1987:
Went unrecognizable as the villain Skeletor in "Masters of the Universe"
1987:
Produced and starred on Broadway as Sherlock Holmes in "Sherlock's Last Case"
1991:
Made musical comedy stage debut as Henry Higgins in the Houston Grand Opera staging of "My Fair Lady"
1993:
Starred opposite Madonna (as her ex-lover) in the uneven thriller "Body of Evidence"
1993:
Portrayed evil White House chief of staff in "Dave"
1994:
Appeared as family patriarch Junius Brutus Booth in New York stage production of Austin Pendleton's "Booth"
1996:
Earned positive reviews playing the title role in the revival of August Strindberg's searing play "The Father"
1996:
Played the Pharaoh to Ben Kingsley's "Moses" (TNT)
1996:
Co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg in the film comedy "Eddie"
1996:
Earned acclaim for his Broadway turn as hammy actor Garry Essedine in a revival of Noel Coward's "Present Laughter"
1997:
Played Claire Quilty in Adrian Lyne's version of "Lolita" (banned from feature release in the U.S.; aired on Showtime in August 1998)
1997:
Directed, starred in the title role, and adapted Edmund Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac" in an intimate off-Broadway setting
1998:
Provided the voice of Archer for Joe Dante's "Toy Soldiers"
1999:
Played a seemingly fit TV producer who discovers that he stands a good chance of dying within the year of inoperable cancer in "I'm Losing You"
2000:
Appeared in NBC miniseries "Jason and the Argonauts"
2001:
Portrayed a shark-like executive in a memorable cameo in the remake of "Sweet November"
2001:
Co-starred with Joan Collins in the London stage production of "Moon Over Buffalo" (retitled as "Over the Moon); withdrew from production shortly after the opening
2002:
Appeared opposite Alan Bates in "Fortune's Fool" on Broadway
2003:
Played Tobi Powell, an aging choreographer and dance teacher in the play "Match"; received a Tony nomination
2005:
Co-starred in David Duchovny's directorial debut "House of D"
2005:
Starred in the George Clooney-directed "Goodnight, and Good Luck"
2006:
Cast as Clark Kent's boss Perry White in Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns"
2007:
Won a Tony award playing Richard Nixon in Peter Morgan's acclaimed Broadway drama "Frost/Nixon"
2007:
Played an aging writer in "Starting Out in the Evening"; earned an Independent Spirit Award Nomination for Best Actor
2008:
Reprised role of Richard Nixon for the film adaption of "Frost/Nixon"; directed by Ron Howard; earned Golden Globe, SAG and Academy Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
2009:
Cast in Richard Kelly's horror film "The Box"
2010:
Co-starred in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," the sequel to his 1987 Academy Award-winning film
2010:
Played Ryan Gosling's controlling father in "All Good Things"
2011:
Co-starred with Susan Sarandon in the HBO drama "The Miraculous Year"
2011:
Starred in the Roundabout Theatre Company production "Man and Boy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York - 1959

Notes

"I like audiences believing I am the character I am, and if they hear too much about how I play it or too much about my personal life, I'm not that character, I'm the guy they saw on the Letterman show telling that anecdote. Some actors I can literally no longer watch, because they've told me too much about themselves." --Frank Langella to New York Newsday, January 16, 1994

"When I was a kid actor sitting in a classroom at Syracuse University, I remember a student raising his hand and saying, 'Well, professor, what about moments of Greatness? What about inspiration?' My teacher said, 'You don't have that. You don't strive for that. What you do is work hard, like a brick-layer. You get up on the stage every night and you work work work. You don't go out there looking to be inspired. Go out and work, and every once in a while on a rainy Wednesday afternoon with half a house out there you'll go off with these extraordinary flights of inspiration when the magic of your voice and your character and the audience and the lights and the actors all comes together. You're going to give one of these great performances, and you're not going to know why.'

"The reason people stay in this profession is to have those moments every once in a while, but 90% of the time you go to work. At 7:30 I'll go to the theatre, and I will want to go out there in order to do my job and if, on a particular night, it takes off in some special magical way where we're all holding on ... it's great. There are other nights you don't feel that so-called magic. That's when you earn your salary." --Langella quoted in Playbill, March 10, 1997.

"I'm still growing and learning and experimenting and hoping to find new truths in the characters I play. If somebody asks me a question, I'll give them my experience, but if you begin to think of yourself [as a mentor], you're saying, 'Now I've arrived someplace', and I don't feel that. I still have a lot of questions myself." --Langella to Kathy Henderson in InTheater, November 28, 1997.

"Sure, everyone loved the vampire story. But I made a concerted effort never to trade on it. Almost any actor who's played it has been taken down for the count--if you'll pardon the pun." --Langella to Larry Worth in New York Post, December 10, 1997.

"To be an actor in the theater is to teach yourself and keep yourself disciplined and honorable. And if you do that, you get a chance to fly in this kind of emotional paradise that acting can be when it's ... really great. Acting is just as much hard work as digging a ditch. And if you do all the yeoman work, inspiration will come.

"Revelations come when you're in the thick of it, pitting yourself ... against something that is bigger than yourself ... I'm going to choose roles where every night I go out there thinking I have to go up against something that the man in the audience, as Camus says, takes a lifetime to face and ... do it eight times a week.

"You have to maintain a certain attitude of childlikeness--because it requires it to be grown-up and go into a theater and put on a costume and walk out on a stage and say other people's words. But with each decade, I come to value decent, honorable, disciplined behavior more." --to Los Angeles Times, April 5, 1998.

"When I was a very young actor, I remember being given a piece of advice by a director who said, 'An actor is in two positions in his career: You want them or they want you.' If you want them, you could be sitting on their desk, lighting their cigar and kissing their ass and not get the part. But if they want you, you could be in the Sahara in a tent ... and a note will slip under the tent saying 'please report to work.'

"He told me that when I was 23 and I couldn't fathom it. But I know how absolutely right he was. This moment is what matters. That takes almost your lifetime to figure out. I don't know why it takes so long, but it does. That's probably the single most important thing I could leave with any actor." --Langella quoted in Los Angeles Times, April 5, 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ruth Langella. Magazine editor. Mother of two children with Langella; born c. 1941; married June 14, 1977; filed for divorce in October 1995.
companion:
Whoopi Goldberg. Actor. Co-starred in "Eddie" (1996); together from c. October 1995 until early 2000.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Frank Langella. Business executive.

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