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Sam Wanamaker

Sam Wanamaker

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Also Known As: Died: December 18, 1993
Born: June 14, 1919 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Distinguished looking, left-leaning actor who came to the screen in 1948 after considerable experience as an actor/director on the Chicago and Broadway stage. During the "Red Scare", Wanamaker appeared in "Give Us This Day" (1949), directed in London by Edward Dmytryk, a blacklisted member of the Hollywood Ten and after appearing in another film in England remained there to avoid any possible repercussions for his political commitments. After appearing in two British productions, however, he found that the tentacles of the Hollywood blacklist reached across the Atlantic, making it impossible for him to continue working in film.Wanamaker subsequently made a name for himself as an actor, director and producer of Shakespeare and contemporary fare on the British stage and founded the Globe Playhouse Trust. He returned to the USA in 1961 and resumed his screen career with notable performances as the Russian agent in "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" (1965), as Moses Weiss in TV's "Holocaust" (1978) and ironically as a lawyer who tries to convince his clients to name names to HUAC in Irwin Winkler's Hollywood blacklist drama, "Guilty By Suspicion" (1991).A veteran director for stage and TV ("The...

Distinguished looking, left-leaning actor who came to the screen in 1948 after considerable experience as an actor/director on the Chicago and Broadway stage. During the "Red Scare", Wanamaker appeared in "Give Us This Day" (1949), directed in London by Edward Dmytryk, a blacklisted member of the Hollywood Ten and after appearing in another film in England remained there to avoid any possible repercussions for his political commitments. After appearing in two British productions, however, he found that the tentacles of the Hollywood blacklist reached across the Atlantic, making it impossible for him to continue working in film.

Wanamaker subsequently made a name for himself as an actor, director and producer of Shakespeare and contemporary fare on the British stage and founded the Globe Playhouse Trust. He returned to the USA in 1961 and resumed his screen career with notable performances as the Russian agent in "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" (1965), as Moses Weiss in TV's "Holocaust" (1978) and ironically as a lawyer who tries to convince his clients to name names to HUAC in Irwin Winkler's Hollywood blacklist drama, "Guilty By Suspicion" (1991).

A veteran director for stage and TV ("The Defenders", "Columbo", "Hart to Hart"), Wanamaker's occasional directorial outings for film yielded mostly unexceptional results.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Grand Deceptions (1989) Director
2.
3.
  My Kidnapper, My Love (1980) Director
5.
  Catlow (1971) Director
6.
  The Executioner (1970) Director
7.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 D.W. Griffith: Father of Film (1993) Narration
2.
 Killer Rules (1993) Joe Gambon
3.
 Secret Ingredient (1992) Morley
4.
 Guilty By Suspicion (1991) Felix Graff
5.
 Pure Luck (1991) Highsmith
6.
 Running Against Time (1990) Dr Koopman
7.
 Always Remember I Love You (1990) Phillip Mendham Sr
8.
 Shell Seekers, The (1989) Richard
9.
 Judgment in Berlin (1988) Bernard Hellring
10.
 Baby Boom (1987) Fritz Curtis
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1936:
In Chicago worked as actor-director in summer stock, also with the Shakespearean Theatre Group and the Chicago Civic Repertory Theatre
:
Directed productions for the Jewish Peoples Institute
:
Worked as radio actor in NY
1942:
Broadway acting debut, "Cafe Crown"
:
Served in US Armed Forces
1946:
Rose to prominence in stage production of "Joan of Lorraine"
1948:
Broadway directing debut, "Goodbye My Fancy" (also actor)
1948:
Screen acting debut in "My Girl Tisa"
:
Legally became a British resident
1951:
US Government tried to serve him with subpoena to appear before the HUAC committee; remained in England
1952:
London stage debut, "Winter Journey"
1953:
Co-produced first play (also actor), "The Shrike", London
:
Served as artistic director, New Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool, UK
1961:
Returned to USA
1969:
Feature directing debut, "The File of the Golden Goose" (Great Britain)
1974:
Named director, Southwark Summer Festival, UK
1977:
Founded (also executive director) Globe Playhouse Trust Ltd. And World Centre for Shakespeare Studies Ltd., UK
1984:
TV series regular on "Berringers"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Drake University: Des Moines , Iowa -
The Goodman School of Drama: Chicago , Illinois -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Charlotte Holland. Married in 1940 until his death in January 1997.
companion:
Jan Sterling. Actor. Had relationship with Wanamaker from c. 1960.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Morris Wanamaker.
mother:
Molly Wanamaker.
daughter:
Abby Wanamaker. Survived him.
daughter:
Zoe Wanamaker. Actor. Born on May 13, 1949; survived him.
daughter:
Jessica Wanamaker. Lawyer. Survived him; born c. 1953.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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