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Jerry Zaks

Jerry Zaks

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 7, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Germany Profession: director, actor, dialogue coach

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This acclaimed stage actor and director has lately been delving into films as well. Born in Germany, Zaks was appearing on the New York stage by the mid-1970s. The curly-haired, diminutive actor made a splash as Kenicke in the long-running hit musical "Grease" and subsequently alternated between musicals and plays, including "Once in a Lifetime" (1977), "Tintypes" (1980), Lanford Wilson's "Talley's Folly" (1982) and "Isn't It Romantic?" (1983). In 1994, he made a rare return to acting, handling the title role in of a concert version of "Fiorello!" (1994). His film acting career has consisted mostly of cameos in "Outrageous Fortune" (1987), Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989) and "Husbands and Wives" (1992). Zaks has also acted in the TV-movies "Attica" (ABC, 1980), "The Gentleman Bandit" (CBS, 1981) and "The Wall" (CBS, 1982).

This acclaimed stage actor and director has lately been delving into films as well. Born in Germany, Zaks was appearing on the New York stage by the mid-1970s. The curly-haired, diminutive actor made a splash as Kenicke in the long-running hit musical "Grease" and subsequently alternated between musicals and plays, including "Once in a Lifetime" (1977), "Tintypes" (1980), Lanford Wilson's "Talley's Folly" (1982) and "Isn't It Romantic?" (1983). In 1994, he made a rare return to acting, handling the title role in of a concert version of "Fiorello!" (1994). His film acting career has consisted mostly of cameos in "Outrageous Fortune" (1987), Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989) and "Husbands and Wives" (1992). Zaks has also acted in the TV-movies "Attica" (ABC, 1980), "The Gentleman Bandit" (CBS, 1981) and "The Wall" (CBS, 1982).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Marvin's Room (1996) Director
4.
  Man Who Came to Dinner, The (2000) Stage Director
5.
  Guys and Dolls Off the Record (1992) Stage Director
6.
  House of Blue Leaves, The (1987) Stage Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Husbands and Wives (1992) Dinner Party Guest
2.
 Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989) Man On Campus
3.
 Outrageous Fortune (1987) Tobacco Clerk
4.
 Wall, The (1982)
5.
 Gentleman Bandit, The (1981) Carl Schnee
6.
 Attica (1980) Lenny Becker
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Germany
:
Family moved to the USA and settled in Paterson, New Jersey
1971:
Began acting with Ensemble Studio Theater, New York
:
Appeared on Broadway as Motel the tailor opposite Zero Mostel's Tevye in the Broadway hit "Fiddler on the Roof"
1974:
Played Kenicke in the long-running musical "Grease"
1977:
Visiting professor at Dartmouth College
1980:
Co-starred in the stage musical "Tintypes"
1980:
First TV appearance, in "Attica" (ABC)
1981:
New York debut as director, "Beyond Therapy"
1982:
First big hit as director, the double bill of one-act plays, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You" and "The Actor's Nightmare", both by Christopher Durang
1982:
Directed touring company of "Tintypes"
1983:
Served as dialogue coach for film "Private School"
1983:
Was again visiting professor at Dartmouth
:
Was resident director of the Lincoln Center Theater
1986:
Made Broadway debut as director, "The House of Blue Leaves", a revival of John Guare's comedy
1987:
Directed first musical revival, Cole Porter's "Anything Goes"
1987:
First film appearance, in "Outrageous Fortune"
1990:
Hired by Jujamcin Theaters as a consultant
1992:
Had biggest stage success as director with the revival of "Guys and Dolls", starring Peter Gallagher, Nathan Lane and Faith Prince
1996:
Staged the revival of the Larry Gelbart-Stephen Sondheim musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", starring Nathan Lane
1996:
Directed first feature film, "Marvin's Room", adapted from the off-Broadway play and starring Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro
1998:
Oversaw the production of the ill-fated Broadway musical "The Capeman", composed by Paul Simon
1999:
Experienced another flop with the musical "The Civil War"
1999:
Directed the stage comedy "Epic Proportions", starring Kristen Chenoweth
2000:
Staged the Broadway revival of "The Man Who Came to Dinner", starring Nathan Lane
2001:
Directed the Neil Simon comedy "45 Seconds from Broadway"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Dartmouth College: Hanover , New Hampshire - 1967
Smith College: Northampton , Massachusetts - 1969

Notes

Zaks was honored by the Drama League in 1996.

He received an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth College.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jill Rose. Actor. Married on January 14, 1979.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Sy Zaks. Butcher. Holocaust survivor.
mother:
Lily Zaks. Holocaust survivor.
daughter:
Emma Rose Zaks.

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