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Alfred Drake

Alfred Drake

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Also Known As: Alfredo Capurro Died: July 25, 1992
Born: October 7, 1914 Cause of Death: heart-related ailments
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: actor, singer, director, translator, playwright

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Actor and baritone who played leading roles in landmark Broadway shows including "Oklahoma!" and "Kiss Me Kate". Drake's good-humored performance as Hajj, a street poet made Emir of Bagdad for a day, in the hit musical "Kismet" won him a well-deserved Tony in 1954. A commanding presence, Drake also performed well in straight drama, including several Shakesperean roles. He made regular TV appearances in the 1950s, sometimes in broadcast versions of his stage successes; the most notable of his few film roles was Claudius opposite Richard Burton's "Hamlet" (1964).

Actor and baritone who played leading roles in landmark Broadway shows including "Oklahoma!" and "Kiss Me Kate". Drake's good-humored performance as Hajj, a street poet made Emir of Bagdad for a day, in the hit musical "Kismet" won him a well-deserved Tony in 1954. A commanding presence, Drake also performed well in straight drama, including several Shakesperean roles. He made regular TV appearances in the 1950s, sometimes in broadcast versions of his stage successes; the most notable of his few film roles was Claudius opposite Richard Burton's "Hamlet" (1964).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Life & Adventures of Santa Claus, The (1985) Voice Of Great Ak
2.
 Trading Places (1983) President Of Exchange
3.
 Your Money or Your Wife (1972) Himself
4.
 Hamlet (1964) Claudius
5.
 Strange Victory (1948) Narrator
6.
 Tars and Spars (1946) Howard Young
8.
 Avignon (1974) Narration
9.
 Kiss Me, Kate (1958) Fred Graham
10.
 Yeoman of the Guard, The (1957) Jack Point
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in the Bronx but raised in Brooklyn
1935:
Made stage debut in the chorus of a production of "The Mikado"
1936:
Was understudy and chorus performer in "White Horse Inn"
1937:
Appeared on Broadway in "Babes in Arms"
1943:
Achieved stardom on Broadway as Curly in "Oklahoma!"
1946:
Made first notable film appearance, in the musical "Tars and Spars"
1948:
Played Fred Graham (and Petruchio) in the Broadway stage musical "Kiss Me Kate"
1950:
Playwriting debut, a translation of "Edward Eager"
1953:
Offered role of monarch of Siam in the musical "The King and I"; reportedly asked for a salary of $5000 per week which was deemed to high; Yul Brynner hired for part; replaced Brynner in role when former went on vacation
1953:
Enjoyed hit on Broadway as the Hajj in "Kismet"; recreated role in 1955 London staging
1957:
Teamed with Katharine Hepburn in stage production of "Much Ado About Nothing"
1958:
With Patricia Morrison, recreated stage leads in NBC "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of "Kiss Me Kate"
1961:
Portrayed famed actor Edmund Kean in the curious musical biography "Kean"
1964:
Returned to films to play Claudius in an adaptation of "Hamlet", reprising stage role from the John Gielgud-directed modern dress version starring Richard Burton
1965:
Once again played the Hajj in a revival of "Kismet"
:
Spent much of the 1960s and 1970s directing plays and appearing in touring productions
1973:
Inherited the Maurice Chevalier role in the Broadway musical adaptation of "Gigi"
1983:
Returned to films to play the President of the Exchange in "Trading Places"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Brooklyn College: Brooklyn , New York - 1935

Notes

Inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1981.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Alma Rowena Tollefsen. Singer. Married in 1940; divorced in 1944.
wife:
Esther Drake. Married from 1944 to; his death; mother of his two daughters.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John M Capurro.
mother:
Elena Teresa Capurro.
brother:
Arturo Capurro.

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