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Frank Langella

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Title: Frank Langella  
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Subject: Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play, Mark Rylance, Charles Durning, Al Pacino
Collection: 1938 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, Actors of Italian Descent, American Male Film Actors, American Male Stage Actors, American Male Voice Actors, American People of Italian Descent, American Theater Hall of Fame Inductees, Drama Desk Award Winners, Living People, Male Actors from New Jersey, Male Actors of Italian Descent, People from Bayonne, New Jersey, People from South Orange, New Jersey, Syracuse University Alumni, Tony Award Winners
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Frank Langella

Frank Langella
Langella in 2012 at the Deauville American Film Festival
Born Frank A. Langella, Jr.
(1938-01-01) January 1, 1938
Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1965–present
Spouse(s) Ruth Weil (1977–1996)
Partner(s) Whoopi Goldberg (1996–2001)
Children 2

Frank A. Langella, Jr. (born January 1, 1938) is an American stage and film actor. He has won three Tony Awards, two for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as Richard Nixon in the play Frost/Nixon and for the role of Leslie in Edward Albee's Seascape. Additionally, Langella has won two Obie Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the film production of Frost/Nixon (2008).[1][2]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Awards 4
  • Filmography 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Langella, an Italian American,[3] was born in Bayonne, New Jersey,[4] the son of Angelina and Frank A. Langella Sr., a business executive who was the president of the Bayonne Barrel and Drum Company.[5][6] Langella attended Washington Elementary School and Bayonne High School in Bayonne.[7] After the family moved to South Orange, New Jersey he graduated from Columbia High School, in the South Orange-Maplewood School District, in 1955, and graduated from Syracuse University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama.[8] He remains a brother of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity.


Langella appeared off-Broadway (in plays like the American poet Robert Lowell's The Old Glory) before he made his first foray on a Broadway stage in New York in Garcia-Lorca's "Yerma" at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center, on December 8, 1966. He followed this role by appearing in William Gibson's A Cry of Players, playing a young, highly fictionalized William Shakespeare, opposite Anne Bancroft at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater in 1968, and won film fame in two 1970 films: Mel Brooks' The Twelve Chairs and Frank Perry's Diary of a Mad Housewife, being nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for the latter. Langella won his first Tony Award for his performance in Edward Albee's Seascape and 1975 and was nominated again for what may have been the performance for which he was best known in the early part of his career: the title role of the 1977 Broadway production of Dracula. Despite his initial misgivings about continuing to play the role, he was persuaded to star opposite Laurence Olivier in the subsequent film version directed by John Badham. He eschewed the career of a traditional film star by always making the stage the focal point of his career, appearing on Broadway in such plays as Strindberg's The Father (winning a Drama Desk Award), Match (Tony Award nomination), and Fortune's Fool, for which he won a second Tony Award.

But Langella would continue to juggle film and television with his stage work, playing Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) as former CBS chief executive William S. Paley and Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (2006) as Daily Planet editor Perry White. Langella received critical acclaim as well as the Boston Society of Film Critics Award in 2007 for his sensitive portrayal of an elderly novelist in Starting Out in the Evening.

He was cast as Frost/Nixon, which received enthusiastic reviews during a run at the Donmar Warehouse and Gielgud Theatre in London before moving to New York's Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in April 2007, culminating in Langella's third Tony Award. He reprised the role of Nixon in the 2008 Oscar nominated Best Picture film Frost/Nixon, directed by Ron Howard. He received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA nominations for Best Actor for his performance. He was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category for the role, losing to Sean Penn's performance in Milk.

In 2000, he played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a musical version of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden.[10] He has also appeared in notable off-Broadway productions, including in the title role of Robert Kalfin's Chelsea Theater Center production of The Prince of Homburg, which was filmed by PBS for the Theatre in America series.[11] He starred as Sir Thomas More in the 2008 Broadway revival of A Man for All Seasons.[12]

In late 2009, he starred alongside Cameron Diaz and re-united with Superman Returns co-star James Marsden in the Richard Kelly film The Box.[13] Langella starred in the drama thriller Unknown, which was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, and was released in 2011.[14]

In October and November 2013, Langella played King Lear at the Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre in Chichester, UK. It travelled to the Harvey Theater at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) in New York in 2014. The production was directed by Angus Jackson.

Personal life

Langella was married to Ruth Weil from June 14, 1977 to their divorce in 1996. They have two children. He also then lived with actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg, whom he had met on the set of Eddie. From 1996 they were together but they separated in March 2001. Langella published a memoir in 2012 called Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them.[15] In a review in the New York Times Book Review, Ada Calhoun wrote that "Langella's book celebrated sluttiness as a worthy—even noble—way of life. There was so much happy sexuality in this book that reading it was like being flirted with for a whole party by the hottest person in the room. It was no wonder Langella was invited everywhere."[16]


Langella's awards include two Frost/Nixon. He also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Richard Nixon in the film Frost/Nixon (2008). Langella was nominated for two other Best Leading Actor in a Play Tonys: first in 1978 for the Edward Gorey-designed revival of Bram Stoker's Dracula and again in 2004 for Stephen Belber's Match. In 2002, Langella was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.[17]


Year Film Role Notes
1970 Diary of a Mad Housewife George Prager National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Male
The Twelve Chairs Ostap Bender National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
1971 The Deadly Trap Philippe
1972 The Wrath of God De La Plata
1973 Love Story Jimmy Lewin Episode: "When the Girls Came Out to Play"
1974 The Mark of Zorro Don Diego de la Vega / Zorro
1979 Dracula Count Dracula Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
1980 Those Lips, Those Eyes Harry Crystal
1981 Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes TV recording of live stage production
Sphinx Akmed Khazzan
1986 The Men's Club Harold Canterbury
1987 Masters of the Universe Skeletor
1988 And God Created Woman James Tiernan
1991 True Identity Leland Carver
1992 1492: Conquest of Paradise Santangel
1993 Body of Evidence Jeffrey Roston
Dave White House Chief of Staff Bob Alexander
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Jaro Essa 3 episodes (uncredited)
1994 Brainscan Detective Hayden
Doomsday Gun Gerald Bull
Junior Noah Banes
1995 Bad Company Vic Grimes
Cutthroat Island Dawg Brown
1996 Eddie Wild Bill Burgess
The Greatest Pharaohs Himself
1997 Lolita Clare Quilty
1998 Small Soldiers Archer Voice
I'm Losing You Perry Needham Krohn
Alegría Guilietta's father/Fleur
1999 The Ninth Gate Boris Balkan
2000 Cry Baby Lane Mr. Bennett A TV movie that aired on Nickelodeon
2001 Sweet November Edgar Price
The Beast Jackson Burns TV series
2004 House of D Reverend Duncan
The Novice Father Tew
2005 Back in the Day Lt. Bill Hudson
Now You See It... Max
Sweet William Professor Driskoll
Good Night, and Good Luck William S. Paley Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2006 Superman Returns Perry White
10.5 Apocalypse Dr. Earl Hill
2007 Starting Out in the Evening Leonard Schiller Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Male
Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
2008 The Caller Jimmy Stevens
Frost/Nixon Richard Nixon African-American Film Critics Association for Best Actor
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—London Film Critics' Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Tale of Despereaux The Mayor Voice
2009 The Box Arlington Steward Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2010 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Louis Zabel
All Good Things Sanford Marks
2011 Unknown Rodney Cole
2012 Robot & Frank Frank
The Time Being Warner Dax
2013 Parts Per Billion Andy
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight Warren Burger TV film
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Beefeater Vicar
Draft Day Anthony Molina
5 to 7 Sam
Noah Og
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet Pasha
2015 The Driftless Area Tim Geer
Captain Fantastic Completed
The Americans Gabriel TV series
2016 Youth in Oregon Raymond Engersol In post-production
All the Way Richard Russell, Jr. TV film

See also


  1. ^ Rudd, Andy. "Oscar nominations: Frank Langhella - Top 10 facts you need to know about the Academy Award-nominated Frost/Nixon actor". Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  2. ^ Mcgrath, Charles (2009-01-04). "So Nixonian That His Nose Seems to Evolve".  
  3. ^ Roberts, Sheila (2007-11-22). "Frank Langella Interview, Starting out in the Evening". MoviesOnline. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  4. ^ Peter Marks (1996-02-11). "Frank Langella Stamps 'The Father' as His Own".  
  5. ^ "Frank Langella Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  6. ^ White, Timothy (1998). The entertainers. Billboard Books. p. 72.  
  7. ^ Coutros, Evonne E. "PLAYING A WICKED STREAK FOR ALL IT'S WORTH", The Record (Bergen County). January 23, 1994.
  8. ^ Venutolo, Anthony. "From heroes to villains, Frank Langella finds the heart in them all", The Star-Ledger, November 29, 2008. Accessed June 14, 2011. "The family moved to South Orange, where Langella graduated from Columbia High School before heading off to Syracuse to study drama."
  9. ^ Marshall, Rick. """Frank Langella calls Skeletor "one of my very favorite parts. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  10. ^ "Frank Langella Biography (1940?-)". Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  11. ^ Napoleon, Davi (1991).  
  12. ^ Cox, Gordon. Frank Langella to be 'Man' on B'way, Variety, 21 May 2008.
  13. ^ Video Interviews: The Box
  14. ^ Frank Langella Scores Starring Role in 'Unknown White Male'
  15. ^ Langella, Frank (2012). Dropped Names. HarperCollins Publishers. 
  16. ^ Calhoun, Ada (April 22, 2012). "Cheerful Debauchery". New York Times Book Review. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  17. ^

External links

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