Langella at the 2012 Deauville American Film Festival
Frank A. Langella Jr.
January 1, 1938
Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Syracuse University|
(m. 1977; div. 1996)
|Partner(s)||Whoopi Goldberg (1996–2001)|
Frank A. Langella Jr. (//; born January 1, 1938) is an American stage and film actor. He has won four Tony Awards: two for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as Richard Nixon in Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon and as André in Florian Zeller's The Father, and two for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performances in Edward Albee's Seascape and Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool. His reprisal of the Nixon role in the film production of Frost/Nixon earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Langella has starred in films such as Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), Mel Brooks' The Twelve Chairs (1970), Dracula (1979), Masters of the Universe (1987), Dave (1993), Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Starting Out in the Evening (2007), Robot & Frank (2012), Captain Fantastic (2016), and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020). He is also known for his performances in the HBO television films Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013), and All the Way (2016). He had a recurring role as Gabriel, the KGB handler for the lead characters, in the FX series The Americans (2013-2017), and has played Sebastian Piccirillo in the Showtime series Kidding (2018-2020).
Langella, an Italian American, was born January 1, 1938, in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of Angelina and Frank A. Langella Sr., a business executive who was the president of the Bayonne Barrel and Drum Company. Langella attended Washington Elementary School and Bayonne High School in Bayonne. 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.
Langella appeared off-Broadway (e.g. in The Immoralist at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre in 1963, and Robert Lowell's The Old Glory in 1965) before he made his first foray on a Broadway stage in New York in Federico García 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 the same venue in 1968.
He 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 in 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 Sherlock Holmes in a 1981 adaptation of William Gillette's play Sherlock Holmes. He repeated the role on Broadway in 1987 in Charles Marowitz's play Sherlock's Last Case. That same year, Langella would also portray the villain Skeletor in Masters of the Universe, which he has described as one of his favorite roles. In 1988, Langella co-starred in the film And God Created Woman.
In 1993, he made a three-episode appearance on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the devious Jaro Essa. That same year he also starred in the political comedy Dave starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. He also played a supporting role the Ivan Reitman comedy Junior alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, and Emma Thompson. In 1994 he narrated the American Masters documentary on Tennessee Williams. In 1996 Langella starred in the comedy film Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg who he entered into a romantic relationship with until 2001. He also played Clare Quilty in the 1997 film adaptation of Lolita starring Jeremy Irons and Melanie Griffith. In 1999 he starred opposite Johnny Depp in the Roman Polanski directed film The Ninth Gate.
In 2000, he played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a musical version of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden. 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. He starred as Sir Thomas More in the 2008 Broadway revival of A Man for All Seasons.
He was cast as Richard Nixon in Peter Morgan's play Frost/Nixon alongside Michael Sheen, which received enthusiastic reviews during a run at the Donmar Warehouse and Gielgud Theatre in London before moving to Broadway in 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.
His film work also includes roles in George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) as former CBS chief executive William S. Paley for which he was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Ensemble Cast. He also appeared in 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.In late 2009, he starred in the Richard Kelly film The Box alongside Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.
In 2010 he played Louis Zabel in Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps alongside Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, and Carey Mulligan. That same year he played a supporting role in All Good Things alongside Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. In 2011, Langella starred in the drama thriller Unknown alongside Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger. In 2012, he earned critical praise for his role in the independent film Robot & Frank with Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine calling his performance "a masterclass in acting".
In 2013 he starred in the Stephen Frears' HBO made-for-television film Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight as Justice Warren E. Burger alongside Christopher Plummer playing Justice John Marshall Harlan. 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 the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York in 2014.
In 2016, he played the title role in Doug Hughes' production of the US premiere of Florian Zeller's play The Father at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway. He won his career fourth Tony Award for his performance. That same year he appeared in Captain Fantastic alongside Viggo Mortensen and was again nominated with the ensemble cast for the Screen Actors Guild Award. He also starred in the HBO television movie All the Way (2016) as Senator Richard Russell Jr. alongside Bryan Cranston's Lyndon B. Johnson. Langella received a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Miniseries nomination for his performance.
In 2020, he played Judge Julius Hoffman in Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7. The film follows the Chicago Seven, a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It was released in September, by Netflix.
Langella was married to Ruth Weil from June 14, 1977 to their divorce in 1996. They have two children. He also lived with actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg, whom he had met on the set of Eddie, from 1996 until they separated in March 2001. Langella published a memoir in 2012 called Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them. 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."
|1970||Diary of a Mad Housewife||George Prager|
|The Twelve Chairs||Ostap Bender|
|1971||The Deadly Trap||Philippe|
|1972||The Wrath of God||De La Plata|
|1980||Those Lips, Those Eyes||Harry Crystal|
|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|
|1995||Bad Company||Vic Grimes|
|Cutthroat Island||Dawg Brown|
|1996||Eddie||Wild Bill Burgess|
|I'm Losing You||Perry Needham Krohn|
|1999||The Ninth Gate||Boris Balkan|
|2000||Stardom||Blaine De Castillon|
|2001||Sweet November||Edgar Price|
|2004||House of D||Reverend Duncan|
|The Novice||Father Tew|
|2005||Back in the Day||Lt. Bill Hudson|
|How You Look to Me||Professor Driskoll|
|Good Night, and Good Luck||William S. Paley|
|2006||Superman Returns||Perry White|
|2007||Starting Out in the Evening||Leonard Schiller|
|2008||The Caller||Jimmy Stevens|
|The Tale of Despereaux||The Mayor||Voice|
|2009||The Box||Arlington Steward|
|2010||Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps||Louis Zabel|
|All Good Things||Sanford Marks|
|2012||Robot & Frank||Frank|
|The Time Being||Warner Dax|
|2013||Parts per Billion||Andy|
|2014||Muppets Most Wanted||Beefeater Vicar||Cameo|
|Draft Day||Anthony Molina|
|5 to 7||Sam|
|Grace of Monaco||Father Francis Tucker|
|Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet||Pasha||Voice|
|2015||The Driftless Area||Tim Geer|
|2016||Captain Fantastic||Jack Bertrang|
|Youth in Oregon||Raymond Engersol|
|2020||The Trial of the Chicago 7||Julius Hoffman|
|1965||The Trials of O'Brien||Michael Romani||Episode: "How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?"|
|1967||NBC Experiment in Television||The Young Man||Episode: "Good Day"|
|NET Playhouse||Episode: "Benito Cereno"|
|1973||Marcus Welby, M.D.||Carey Robins||Episode: "Friends in High Places"|
|Mannix||Harry Tass||Episode: "Silent Target"|
|Love Story||Jimmy Lewin||Episode: "When the Girls Came Out to Play"|
|1974||The Mark of Zorro||Don Diego de la Vega / Zorro||Television film|
|1976||Swiss Family Robinson||Jean Lafitte||2 episodes|
|1981||Sherlock Holmes||Sherlock Holmes||Television recording of live stage production|
|1988||CBS Summer Playhouse||Dr. Paradise||Episode: "Dr. Paradise"|
|1993||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Minister Jaro Essa||3 episodes|
|1994||Doomsday Gun||Gerald Bull||Television film|
|1996||The Greatest Pharaohs||Narrator||Voice|
|2000||Jason and the Argonauts||King Aeëtes||2 episodes|
|Cry Baby Lane||Mr. Bennett||Television film|
|2001||The Beast||Jackson Burns||6 episodes|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Al Baker||Episode: "Dominance"|
|2005||Now You See It...||Max||Television film|
|Unscripted||Goddard Fulton||10 episodes|
|2005–2006||Kitchen Confidential||Pino||6 episodes|
|2006||10.5: Apocalypse||Dr. Earl Hill||2 episodes|
|2013||Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight||Warren Burger||Television film|
|2015–2017||The Americans||Gabriel||31 episodes|
|2016||All the Way||Richard Russell Jr.||Television film|
|2018||American Dad!||Commodore Francis Stoat||Voice|
Episode: "Shell Game"
|2018–2020||Kidding||Sebastian Piccirillo||17 episodes|
|2017||Destiny 2||The Consul||Voice|
Awards and nominations
- "Theater Talk: Frank Langella in "The Father"". CUNY TV. May 2, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
- McGrath, Charles (January 4, 2009). "So Nixonian That His Nose Seems to Evolve". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- Rudd, Andy (January 21, 2009). "Oscar nominations: Frank Langhella – Top 10 facts you need to know about the Academy Award-nominated Frost/Nixon actor". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- Roberts, Sheila (2007-11-22). "Frank Langella Interview, Starting out in the Evening". MoviesOnline. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- "UPI Almanac for Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019". United Press International. January 1, 2019. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
actor Frank Langella in 1938 (age 81)
- Peter Marks (1996-02-11). "Frank Langella Stamps The Father as His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Frank Langella Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- White, Timothy (1998). The entertainers. Billboard Books. pp. 72. ISBN 0-8230-7606-7.
- Coutros, Evonne E. "Playing a Wicked Streak for All It's Worth", The Record. January 23, 1994.
- 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."
- "The Immoralist - Lortel Archives". www.lortel.org.
- Marshall, Rick. "Frank Langella calls Skeletor "one of my very favorite parts"". IFC (U.S. TV network). Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- "Frank Langella Biography (1940?–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- Napoleon, Davi (1991). Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater. Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0-8138-1713-7.
- Cox, Gordon. Frank Langella to be 'Man' on B'way, Variety, 21 May 2008.
- Video Interviews: The Box
- "Frank Langella Scores Starring Role in 'Unknown White Male' - Bloody Disgusting!". 8 December 2009.
- "See Frank Langella in the American Premiere of The Father" by Hannah Vine, Playbill, 30 March 2016
- Langella, Frank (2012). Dropped Names. HarperCollins Publishers.
- Calhoun, Ada (April 22, 2012). "Cheerful Debauchery". New York Times Book Review. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
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