Tom Hulce, December 2006
Thomas Edward Hulce
December 6, 1953
|Education||University of North Carolina School of the Arts|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, producer|
Thomas Edward Hulce (born December 6, 1953) is an American actor, singer, and theater producer. He is best known for his role as Larry "Pinto" Kroger in Animal House (1978), his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Amadeus (1984), and his role as Quasimodo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Additional acting awards included four Golden Globe nominations, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. He retired from acting in the mid-1990s to focus on stage directing and producing. In 2007, he won a Tony Award as a lead producer of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening.
Hulce was born on December 6, 1953 in Detroit, Michigan. (Some sources incorrectly cite his birthplace as Whitewater, Wisconsin.) The youngest of four children, he was raised in Plymouth, Michigan. His mother, the former Joanna Winkleman, sang briefly with Phil Spitalny's All-Girl Orchestra, and his father, Raymond Albert Hulce, worked for the Ford Motor Company. As a child, he wanted to be a singer, but he switched to acting after his voice changed in his teenage years. He left home at the age of 15 and attended Interlochen Arts Academy and the North Carolina School of the Arts, leaving a year before finishing his BFA.
Hulce debuted as an actor in 1975, playing opposite Anthony Hopkins in Equus on Broadway. Throughout the rest of the 1970s and the early 1980s, he worked primarily as a theater actor, taking occasional parts in movies. His first film role was in the James Dean-influenced film September 30, 1955 in 1977. His next movie role was as freshman student Lawrence "Pinto" Kroger in the classic comedy Animal House (1978). In 1983, he played a gunshot victim in the television show St. Elsewhere.
In the early 1980s, Hulce was chosen over intense competition (including David Bowie, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mark Hamill, and Kenneth Branagh) to play the role of Mozart in director Miloš Forman's film version of Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus. In 1985, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, losing to his co-star, F. Murray Abraham. In his acceptance speech, Abraham paid tribute to his co-star, saying, "There's only one thing missing for me tonight, and that is to have Tom Hulce standing by my side."
In 1989, he received his second Best Actor Golden Globe Award nomination for a critically acclaimed performance as an intellectually-challenged garbage-collector in the 1988 movie Dominick and Eugene. He played supporting roles in Parenthood (1989), Fearless (1993) and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994). In 1988, he played the title part in the British–Dutch movie Shadow Man, directed by the Polish director Piotr Andrejew.
In 1990, he was nominated for his first Emmy Award for his performance as the 1960s civil rights activist Michael Schwerner in the 1990 TV-movie Murder in Mississippi. He starred as Joseph Stalin's projectionist in Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky's 1991 film The Inner Circle. In 1996, he won an Emmy Award for his role as a pediatrician in a television-movie version of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles, starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Also that year, he was cast in Disney's animated film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, providing the speaking and singing voice of the protagonist Quasimodo. Although Hulce largely retired from acting in the mid-1990s, he had bit parts in the movies Stranger Than Fiction (2006) and Jumper (2008).
Hulce remained active in theater throughout his entire acting career. In addition to Equus, he appeared in Broadway productions of A Memory of Two Mondays and A Few Good Men, for which he was a Tony Award nominee in 1990. In the mid-1980s, he appeared in two different productions of playwright Larry Kramer's early AIDS-era drama The Normal Heart. In 1992, he starred in a Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Hamlet. His regional theatre credits include Eastern Standard at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Nothing Sacred at the Mark Taper Forum, both in 1988.
Career as producer
Hulce produced two major projects: the six-hour, two-evening stage adaptation of John Irving's The Cider House Rules; and Talking Heads, a festival of Alan Bennett's one-man plays that won six Obie Awards, a Drama Desk Award, a special Outer Critics Circle Award, and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. He also headed 10 Million Miles, a musical project by Keith Bunin and Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, that premiered in Spring 2007 at the Atlantic Theater Company.
Hulce was a lead producer of the Broadway hit Spring Awakening, which won eight Tony Awards in 2007, including one for Best Musical. He is also a lead producer of the stage adaptation of the Green Day album American Idiot. The musical had its world premiere in Berkeley, California, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009 and opened on Broadway in April 2010. In 2017 he began work as a producer on the musical Ain't Too Proud, which received 11 Tony Award nominations in 2019. He also produced the 2004 movie A Home at the End of the World, based upon Michael Cunningham's novel.
In 2008, Hulce identified as openly gay in an interview with Seattle Gay News. In the same interview, he took the opportunity to debunk a rumor he married a woman (supposedly an Italian artist named Cecilia Ermini) and had a daughter named Anya with her: "That information – having a wife and child – is false. In the world of the Internet, there are many falsehoods. Anyone can write stuff on Wikipedia and it doesn't have to be true. I'm comfortable among the lists [of openly gay actors] although I stopped acting about 10 years ago."
Awards and nominations
- 2010 Tony Award Best Musical American Idiot [nominee] Produced by Tom Hulce
- 2010 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical American Idiot [nominee] Produced by Tom Hulce
- 2007 Tony Award Best Musical Spring Awakening [winner] Produced by Tom Hulce
- 2007 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Spring Awakening [winner] Produced by Tom Hulce
- 2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play Tom Hulce [nominee] (for Talking Heads)
- 2000 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Director of a Play Thomas Hulce [nominee] (for "The Cider House Rules, Part One")
- 1993 Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play [nominee] (for Hamlet, The Shakespeare Theatre)
- 1990 Tony Award Best Actor in Play [nominee] (for A Few Good Men)
- 1990 Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Play [nominee] (for A Few Good Men)
See Filmography below
- Producer Hulce Springs to New Rialto Role Variety, December 3, 2006
- Where Have You Been, Tom Hulce? Pittsburgh Tribune, August 13, 2004
- With Amadeus, Tom Hulce Finds His Career Crescendoing People, December 10, 1984
- "The New Netherland Ancestors of Thomas Edward Hulce". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. July 27, 2002. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "William Holden, Patrick Swayze, and Tom Hulce: their cousinship with Jean Margaret (Kennedy) Mitchelson through the Betts family". Cybrary.uwinnipeg.ca. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "Playing Ordinary Man Difficult for Hulce", Charlotte Observer, December 11, 1988.
- Amadeus Reinvents Himself, Playbill, December 5, 2006.
- Hulce Found His Calling in Ann Arbor's Theater Community. Detroit Free Press, April 18, 2010.
- "Tom Hulce at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Brady, Tara (November 25, 2017). "Mark Hamill: 'If I had to climb a Skellig, I was staying at the top'". Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Branagh, Kenneth (1990). Beginning. New York: Norton. pp. 105–109. ISBN 978-0-393-02862-1. OCLC 20669813.
- amctv.com. "AMC Movie Guide". Movies.amctv.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- The Heart of the Matter Archived December 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Gay Times, July 1986
- "Hamlet," Hulce & the Issue of Character The Washington Post, November 23, 1992
- "Regional Theater Finds a Winner: 'Nothing Sacred' Is the Play of the Year Although It Never Received the Broadway Stamp of Approval". Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1988.
- . "SGN Exclusive Interview: The Incredible Hulce" by Eric Andrews-Katz. Seattle Gay News, October 3, 2008.
- The Broadway League. "Internet Broadway Database". Ibdb.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Username: *. "Washington Theatre Guide | TheatreWashington | Helen Hayes Awards | Your Ticket to Washington Theatre". Helenhayes.org. Retrieved December 5, 2013.