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Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(born Frederich Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund; September 22, 1895 – August 25, 1967) was an American stage and film actor who grew up in Chicago. Muni was a five-time Academy Award
Academy Award
nominee, with one win. He started his acting career in the Yiddish
Yiddish
theatre. During the 1930s, he was considered one of the most prestigious actors at the Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
studio, and was given the rare privilege of choosing which parts he wanted. His acting quality, usually playing a powerful character, such as the lead in Scarface (1932), was partly a result of his intense preparation for his parts, often immersing himself in study of the real character's traits and mannerisms. He was also highly skilled in using makeup techniques, a talent he learned from his parents, who were also actors, and from his early years on stage with the Yiddish theater in Chicago. At the age of 12, he played the stage role of an 80-year-old man; in one of his films, Seven Faces, he played seven different characters. He made 25 films and won the Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor
Actor
for his role in the 1936 film The Story of Louis Pasteur. He also starred in numerous Broadway plays and won the Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Actor
Actor
in a Play for his role in the 1955 production of Inherit the Wind.

Contents

1 Early life and career 2 Hollywood 3 Later career 4 Acting techniques, reputation, and legacy 5 Personal life 6 Legacy and honors 7 Cultural references 8 Filmography 9 Radio appearances 10 Notes 11 See also 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links

Early life and career[edit] His Hebrew name was Meshilem; he was also called Frederich Meier Weisenfreund, born to a Jewish
Jewish
family in Lemberg, Galicia, a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (It is now Lviv, Ukraine). His parents were Salli and Phillip Weisenfreund.[1] He learned Yiddish
Yiddish
as his first language. When he was seven, he emigrated with his family to the United States in 1902; they settled in Chicago.

His makeup skills were used for The Story of Louis Pasteur.

As a boy, he was known as "Moony".[2] He started his acting career in the Yiddish theatre
Yiddish theatre
in Chicago with his parents, who were both actors. As a teenager, he developed a skill in creating makeup, which enabled him to play much older characters.[3] Film historian Robert Osborne notes that Muni's makeup skills were so creative, that for most of his roles, "he transformed his appearance so completely, he was dubbed 'the new Lon Chaney.'"[4] In his first stage role at the age of 12, Muni played the role of an 80-year-old man.[4] He was quickly recognized by Maurice Schwartz, who signed him up with his Yiddish
Yiddish
Art Theater.[5] Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson
and Paul Muni
Paul Muni
were cousins to Charles M. Fritz, who was a notable actor during the Great Depression. A 1925 New York Times
New York Times
article singled out Sam Kasten's and Muni's performances at the People's Theater as among the highlights of that year's Yiddish
Yiddish
theater season, describing them as second only to Ludwig Satz. Muni began acting on Broadway in 1926. His first role was that of an elderly Jewish
Jewish
man in the play We Americans, written by playwrights Max Siegel and Milton Herbert Gropper. It was the first time that he ever acted in English. In 1921, he married Bella Finkel (February 8, 1898 – October 1, 1971), an actress in the Yiddish
Yiddish
theatre. They remained married until Muni's death in 1967. Hollywood[edit] In 1929, Muni was signed by Fox. His name was simplified and anglicized to Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(he had the nickname "Moony" when young). His acting talents were quickly recognized and he received an Oscar nomination for his first film, The Valiant (1929), although the film did poorly at the box office.[3] His second film, Seven Faces (also 1929), was also a financial failure. Unhappy with the roles offered him, he returned to Broadway, where he starred in a major hit play, Counselor at Law.[4] Paul Muni
Paul Muni
soon returned to Hollywood to star in such harrowing pre-Code films as the original Scarface and I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (both 1932). For the second, he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. The acclaim that Muni received as a result of this performance so impressed Warner Bros., they signed him to a long-term contract, publicizing him as "the screen's greatest actor."[4]

"I had been wanting to see Scarface since 1974...The film just stopped me in my tracks. All I wanted to do was imitate Paul Muni. His acting went beyond the boundaries of naturalism into another kind of expression. It was almost abstract what he did. It was almost uplifting."

Al Pacino[6]

Scarface, part of a cycle of gangster films at the time,[7] was written by Ben Hecht[8]:6 and directed by Howard Hawks. Critic Richard Corliss noted in 1974 that, while it was a serious gangster film, it also "manages both to congratulate journalism for its importance and to chastise it for its chicanery, by underlining the newspapers' complicity in promoting the underworld image." [8] :10 In 1935, Muni persuaded Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
to take a financial risk by producing the historical biography The Story of Louis Pasteur. This became Muni's first of many biographical roles. He starred as a crusading scientist who fights derision in his native country to prove that his medical theories will save lives. Until that film, most Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
stories originated from current events and major news stories, with the notable exceptions of George Arliss's earlier biographical films Disraeli, Alexander Hamilton, and Voltaire. The sudden success of Pasteur gave Warner's "box office gold", notes Osborne.[4] Muni won an Oscar for his performance (as had Arliss for his performance in Disraeli six years earlier). He played other historical figures, including Émile Zola, a "man of conscience", in The Life of Emile Zola
The Life of Emile Zola
(1937), for which he was nominated for an Oscar.[9] The film won Best Picture and was interpreted as indirectly attacking the repression of Nazi Germany.[9] He also played the lead role in Juarez (1939). In 1937, Muni played a Chinese peasant, with a new bride, in a film adaptation of Pearl Buck's novel The Good Earth. It co-starred Luise Rainer as his wife; she won an Academy Award
Academy Award
for her part. The film was a recreation of a revolutionary period in China, and included special effects for a locust attack and the overthrow of the government. Because Muni was not of Asian descent, when producer Irving Thalberg
Irving Thalberg
offered him the role, he said, "I'm about as Chinese as [President] Herbert Hoover."[4] Dissatisfied with life in Hollywood, Muni chose not to renew his contract. He returned to the screen only occasionally in later years, for such roles as Frédéric Chopin's teacher in A Song to Remember (1945). In 1946, he starred in a rare comic performance, Angel on My Shoulder, playing a gangster whose early death prompts the Devil (played by Claude Rains) to make mischief by putting his soul into the body of a judge. His new identity turns the former criminal into a model citizen. Later career[edit]

New York City opening of A Flag is Born
A Flag is Born
(1946)

Muni then focused most of his energies on stage work, and occasionally on television roles. In 1946, he appeared on Broadway in A Flag is Born, written by Ben Hecht, to help promote the creation of a Jewish state in Israel.[10] This play was directed by Luther Adler
Luther Adler
and co-starred Marlon Brando. Years later, in response to a question put to him by Alan King, Brando stated that Muni was the greatest actor he ever saw. At London's Phoenix Theatre on July 28, 1949, Muni began a run as Willy Loman
Willy Loman
in the first English production of Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. He took over from Lee J. Cobb, who had played the principal role in the original Broadway production. Both productions were directed by Elia Kazan. A few years later, during 1955 and 1956, Muni had his biggest stage success in the United States as the crusading lawyer, Henry Drummond (based on Clarence Darrow), in Inherit the Wind, winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor
Actor
in a Play. In late August 1955, Muni was forced to withdraw from the play, due to a serious eye ailment causing deterioration in his eyesight. He was later replaced by actor Melvyn Douglas.[11] In early September 1955, Muni, then 59 years old, was diagnosed with a tumor of the left eye. The eye was removed in an operation at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. His right eye was reported to be normal.[12] In early December 1955, Muni returned to his starring role as Henry Drummond in the play Inherit the Wind.[13] His last movie role was as an aging doctor in The Last Angry Man (1959), and he was again nominated for an Oscar. After that, Muni mostly retired from acting to deal with failing eyesight and other health problems.[4] He made his final screen appearance on television, in a guest role on the dramatic series Saints and Sinners in 1962. Acting techniques, reputation, and legacy[edit]

Paul Muni
Paul Muni
in the trailer for Scarface

Muni was noted for his intense preparation for his roles, especially the biographies. While preparing for The Story of Louis Pasteur, Muni said, "I read most everything that was in the library, and everything I could lay my hands on that had to do with Pasteur, with Lister, or with his contemporaries."[14] He did the same in preparing for his role as Henry Drummond, based on Clarence Darrow, in the play Inherit the Wind. He read what he could find, talked to people who knew Darrow personally, and studied physical mannerisms from photographs of him. "To Paul Muni, acting was not just a career, but an obsession", writes the New York Times. They note that despite his enormous success both on Broadway and in films, "he threw himself into each role with a sense of dedication." Playwright Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
commented that Muni "was pursued by a fear of failure."[14] As Muni was born into an acting family, with both of his parents professional actors, "he learned his craft carefully and thoroughly." On stage, "a Muni whisper could reach the last balcony of any theater", writes the Times. It wrote that his style "had drawn into it the warmth of the Yiddish
Yiddish
stage", in which he made his debut at the age of 12. In addition, his technique in using makeup "was a work of art." Combined with acting which followed no "method", he perfected his control of voice and gestures into an acting style that was "unique."[14] Film historian David Shipman described Muni as "an actor of great integrity",[15] noting he meticulously prepared for his roles. Muni was widely recognized as eccentric if talented: he objected to anyone wearing red in his presence, but at the same time could often be found between sessions playing his violin. Over the years, he became increasingly dependent on his wife, Bella, a dependence which increased as his failing eyesight turned to blindness in his final years.[15] Muni was "inflexible on matters of taste and principle", once turning down an $800,000 movie contract because he was not happy with the studio's choice of film roles.[14] Although Muni was considered one of the best film actors of the 1930s, he has gained a bad reputation for his performances by film critics such as David Thomson and Andrew Sarris, who accuse him of overacting. German director William Dieterle, who directed him in his three biopics, also frequently accused him of overacting, despite his respect for the actor.[16] Personal life[edit] In his private life, Muni was considered "exceedingly shy", and was discomfited to be recognized while out shopping or dining. He enjoyed reading and going for walks with his wife in secluded sections of Central Park. He always arrived at the theater by 7:30 pm to prepare for that night's performance. After retiring from acting, he lived in California, in what was considered an "austere" setting, where his wife and he enjoyed their privacy. In his den, which he called his "Shangri-La", he spent time reading books and listening to the radio.[14] Muni died of a heart disorder in Montecito, California, in 1967, aged 71. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood. Legacy and honors[edit] Muni has four official Academy Award
Academy Award
nominations for Best Actor, winning for The Story of Louis Pasteur
The Story of Louis Pasteur
(1936) and receiving official nominations for I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
(1932), The Life of Emile Zola (1937), and The Last Angry Man
The Last Angry Man
(1959). His nomination for the film The valiant (1929) is unofficial. The reason for this being that at the 2nd Academy Awards, no acting nominees were announced, only the Best Actor
Actor
and Actress winners were announced, with the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
official site stating "Although not official nominations, the additional names in each category, according to in-house records, were under consideration by various boards of judges".[17] Muni's performance in Black Fury was not nominated for an Oscar (see note below filmography).

New York Film Critics Circle Award for The Life of Emile Zola Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Actor
Actor
in Inherit the Wind A star was installed in his honor on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
at 6435 Hollywood Blvd. A film musical, Actor: The Paul Muni
Paul Muni
Story (1978) was made of his life, with Herschel Bernardi
Herschel Bernardi
starring. A biography titled Actor: The Life and Times of Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1974) was written by Jerome Lawrence.[18]

Cultural references[edit] Referring to his childhood during the Great Depression, Hawkeye Pierce in the “Hawkeye” episode of the television series M*A*S*H*, said, “You knew where you stood in those days. Franklin Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt
was always president, Joe Louis
Joe Louis
was always the champ, and Paul Muni
Paul Muni
played everybody.” [19] Muni and George Raft appeared as characters in the fifth season of Boardwalk Empire, meeting with Capone to discuss the film Scarface.[20] Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes

1929 The Valiant James Dyke Nominated — Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor

Seven Faces Papa Chibou / Diablero / Willie Smith / Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
/ Don Juan
Don Juan
/ Joe Gans / Napoleon

1932 Scarface Antonio "Tony" Camonte

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang James Allen Nominated — Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor

1933 The World Changes Orin Nordholm Jr.

1934 Hi, Nellie! Brad Bradshaw

1935 Bordertown Johnny Ramirez

Black Fury [a] Joe Radek

Dr. Socrates Dr. Lee Cardwell, nicknamed "Dr. Socrates"

1936 The Story of Louis Pasteur Louis Pasteur Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor Volpi Cup
Volpi Cup
for Best Actor

1937 The Good Earth Wang Released in sepia tone

The Woman I Love Lt. Claude Maury

The Life of Emile Zola Émile Zola New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor Nominated — Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor

1939 Juarez Benito Juárez

We Are Not Alone Dr. David Newcome

1941 Hudson's Bay Pierre-Esprit Radisson

1942 Commandos Strike at Dawn Erik Toresen

1945 A Song to Remember Prof. Joseph Elsner Filmed in Technicolor

Counter-Attack Alexei Kulkov

1946 Angel on My Shoulder Eddie Kagle / Judge Fredrick Parker

1952 Imbarco a mezzanotte The Stranger With A Gun called Stranger on the Prowl in the U.S.

1959 The Last Angry Man Dr. Samuel 'Sam' Abelman Mar del Plata Film Festival
Mar del Plata Film Festival
Award for Best Actor Nominated — Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/Source

1936 Lux Radio Theatre The Story of Louis Pasteur[22]

Notes[edit]

^ Muni was not nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Black Fury. For two years only, the Academy allowed a write-in vote. This meant that technically, any performance was eligible for an award. This decision was made in 1935 in response to the controversy surrounding Bette Davis
Bette Davis
failing to get a nomination for her performance in Of Human Bondage. Muni came in 2nd in the vote for Best Actor, but the Academy does not recognize Muni or Davis as nominees in those years.[21]

See also[edit]

List of actors with Academy Award
Academy Award
nominations List of German-speaking Academy Award
Academy Award
winners and nominees

References[edit]

^ https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/49941616/ ^ [Adler, Jacob, A Life on the Stage: A Memoir], translated and with commentary by Lulla Rosenfeld, Knopf, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-679-41351-0. Note on p 377: "... Muni Weisenfreund, now Paul Muni". ^ a b International Dictionary of Actors and Actresses - Actors and Actresses, 3rd Ed., St. James Press, 1997, pp. 858-859 ^ a b c d e f g Osborne, Robert; Miller, Frank. Leading Men: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actors of the Studio Era, Chronicle Books, 2006, pp. 153-155 ^ STRAUSS, THEODORE (December 17, 1939). "PAUL MUNI, LESS THE 'MR.,' RETURNS; PAUL MUNI, LESS THE 'MR.,' RETURNS TO TOWN". New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2010.  ^ Tucker, Ken. Scarface Nation: The Ultimate Gangster
Gangster
Movie and How It Changed America, Macmillan (2011) e-book ^ See also Little Caesar and The Public Enemy
The Public Enemy
(both 1931). ^ a b Corliss, Richard, Talking Pictures, (1974) Overlook Press ^ a b David Denby, "Hitler in Hollywood"], The New Yorker, September 16, 2013 ^ A Flag Is Born Archived March 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, April 2004 ^ " Paul Muni
Paul Muni
Quits Broadway Play; Has Eye Ailment", Toledo Blade newspaper, August 31, 1955 ^ " Paul Muni
Paul Muni
Loses Left Eye to Tumor", Milwaukee Sentinel, September 7, 1955 ^ "Ovation Greets Paul Muni
Paul Muni
On Return To Play", Toledo Blade newspaper, December 2, 1955 ^ a b c d e New York Times, Obituary, August 26, 1967 ^ a b David Shipman The Great Movie Stars: The Golden Years, London: Macdonald, 1989, p.434, 437 ^ Gemünden, Gerd (2014). "Continental Strangers: German Exile Cinema, 1933-1951". McFarland. ISBN 978-0231166799.  Missing or empty url= (help) ^ "1928/29 2nd Academy Awards". Academy Awards
Academy Awards
Database. September 24, 2014. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.  ^ "Anecdotes of the Famous: Keeping Cool". The Milwaukee Journal. January 6, 1976. p. 40. Retrieved September 27, 2015 – via Google News Archive.  ^ http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=mash&episode=s04e18 ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7y4zYQEjM4 ^ " Academy Awards
Academy Awards
statistics". Academy Awards
Academy Awards
Database. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2014.  ^ "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 43 (3): 33. Summer 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

Druxman, Michael B (1974). Paul Muni : his life and his films. South Brunswick: A.S. Barnes. ISBN 9780498014130. OCLC 762401.  Fárberman, Boris; Muni, Paul (1970). Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Ejecutivo Sudamericano del Congreso Judío Mundial. OCLC 7019258.  Gerlach, Michael Christopher (1971). The acting of Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(Thesis). Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan. OCLC 6840065.  Lawrence, Jerome (1974). Actor: The Life and Times of Paul Muni. News York, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 9780399113413. OCLC 1083129.  Grimshaw, Myrtle Lecky (1945). "Paul Muni, Master Character Actor". In Lotz, Philip Henry. Distinguished American Jews. Creative Personalities Series. 6. New York: Association Press. OCLC 2055635.  Melamed, S.M., "The Yiddish
Yiddish
Stage", The New York Times, September 27, 1925 (X2)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paul Muni.

Paul Muni
Paul Muni
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Paul Muni
Paul Muni
on IMDb Paul Muni
Paul Muni
at the TCM Movie Database Paul Muni
Paul Muni
papers, circa 1920-1967, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Photos of Muni in various costumes and makeup Paul Muni: Scarface and Beyond Paul Muni
Paul Muni
in The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse (1947 radio version) Photographs and literature Paul Muni
Paul Muni
at Find a Grave

Awards for Paul Muni

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Actor

1928–1950

Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
(1928) Warner Baxter
Warner Baxter
(1929) George Arliss
George Arliss
(1930) Lionel Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
(1931) Fredric March
Fredric March
/ Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
(1932) Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
(1933) Clark Gable
Clark Gable
(1934) Victor McLaglen
Victor McLaglen
(1935) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1936) Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
(1937) Spencer Tracy
Spencer Tracy
(1938) Robert Donat
Robert Donat
(1939) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1940) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1941) James Cagney
James Cagney
(1942) Paul Lukas
Paul Lukas
(1943) Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
(1944) Ray Milland
Ray Milland
(1945) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1946) Ronald Colman
Ronald Colman
(1947) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1948) Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
(1949) José Ferrer
José Ferrer
(1950)

1951–1975

Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
(1951) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1952) William Holden
William Holden
(1953) Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
(1954) Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
(1955) Yul Brynner
Yul Brynner
(1956) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1957) David Niven
David Niven
(1958) Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
(1959) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1960) Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell
(1961) Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
(1962) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(1963) Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
(1964) Lee Marvin
Lee Marvin
(1965) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1966) Rod Steiger
Rod Steiger
(1967) Cliff Robertson
Cliff Robertson
(1968) John Wayne
John Wayne
(1969) George C. Scott1 (1970) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1971) Marlon Brando1 (1972) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1973) Art Carney
Art Carney
(1974) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1975)

1976–2000

Peter Finch
Peter Finch
(1976) Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss
(1977) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(1978) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1979) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1980) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1981) Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
(1982) Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
(1983) F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham
(1984) William Hurt
William Hurt
(1985) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
(1986) Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
(1987) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1988) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(1989) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1990) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1991) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1992) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1993) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(1994) Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
(1995) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(1996) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1997) Roberto Benigni
Roberto Benigni
(1998) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(1999) Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe
(2000)

2001–present

Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(2001) Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody
(2002) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2003) Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
(2004) Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman
(2005) Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
(2006) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2007) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2008) Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges
(2009) Colin Firth
Colin Firth
(2010) Jean Dujardin
Jean Dujardin
(2011) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2012) Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
(2013) Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne
(2014) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
(2015) Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
(2016) Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman
(2017)

1 refused award that year

v t e

Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award

Katharine Cornell
Katharine Cornell
(1935) Helen Hayes
Helen Hayes
(1936) Maurice Evans (1937) Cedric Hardwicke
Cedric Hardwicke
(1938) Raymond Massey
Raymond Massey
(1939) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1940) Paul Lukas
Paul Lukas
(1941) Judith Evelyn
Judith Evelyn
(1942) Alfred Lunt
Alfred Lunt
(1943) Lynn Fontanne
Lynn Fontanne
(1944) Mady Christians
Mady Christians
(1945) Louis Calhern
Louis Calhern
(1946) Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman
(1947) Judith Anderson
Judith Anderson
(1948) Robert Morley
Robert Morley
(1949) Grace George
Grace George
(1950) Claude Rains
Claude Rains
(1951) Julie Harris (1952) Shirley Booth
Shirley Booth
(1953) Josephine Hull (1954) Viveca Lindfors
Viveca Lindfors
(1955) David Wayne
David Wayne
(1956) Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
(1957) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1958) Cyril Ritchard
Cyril Ritchard
(1959) Jessica Tandy
Jessica Tandy
(1960) Hume Cronyn
Hume Cronyn
(1961) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1962) Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
(1963) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1964) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1965) Richard Kiley
Richard Kiley
(1966) Rosemary Harris
Rosemary Harris
(1967) Zoe Caldwell (1968) Alec McCowen
Alec McCowen
(1969) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1970) Anthony Quayle
Anthony Quayle
(1971) Eileen Atkins / Claire Bloom
Claire Bloom
(1972) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(1973) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(1974) John Wood (1975) Eva Le Gallienne
Eva Le Gallienne
(1976) Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1977) Frank Langella
Frank Langella
(1978) Frances Sternhagen
Frances Sternhagen
(1979) Roy Scheider
Roy Scheider
(1980) Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
(1981) Milo O'Shea
Milo O'Shea
(1982) Edward Herrmann
Edward Herrmann
/ Kate Nelligan (1983) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1984) Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
(1985) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1986) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
(1987) John Lithgow
John Lithgow
(1988) Pauline Collins
Pauline Collins
(1989) Robert Morse
Robert Morse
(1990) Stockard Channing
Stockard Channing
(1991) Glenn Close
Glenn Close
(1992) Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea
(1993) Sam Waterston
Sam Waterston
(1994) Cherry Jones
Cherry Jones
(1995) Uta Hagen
Uta Hagen
(1996) Charles Durning
Charles Durning
/ Bebe Neuwirth
Bebe Neuwirth
(1997) Brian Stokes Mitchell
Brian Stokes Mitchell
(1998) Kathleen Chalfant (1999) Eileen Heckart (2000) Mary-Louise Parker
Mary-Louise Parker
/ Gary Sinise
Gary Sinise
(2001) Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
(2002) Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein
(2003) Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman
(2004) Norbert Leo Butz
Norbert Leo Butz
(2005) Christine Ebersole
Christine Ebersole
(2006) Liev Schreiber
Liev Schreiber
(2007) Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
(2008) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(2009) Alfred Molina
Alfred Molina
(2010) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2011) Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald
(2012) Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane
(2013) Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris
(2014) Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera
(2015) Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2016) Ben Platt (2017)

v t e

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor

Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton
(1935) Walter Huston
Walter Huston
(1936) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1937) James Cagney
James Cagney
(1938) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1939) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1940) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
(1941) James Cagney
James Cagney
(1942) Paul Lukas
Paul Lukas
(1943) Barry Fitzgerald
Barry Fitzgerald
(1944) Ray Milland
Ray Milland
(1945) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1946) William Powell
William Powell
(1947) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1948) Broderick Crawford
Broderick Crawford
(1949) Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
(1950) Arthur Kennedy
Arthur Kennedy
(1951) Ralph Richardson
Ralph Richardson
(1952) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1953) Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
(1954) Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
(1955) Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
(1956) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1957) David Niven
David Niven
(1958) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1959) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1960) Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell
(1961) No award (1962) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(1963) Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
(1964) Oskar Werner
Oskar Werner
(1965) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1966) Rod Steiger
Rod Steiger
(1967) Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin
(1968) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(1969) George C. Scott
George C. Scott
(1970) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1971) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1972) Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
(1973) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1974) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1975) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1976) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1977) Jon Voight
Jon Voight
(1978) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1979) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1980) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1981) Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley
(1982) Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
(1983) Steve Martin
Steve Martin
(1984) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1985) Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins
(1986) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1987) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1988) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(1989) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1990) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1991) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(1992) David Thewlis
David Thewlis
(1993) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
(1994) Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
(1995) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(1996) Peter Fonda
Peter Fonda
(1997) Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte
(1998) Richard Farnsworth
Richard Farnsworth
(1999) Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
(2000) Tom Wilkinson
Tom Wilkinson
(2001) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2002) Bill Murray
Bill Murray
(2003) Paul Giamatti
Paul Giamatti
(2004) Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger
(2005) Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
(2006) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2007) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2008) George Clooney
George Clooney
(2009) Colin Firth
Colin Firth
(2010) Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
(2011) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(2012) Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(2013) Timothy Spall
Timothy Spall
(2014) Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton
(2015) Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
(2016) Timothée Chalamet
Timothée Chalamet
(2017)

v t e

Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Performance by a Leading Actor
Actor
in a Play

José Ferrer
José Ferrer
/ Fredric March
Fredric March
(1947) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
/ Paul Kelly / Basil Rathbone
Basil Rathbone
(1948) Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
(1949) Sidney Blackmer
Sidney Blackmer
(1950) Claude Rains
Claude Rains
(1951) José Ferrer
José Ferrer
(1952) Tom Ewell
Tom Ewell
(1953) David Wayne
David Wayne
(1954) Alfred Lunt
Alfred Lunt
(1955) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1956) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1957) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1958) Jason Robards, Jr. (1959) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1960) Zero Mostel
Zero Mostel
(1961) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1962) Arthur Hill (1963) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1964) Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau
(1965) Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook
(1966) Paul Rogers (1967) Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
(1968) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
(1969) Fritz Weaver
Fritz Weaver
(1970) Brian Bedford
Brian Bedford
(1971) Cliff Gorman (1972) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(1973) Michael Moriarty (1974) John Kani
John Kani
and Winston Ntshona (1975) John Wood (1976) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1977) Barnard Hughes
Barnard Hughes
(1978) Tom Conti
Tom Conti
(1979) John Rubinstein
John Rubinstein
(1980) Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
(1981) Roger Rees
Roger Rees
(1982) Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein
(1983) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1984) Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
(1985) Judd Hirsch
Judd Hirsch
(1986) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
(1987) Ron Silver
Ron Silver
(1988) Philip Bosco (1989) Robert Morse
Robert Morse
(1990) Nigel Hawthorne (1991) Judd Hirsch
Judd Hirsch
(1992) Ron Leibman (1993) Stephen Spinella (1994) Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes
(1995) George Grizzard
George Grizzard
(1996) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(1997) Anthony LaPaglia
Anthony LaPaglia
(1998) Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
(1999) Stephen Dillane
Stephen Dillane
(2000) Richard Easton (2001) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(2002) Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
(2003) Jefferson Mays
Jefferson Mays
(2004) Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
(2005) Richard Griffiths
Richard Griffiths
(2006) Frank Langella
Frank Langella
(2007) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2008) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(2009) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(2010) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2011) James Corden
James Corden
(2012) Tracy Letts
Tracy Letts
(2013) Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
(2014) Alex Sharp
Alex Sharp
(2015) Frank Langella
Frank Langella
(2016) Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline
(2017)

v t e

Volpi Cup
Volpi Cup
for Best Actor

1934–68

Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
(1934) Pierre Blanchar
Pierre Blanchar
(1935) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1936) Emil Jannings
Emil Jannings
(1937) Leslie Howard (1938) Ermete Zacconi
Ermete Zacconi
(1941) Fosco Giachetti
Fosco Giachetti
(1942) Pierre Fresnay
Pierre Fresnay
(1947) Ernst Deutsch
Ernst Deutsch
(1948) Joseph Cotten
Joseph Cotten
(1949) Sam Jaffe
Sam Jaffe
(1950) Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
(1951) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1952) Henri Vilbert (1953) Jean Gabin
Jean Gabin
(1954) Curd Jürgens/ Kenneth More
Kenneth More
(1955) Bourvil
Bourvil
(1956) Anthony Franciosa
Anthony Franciosa
(1957) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1958) James Stewart
James Stewart
(1959) John Mills
John Mills
(1960) Toshiro Mifune
Toshiro Mifune
(1961) Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
(1962) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(1963) Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1964) Toshiro Mifune
Toshiro Mifune
(1965) Jacques Perrin
Jacques Perrin
(1966) Ljubiša Samardžić
Ljubiša Samardžić
(1967) John Marley (1968)

1983–2000

Guy Boyd/George Dzundza/David Alan Grier/Mitchell Lichtenstein/Matthew Modine/Michael Wright (1983) Naseeruddin Shah
Naseeruddin Shah
(1984) Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu
(1985) Carlo Delle Piane
Carlo Delle Piane
(1986) Hugh Grant/ James Wilby (1987) Don Ameche/ Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna
(1988) Marcello Mastroianni/ Massimo Troisi
Massimo Troisi
(1989) Oleg Borisov
Oleg Borisov
(1990) River Phoenix
River Phoenix
(1991) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(1992) Fabrizio Bentivoglio/ Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Mastroianni
(1993) Xia Yu/ Roberto Citran
Roberto Citran
(1994) Götz George/ Ian Hart (1995) Liam Neeson/ Chris Penn
Chris Penn
(1996) Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes
(1997) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(1998) Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
(1999) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem
(2000)

2001–present

Luigi Lo Cascio
Luigi Lo Cascio
(2001) Stefano Accorsi
Stefano Accorsi
(2002) Sean Penn
Sean Penn
(2003) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem
(2004) David Strathairn
David Strathairn
(2005) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
(2006) Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt
(2007) Silvio Orlando
Silvio Orlando
(2008) Colin Firth
Colin Firth
(2009) Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo
(2010) Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender
(2011) Philip Seymour Hoffman/ Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix
(2012) Themis Panou (2013) Adam Driver
Adam Driver
(2014) Fabrice Luchini
Fabrice Luchini
(2015) Oscar Martínez (2016) Kamel El Basha (2017)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 42041090 LCCN: n85151676 ISNI: 0000 0000 8121 0325 GND: 117182052 SELIBR: 239796 SUDOC: 131168789 BNF: cb14040154r (data) BIBSYS: 1032027 BNE: XX1166

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