Amanda Michael Plummer is an American actress. She is known for her work on stage and for her roles in such films as Joe Versus the Volcano, The Fisher King, Pulp Fiction, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Plummer won a Tony Award in 1982 for her performance in Agnes of God. Plummer was born in the only child of actors Christopher Plummer and Tammy Grimes, she attended Middlebury College for two and a half years, as a young adult she studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. Plummer has received critical acclaim for her film work, including such films as Cattle Annie and Little Britches, The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire. Other films of note include The Fisher King, for which she received a BAFTA film nomination, a Chicago Film Critics Association Award nomination, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award. Other films include Pulp Fiction, she made her Broadway debut as Jo in the 1981 revival of A Taste of Honey, which ran for a year with Valerie French playing Helen, Jo's mother.
She received a Tony Award nomination, a Theatre World, a Drama Desk, an Outer Critics Circle Awards for her portrayal. She won a Tony Award for Featured Actress and the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Boston Critics Circle Awards for her portrayal of Agnes in Agnes of God, with Geraldine Page and Elizabeth Ashley. In 1983 she portrayed Laura Wingfield in a Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie. Other Broadway performances include Dolly Clandon in You Never Can Tell, as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. Off-Broadway plays include Beth in Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, Killer Joe, written by Tracy Letts, she has performed in many of Tennessee Williams' plays, including Summer and Smoke, The Gnädiges Fräulein, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, the world premiere of The One Exception. In 1996 Plummer won an Emmy Award for her guest appearance on the episode "A Stitch in Time" of The Outer Limits. In 2005, she won an Emmy as Miranda Cole in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Weak", in which she played a woman with schizophrenia.
She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and received another Emmy Award for her performance in Miss Rose White, a Hallmark made-for-television film about a Holocaust survivor, for which she received the Anti-Defamation League Award. For her performance in Last Light, she received a Cable Ace Award nomination. Other awards include the Hollywood Drama Critics Award for her performance in the title female role in Romeo and Juliet, the Saturn Award for her performance as Nettie in Needful Things, a Cable Ace Award for her performance in The Right To Remain Silent. Plummer played Wiress, a former "tribute" who won the Hunger Games, in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the film adaptation of the second novel of The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins. Plummer starred alongside Brad Dourif in the critically acclaimed Off Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Two-Character Play at New World Stages in 2013. In January 2019, it was announced that Plummer will star in the upcoming Netflix drama series Ratched.
Plummer dated director Paul Chart in the late 1990s. The two worked together on Chart's film American Perfekt. Plummer has no children. Amanda Plummer on IMDb Amanda Plummer at the Internet Broadway Database Amanda Plummer at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Article, playbill.com, October 20, 2004. Profile, hollywood.com. NewYork Times article referencing Amanda Plummer, April 28, 1996. Stephen Capen Interview on Worldguide, Futurist Radio Hour, October 14, 1995. Amanda Plummer comments on camera on role in The Two Character Play, June 2013 on YouTube New York Times Arts Blog on The Two-Character Play, June 2013; the Two-Character Play Off-Broadway 2013
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is a commuter rail terminal located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Grand Central is the southern terminus of the Metro-North Railroad's Harlem and New Haven Lines, serving the northern parts of the New York metropolitan area, it contains a connection to the New York City Subway at Grand Central–42nd Street. The terminal is the third-busiest train station in North America, after Toronto Union Station and New York Penn Station; the distinctive architecture and interior design of Grand Central Terminal's station house have earned it several landmark designations, including as a National Historic Landmark. Its Beaux-Arts design incorporates numerous works of art. Grand Central Terminal is one of the world's ten most visited tourist attractions, with 21.9 million visitors in 2013, excluding train and subway passengers. The terminal's main concourse is used as a meeting place, is featured in films and television. Grand Central Terminal contains a variety of stores and food vendors, including a food court on its lower-level concourse.
Grand Central Terminal was named for the New York Central Railroad. Opened in 1913, the terminal was built on the site of two named predecessor stations, the first of which dates to 1871. Grand Central Terminal served intercity trains until 1991, when Amtrak began routing its trains through nearby Penn Station; the East Side Access project, which will bring Long Island Rail Road service to a new station beneath the terminal, is expected to be completed in late 2022. Grand Central covers 48 acres and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world, its platforms, all below ground, serve 26 on the lower. 43 tracks are in use for passenger service. Another eight tracks and four platforms are being built on two new levels deep underneath the existing station as part of East Side Access. Unlike most stations in the Metro-North system, Grand Central Terminal is owned by Midtown Trackage Ventures, a private company, rather than by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates Metro-North and most of its stations, including Grand Central.
Grand Central Terminal was named by and for the New York Central Railroad, which built the station and its two precursors on the site. It has "always been more colloquially and affectionately known as Grand Central Station", the name of its immediate precursor that operated from 1900 until 1910 and which shares its name with the nearby U. S. Post Office station at 450 Lexington Avenue and, with the Grand Central–42nd Street subway station next to the terminal. Grand Central Terminal serves some 67 million passengers a year, more than any other Metro-North station. At morning rush hour, a train arrives at the terminal every 58 seconds. Three of Metro-North's five main lines terminate at Grand Central: Harlem Line to Wassaic, New York Hudson Line to Poughkeepsie, New York New Haven Line to New Haven, Connecticut New Canaan Branch to New Canaan, Connecticut Danbury Branch to Danbury, Connecticut Waterbury Branch to Waterbury, ConnecticutThrough these lines, the terminal serves Metro-North commuters traveling to and from the Bronx in New York City.
The New York City Subway's adjacent Grand Central–42nd Street station serves these routes: 4, 5, 6, <6> trains, situated diagonally under the Pershing Square Building, 42nd Street, Grand Hyatt New York 7 and <7> trains, under 42nd Street between Park Avenue and west of Third Avenue S train, under 42nd Street between Madison Avenue and Vanderbilt AvenueThese MTA Regional Bus Operations buses stop near Grand Central: NYCT Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4 and Q32 local buses at Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue X27, X28, X37, X38, SIM4C, SIM6, SIM8, SIM8X, SIM11, SIM22, SIM25, SIM26, SIM30, SIM31 and SIM33C express buses at Madison Avenue X27, X28, X37, X38, SIM4C, SIM8, SIM8X, SIM25, SIM31 and SIM33C express buses at Fifth Avenue M42 local bus at 42nd Street M101, M102 and M103 local buses at Third Avenue and Lexington Avenue X27, X28, X63, X64 and X68 express buses at Third Avenue SIM6, SIM11, SIM22 and SIM26 express buses at Lexington Avenue MTA Bus: BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM18, BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4 and BM5 express buses at Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue BxM1 express bus at Lexington Avenue BxM1, QM21, QM31, QM32, QM34, QM35, QM36, QM40, QM42 and QM44 express buses at Third Avenue Academy Bus: SIM23 and SIM24 express buses at Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue The terminal and its predecessors were designed for intercity service, which operated from the first station building's completion in 1871 until Amtrak ceased operations in the terminal in 1991.
Through transfers, passengers could connect to all major lines in the United States, including the Canadian, the Empire Builder, the San Francisco Zephyr, the Southwest Limited, the Crescent, the Sunset Limited under Amtrak. Destinations included San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Montreal. Another notable former train was New York Central's 20th Century Limited, a luxury service that oper
Monty Python were a British surreal comedy group who created their sketch comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series; the Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, including touring stage shows, numerous albums, several books, musicals. The Pythons' influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles' influence on music, their sketch show has been referred to as "not only one of the more enduring icons of 1970s British popular culture, but an important moment in the evolution of television comedy". Broadcast by the BBC between 1969 and 1974, Monty Python's Flying Circus was conceived and performed by its members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Loosely structured as a sketch show, but with an innovative stream-of-consciousness approach, aided by Gilliam's animation, it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content.
A self-contained comedy team responsible for both writing and performing their work, the Pythons had creative control which allowed them to experiment with form and content, discarding rules of television comedy. Following their television work, they began making films, which include Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, their influence on British comedy has been apparent for years, while in North America, it has coloured the work of cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live through to more recent absurdist trends in television comedy. "Pythonesque" has entered the English lexicon as a result. In a 2005 poll of over 300 comics, comedy writers and directors throughout the English-speaking world to find "The Comedian's Comedian", three of the six Pythons members were voted to be among the top 50 greatest comedians ever: Cleese at No. 2, Idle at No. 21, Palin at No. 30. Jones and Palin met at Oxford University. Chapman and Cleese met at Cambridge University.
Idle was at Cambridge, but started a year after Chapman and Cleese. Cleese met Gilliam in New York City while on tour with the Cambridge University Footlights revue Cambridge Circus. Chapman and Idle were members of the Footlights, which at that time included the future Goodies, Jonathan Lynn. During Idle's presidency of the club, feminist writer Germaine Greer and broadcaster Clive James were members. Recordings of Footlights' revues at Pembroke College include sketches and performances by Cleese and Idle, along with tapes of Idle's performances in some of the drama society's theatrical productions, are kept in the archives of the Pembroke Players; the six Python members appeared in or wrote these shows before Flying Circus: I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again – The Frost Report – – At Last the 1948 Show – Twice a Fortnight Do Not Adjust Your Set – + Bonzo Dog Band: musical interludes We Have Ways of Making You Laugh – How to Irritate People – The Complete and Utter History of Britain Doctor in the House The BBC’s satirical television show, The Frost Report, broadcast from March 1966 to December 1967, is credited as first uniting the British Pythons and providing an environment in which they could develop their particular styles.
Following the success of Do Not Adjust Your Set, broadcast on ITV in the UK from December 1967 to May 1969, ITV offered Gilliam, Idle and Palin their own late-night adult comedy series together. At the same time and Cleese were offered a show by the BBC, impressed by their work on The Frost Report and At Last the 1948 Show. Cleese was reluctant to do a two-man show for various reasons, including Chapman's difficult and erratic personality. Cleese had fond memories of working with Palin on How to Irritate People and invited him to join the team. With no studio available at ITV until summer 1970 for the late-night show, Palin agreed to join Cleese and Chapman, suggested the involvement of his writing partner Jones and colleague Idle—who in turn wanted Gilliam to provide animations for the projected series. Much has been made of the fact that the Monty Python troupe is the result of Cleese's desire to work with Palin and the chance circumstances that brought the other four members into the fold.
By contrast, according to John Cleese's autobiography, the origins of Monty Python lay in the admiration that writing partners Cleese and Chapman had for the new type of comedy being done on Do Not Adjust Your Set. According to their official website, the group was born from a Kashmir tandoori restaurant in Hampstead in 1969; the Pythons had a definite idea about. They were admirers of the work of Pete
In Arthurian legend, the Fisher King known as the Wounded King or Maimed King, is the last in a long line charged with keeping the Holy Grail. Versions of the original story vary but he is always wounded in the legs or groin and incapable of standing. All he is able to do is fish in a small boat on the river near his castle and wait for some noble who might be able to heal him by asking a certain question. In versions knights travel from many lands to try to heal the Fisher King, but only the chosen can accomplish the feat; this is Percival alone in the earlier stories. Many works have two wounded "Grail Kings" who live in the same castle, a father and son; the more wounded father stays in the castle, sustained by the Grail alone, while the more active son can meet with guests and go fishing. For the purposes of clarity in the remainder of this article, where both appear, the father will be called the Wounded King, the son named the Fisher King. In the Fisher King legends, it is implied that he becomes unable to father or support a next generation to carry on after his death.
There are slight hints in the early versions that his kingdom and lands suffers as he does, 20th-century scholars have suggested his impotence affecting the fertility of the land and reducing it to a barren wasteland. The Fisher King appears first in Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, the Story of the Grail in the late 12th century, but the character's roots may lie in Celtic mythology, he may be derived less directly from the figure of Brân the Blessed in the Mabinogion. In the Second Branch, Bran has a cauldron that can resurrect the dead which he gives to the king of Ireland as a wedding gift for him and Bran's sister Branwen. Bran wages war on the Irish and is wounded in the foot or leg, the cauldron is destroyed, he asks his followers to sever his head and take it back to Britain, his head continues talking and keeps them company on their trip. The group lands on the island of Gwales, where they spend 80 years in a castle of joy and abundance, but they leave and bury Bran's head in London; this story has analogues in two other important Welsh texts: the Mabinogion tale Culhwch and Olwen, in which King Arthur's men must travel to Ireland to retrieve a magical cauldron, the poem The Spoils of Annwn, which speaks of a similar mystical cauldron sought by Arthur in the otherworldly land of Annwn.
The Welsh Romance Peredur son of Efrawg is based on Chrétien or derived from a common original, but it contains several prominent deviations and lacks a Grail. The character of the Fisher King presents Peredur with a severed head on a platter. Peredur learns that he was related to that king, that the severed head was that of his cousin, whose death he must avenge by defeating the Nine Witches; the Fisher King is a character in Chrétien's Perceval, the first of a series of stories and texts on the subject of Perceval and the Grail. He represents the Pope, or papal authority, compromised by wealth, an aristocratic lifestyle and dependency for support in his office upon those who live by the code of chivalry. Accordingly, he is unable to protect families, cultivated land, the built infrastructure and trade from the violence of knights who live by that code and, characterised as waste, his impotence in the face of chivalry and its endemic evils is represented by the wound in his thighs which has crippled him and confines his activities to fishing with a hook.
Versions of the story, e.g. the Didot Perceval, reject this critique and point to papal succession as the source of papal authority. Parzival was written in 1210 by forty years after Perceval. Although a different work, it is strikingly similar to Perceval; the story revolves around the Grail Quest and once again the main character is Percival or Parzival. To Perceval, Eschenbach kept the story line of Parzival not asking the healing question, which results in him Questing for years. Eschenbach's Parzival differs from Chrétien's Perceval in three major ways. Firstly, the Fisher King is called Anfortas. Secondly Eschenbach describes the nature of the wound; the wound is a punishment for wooing a woman, not meant for him, causing the King immense pain. Lastly Parzival comes back to cure the Fisher King. Parzival, unlike its predecessor Perceval, has a definite ending; the Fisher King's next development occurred around the end of the 13th century in Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie, the first work to connect the Grail with Jesus.
Here, the "Rich Fisher" is called Bron, a name similar enough to Bran to suggest a relationship, he is said to be the brother-in-law of Joseph of Arimathea, who had used the Grail to catch Christ's blood before laying him in the tomb. Joseph founds a religious community that travels to Britain and entrusts the Grail to Bron. Bron founds the line of Grail keepers that includes Perceval; the Lancelot-Grail cycle includes a more elaborate history for the Fisher King. Many in his line are wounded for their failings, the only two that survive to Arthur's day are the Wounded King, named Pellehan, the Fisher King, Pelles. Pelles engineers the birth of Galahad by tricking Lancelot into bed with his daughter Elaine, it is prophesied th
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 British independent comedy film concerning the Arthurian legend and performed by the Monty Python comedy group of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, directed by Gilliam and Jones. It was conceived during the hiatus between the third and fourth series of their BBC television series Monty Python's Flying Circus. In contrast to the group's first film, And Now for Something Completely Different, a compilation of sketches from the first two television series, Holy Grail draws on new material, parodying the legend of King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail. 30 years Idle used the film as the basis for the musical Spamalot. Monty Python and the Holy Grail grossed more than any British film exhibited in the US in 1975. In the US, it was selected as the second best comedy of all time in the ABC special Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time. In the UK, readers of Total Film magazine ranked it the fifth greatest comedy film of all time.
In 932 AD, King Arthur and his squire, travel throughout Britain searching for men to join the Knights of the Round Table. Arthur recruits Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Galahad the Pure, Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot, Sir Not-Appearing-in-this-Film, along with their squires and Robin's troubadours. Arthur leads the men to Camelot, but sets off elsewhere; as they turn away, God gives Arthur the task of finding the Holy Grail. Arthur and his men search the land for clues to the Grail, they come to a castle occupied by French soldiers who claim to have the Grail and insult the Englishmen. Arthur and his men come up with a plan to sneak in using a Trojan Rabbit, but they mishandle its execution and are forced away. Arthur decides that the knights should go their separate ways to search for clues to the Grail's whereabouts. A modern-day historian being filmed for a documentary describing the Arthurian legends is abruptly killed by a knight on horseback, triggering a modern-day police investigation.
On the knights' travels and Bedevere attempt to satisfy the strange requests of the dreaded Knights Who Say Ni. Sir Robin avoids a fight with a Three-Headed Giant by running away. Sir Galahad is led by a grail-shaped beacon to Castle Anthrax, populated by 150 nubile young women, but to his chagrin is "rescued" by Lancelot. Lancelot, after finding a note from Swamp Castle believed to be from a lady being forced to marry against her will, rushes to the castle and kills nearly the entire wedding party, only to discover that the note was sent by an effeminate prince. Arthur and his knights regroup and are joined by three new knights as well as Brother Maynard and his monk followers, they meet Tim the Enchanter, who directs them to a cave where the location of the Grail is said to be written, but it is guarded by the deadly Rabbit of Caerbannog. After the Rabbit kills Sirs Gawain and Bors, Arthur uses the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, provided by Maynard, to destroy the creature. Inside, they find the inscription from Joseph of Arimathea.
After evading a giant monster, they arrive at the Bridge of Death and must answer three questions from the bridge-keeper to pass. Lancelot answers first and and passes on. Robin and Galahad fail to answer and are thrown over the bridge; when Arthur and Bedevere reach the bridge's end, they cannot find Lancelot, unaware he was arrested by the modern-day policemen investigating the historian's death. Arthur and Bedevere find the Castle of Aarrgh, they amass a large army of knights to assault the castle, when a large police force shows up, arrests Arthur and Bedevere for the historian's death, shuts down the film's production. Fifteen months before the BBC visited the set in May 1974, the Monty Python troupe assembled the first version of the screenplay; when half of the resulting material was set in the Middle Ages, half was set in the present day, the group opted to focus on the Middle Ages, revolving on the legend of the Holy Grail. By the fourth or fifth version of their screenplay, the story was complete, the cast joked the fact that the Grail was never retrieved would be "a big let-down... a great anti-climax".
Graham Chapman said. Neither Terry Gilliam nor Terry Jones had directed a film before, described it as a learning experience in which they would learn to make a film by making an entire full-length film; the cast humorously described the novice directing style as employing the level of mutual disrespect always found in Monty Python's work. The film's initial budget of £200,000 was raised by convincing 10 separate investors to contribute £20,000 apiece. Three of those investors were the rock bands Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, who were persuaded to help fund the film by Tony Stratton-Smith, head of Charisma Records. According to Terry Gilliam, the Pythons turned to rock stars like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Elton John for finance as the studios refused to fund the film and rock stars saw it as "a good tax write-off" due to UK income tax being "as high as 90%" at the time. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was shot on location in Scotland around Doune Castle, Glen Coe, the owned Castle Stalker.
The many castles seen throughout the film were either Doune Castle shot from different angles or hanging miniatu
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Born in Chicago, Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s, is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance. After rising to fame playing the alien Mork in the sitcom Mork & Mindy, Williams established a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting, he was known for his improvisation skills and the wide variety of memorable character voices he created. Williams has been called the funniest person of all time. After his first starring film role in Popeye, Williams starred in numerous films that achieved critical and commercial success, including The World According to Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Morning, Dead Poets Society, Aladdin, The Fisher King, One Hour Photo and World's Greatest Dad, as well as box office hits, such as Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage, Good Will Hunting and the Night at the Museum trilogy. Williams was nominated four times for the Academy Awards, winning once for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as psychologist Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting.
He received two Primetime Emmy Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, four Grammy Awards. On August 11, 2014, Williams committed suicide in his Paradise Cay, home at the age of 63, his wife attributed his suicide to his struggle with Lewy body disease. Robin McLaurin Williams was born at St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, on July 21, 1951, his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a senior executive in Ford Motor Company's Lincoln-Mercury Division. His mother, Laurie McLaurin, was a former model from Mississippi. Through her, he was a great-great-grandson of Mississippi governor Anselm J. McLaurin. Williams had two elder half-brothers, he had English, Welsh, Irish and German ancestry. While his mother was a practitioner of Christian Science, Williams was raised in the Episcopal Church his father belonged to. Williams wrote a list: "Top Ten Reasons to Be an Episcopalian". During a television interview on Inside the Actors Studio in 2001, Williams credited his mother as an important early influence on his humor, he tried to make her laugh to gain attention.
Williams attended public elementary school in Lake Forest at Gorton Elementary School and middle school at Deer Path Junior High School. He described himself as a quiet child who did not overcome his shyness until he became involved with his high school drama department, his friends recall him as funny. In late 1963, when Williams was 12, his father was transferred to Detroit; the family lived in a 40-room farmhouse on 20 acres in suburban Bloomfield Hills, where he was a student at the private Detroit Country Day School. He excelled in school, where he was on the school's soccer team and wrestling team, was elected class president; as both his parents worked, Williams was attended to by the family's maid, his main companion. When Williams was 16, his father took early retirement and the family moved to Marin County, settling in Tiburon, California. Following their move, Williams attended Redwood High School in nearby Larkspur. At the time of his graduation in 1969, he was voted "Most Likely Not to Succeed" and "Funniest" by his classmates.
After high school graduation, Williams enrolled at Claremont Men's College in Claremont, California, to study political science. Williams studied theatre for three years at the College of Marin, a community college in Kentfield, California. According to College of Marin's drama professor James Dunn, the depth of the young actor's talent became evident when he was cast in the musical Oliver! as Fagin. Williams improvised during his time in the drama program, leaving cast members in hysterics. Dunn called his wife after one late rehearsal to tell her that Williams "was going to be something special". In 1973, Williams attained a full scholarship to the Juilliard School in New York City, he was one of 20 students accepted into the freshman class and one of two accepted by John Houseman into the Advanced Program at the school that year. William Hurt and Mandy Patinkin were classmates. According to biographer Jean Dorsinville, Franklyn Seales and Williams were roommates at Juilliard. Reeve remembered his first impression of Williams when they were new students at Juilliard: He wore tie-dyed shirts with tracksuit bottoms and talked a mile a minute.
I'd never seen. He was like an untied balloon, inflated and released. I watched in awe as he caromed off the walls of the classrooms and hallways. To say that he was "on" would be a major understatement. Williams and Reeve had a class in dialects taught by Edith Skinner, who Reeve said was one of the world's leading voice and speech teachers. According to Reeve, Skinner was bewildered by Williams, who could perform in many accents, including Scottish, English and Italian, their primary acting teacher was Michael Kahn, "equally baffled by this human dynamo". Williams had a reputation for being funny, but Kahn criticized his antics as simple stand-up comedy. In a production, Williams silenced his critics with his well-received performance as an old man in The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams. "He was the old man," wrote Reeve. "I was astonished by h
David Hyde Pierce
David Hyde Pierce is an American actor and director. He is best known for playing psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane on the NBC sitcom Frasier, for which he won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series during the show's run. Pierce has played supporting roles in many films, including Little Man Tate, The Fisher King, Sleepless in Seattle, A Bug's Life, Oliver Stone's Nixon. Pierce has had a successful career on stage, his Broadway roles include Sir Robin in Spamalot, Vanya in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and Horace Vandergelder in Hello Dolly. He won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in Curtains. In 2015, he directed the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You. Pierce was born David Pierce in New York, his father, George Hyde Pierce, was an aspiring actor, his mother, Laura Marie, was an insurance agent. He added his middle name "Hyde" to avoid confusion with another actor named David Pierce; as a child, Pierce played organ at the local Bethesda Episcopal Church.
While attending Yale, Pierce performed in and directed student productions, appearing in the Yale Gilbert & Sullivan Society's production of H. M. S. Pinafore, he directed the Gilbert & Sullivan Society's operetta Princess Ida. Among other productions Pierce appeared in at Yale were Waiting for Godot, Saint Joan, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. After his graduation, Pierce moved to New York City, where during the 1980s and early 1990s he was employed in various jobs, such as selling ties at Bloomingdale's and working as a security guard, while pursuing an acting career and studying at Michael Howard Studios. During this period he played Laertes in a popular off-Broadway production of Hamlet and made his Broadway debut in 1982 in Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy. Pierce's first big television break came in the early 1990s with Norman Lear's political comedy, The Powers That Be, in which Pierce played Theodore, a Congressman. Despite positive reviews from critics, the show was canceled after a brief run.
In part due to his close physical resemblance to Kelsey Grammer, the producers of the Cheers spin-off Frasier created the role of Niles Crane for him. Although prior to Frasier going into production, Pierce had petitioned the Screen Actors Guild to change his billing to David Pierce, the name he had used on the stage, the use of his middle name in the show's credits helped reinforce the actor's and the character's "snooty" image. For his work on Frasier, Pierce was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy a record eleven consecutive years, winning in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2004. Pierce appeared alongside Jodie Foster in Little Man Tate, with Anthony Hopkins in Oliver Stone's Nixon, with Ewan McGregor in Down With Love, he provided the voice for Doctor Doppler in Disney's 42nd animated feature, Treasure Planet, Slim, a stick insect in Pixar's A Bug's Life and Abe Sapien in Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy. In his role in Sleepless in Seattle, Pierce played the brother of Meg Ryan's character, a professor at Johns Hopkins University.
The movie was released three months before the start of Frasier. In 2001, he starred in the cult 1981-set summer camp comedy Wet Hot American Summer, as the befuddled astrophysicist, Prof. Henry Newman. In 2005, Pierce joined others in the stage production of Spamalot. In August and September 2006, he starred as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi in Curtains, a new Kander and Ebb musical staged at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. In March 2007, Curtains opened on Broadway and on June 10, 2007, Pierce won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical at the 61st Tony Awards for his performance. In his acceptance speech, Pierce said the first words he spoke on a Broadway stage were, "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."On November 19, 2007, Pierce was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York. In 1999 he was awarded an Honorary Degree from Skidmore College, located in his native Saratoga Springs. In 2010, Pierce appeared in a revival of David Hirson's play La Bête directed by Matthew Warchus.
The production debuted on London's West End before moving to New York. In 2010, Pierce had his first starring film role as Warwick Wilson in the dark comedy/psychological thriller The Perfect Host. Pierce directed the Broadway production of the musical It Shoulda Been You. In 2015 he directed the Manhattan Theater Club production of David Lindsay-Abaire's play Ripcord Off-Broadway at City Center. Pierce appeared in the Off-Broadway limited engagement of A Life by Adam Bock; the play premiered at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater on October 24, 2016, directed by Anne Kaufman, closed on November 27. Pierce co-starred with Bette Midler in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!. The musical opened on April 2017 at the Shubert Theatre; the show was a critical and box office hit. Pierce himself received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance. Pierce received a 2017 Drama League award nomination for Hello, Dolly! and A Life. Pierce is known for his distinctive voice and, like his Frasier co-star, Kelsey Grammer, is called upon to provide voice work.
His notable roles include the narrator of the movie The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human in 1999, walking stick insect Slim in A Bug's Life, Doctor Delbert Doppler in Disney's film Treasure Planet, the amphibian Abe Sapien in Hellboy. Pierce refused credit for his Hellboy role because he felt it was the performance of Doug Jones, not his own voice, which brought the character of Abe Sapien to life, he was the voice for a cold pill, in the animated comedy Osmosis Jones. In a deliberate