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Christopher Plummer website



Christopher Plummer Theatre Credits









Christopher Plummer, born in Toronto, Canada in 1929, was on course to become a concert pianist until, during his teens, he fell in love with the theatre and acting took the place of music as his great passion. Plummer rose through the ranks as a stage actor in the 1950s, and broke into movies in 1958, when Sidney Lumet cast him in Stage Struck.

Christopher Plummer has long been one of the most respected actors in both theatre and film. In 2008, Alfred A. Knopf published his self-written memoir, In Spite of Myself, which became one of the most acclaimed autobiographies of recent years. He has also written for the stage, television, and the concert hall.

Raised in Montreal, Mr. Plummer began his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English. Legendary actress/director Eva Le Gallienne brought him to New York for his stage debut in 1954, and he has since starred in celebrated productions on Broadway, in Canada, and on London’s West End.

He has won two Tony Awards, for the musical Cyrano and for the play Barrymore, and been nominated seven times further (most recently for King Lear and Inherit the Wind). He has also been honored with three Drama Desk Awards and the National Arts Club Medal.

As a former leading member of the Royal National Theatre under Lord Laurence Olivier and the Royal Shakespeare Company under Sir Peter Hall, Mr. Plummer won London’s Evening Standard Award for Best Actor in Becket. Additionally, he led Canada’s Stratford Festival in its formative years under Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Langham. Though he auditioned for Tyrone Guthrie for the Stratford Festival 's first season, he was not accepted. He went to New York in 1954 and worked on Broadway before being invited by Stratford's new artistic director, Michael Langham , to take on Henry V.  With the company he subsequently performed the leads in Macbeth, Hamlet (the innaugural production of the company's Festival Theatre in 1957), Antony and Cleopatra (opposite Zoe Caldwell ), Cyrano de Bergerac, King Lear (2002, dir Jonathan Miller, remounted on Broadway), a highly acclaimed reprise of Caesar and Cleopatra (2008), and The Tempest (2010).

He has also performed in London both at the National Theatre under Laurence Olivier and for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

His many performances in the U.S. include that of Cyrano in the musical of the same name, for which he won Tony award in 1974. In 1981, he turned in a stunning Iago to James Earl Jones' Othello. New York Times critic, Frank Rich, in his anthology Hot Seat, calls Plummer's acting in the work one of the twenty indelible performances he had seen during his career with the paper.

Plummer has toured in one-man-shows about Stephen Leacock and John Barrymore. His solo role in Barrymore earned him a Broadway Tony for best actor in 1997. He reprised the role in January 2011 in Toronto's Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre at the age of 81.

He was the first performer to receive the Jason Robards Award, in memory of his great friend. He has also been honored with the Edwin Booth Award and the Sir John Gielgud Quill Award. In 1968, sanctioned by Elizabeth II, he was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada (an honorary knighthood).

An Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at Juilliard, Mr. Plummer also received the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. In 1986, he was inducted into the Theatre’s Hall of Fame and in 2000 to Canada’s Walk of Fame. In 2002, he was honored by the National Board of Review with the Career Achievement Award.  In 2011 Christopher Plummer, 81, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. It was the first time the festival had given such an award.

Plummer got his start in the theatre. His very first acting gig was in high school in Canada, when he played Mr. Darcy in a stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” — a role he described as “a conceited, wonderfully arrogant young man.” Plummer said at the time, he thought he was the biggest star in the world. Critics came to the school play and gave him solid reviews. “I actually had no research to do,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “I was already arrogant (laughs).”

He then did radio up in Montreal, in both English and French. Radio was a great training ground, he said, and it forced him to have at least 20 voices on tap – different voices to play different characters. “That was when radio was tops,” Plummer said. “So it gave one a great training for changing your voice or getting accents.” (Interestingly, in his coming film, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Plummer and the actors speak English with a Swedish accent.)

Over the past six decades, Plummer has played numerous stage roles. He is noted for being a fine Shakespearean actor, and has played everyone from Iago to King Lear to Julius Caesar. As for his dream role, he said, “I’ve played most of them already, and some of them twice.” But there was one screen role that got away: Henry II in “Becket.” Plummer had played the stage role with the Royal Shakespeare in the U.K. to great acclaim – he won the London Evening Standard award for Best Actor in 1961. When it came time to cast the film adaptation, he said he was determined to get the part. “Then my old friend Peter O’Toole got it instead, the son of a gun,” he said.

Actor Christopher Plummer is an international star on the stage, having performed in the theatre all his working life. 

 













“An actor should be a mystery” - Christopher Plummer


"The theatre has given me the most joy professionally, because of the live audience. I think it's desperately important to form a communion with your audience. That's your partner. Though I admire and take pleasure in movies, they can't replace the stage. Because it's our medium, the actors' and writers'


"The theater is the highest point of art for us, the actor, because it encompasses our whole bodies, our feet, our voice, everything we have as equipment is necessary on the stage"


 
"The theater is not for sissies. It seperates the men from the boys" 














He soon came to be one of the finest Shakespearean actors in Canada, America and England, performing regularly on Broadway and London's West End. 


In Plummer’s two years of acting with the Canadian Repertory Company, he played seventy-five different roles.

In 1948 Director Malcolm Morley went from the Montreal theatre scene to join the Ottawa Stage Society. By 1949 the Society was developed into the Canadian Repertory Theatre Company (CRT) which produced a full season of 35 plays. The CRT opened October 1, 1949 at the old Academie De La Salle in Ottawa with Esther McCracken's play, Quiet Weekend. The purpose of the CRT was to:

·         Provide high calibre legitimate stage entertainment

·         Build an audience that attends for the love of theatre

·         Provide careers at home for Canada's actresses and actors


Renowned Canadian actor Christopher Plummer joined the Ottawa Stage Society (later known as Canadian Repertory Theatre) in 1948, and for about three weeks served as backstage chore boy and occasional actor. At age 19 he gave an excellent performance as elderly Andrew Crocker-Harris in The Browning Version.

 

During his two years with the Canadian Repertory Theatre Company, Christopher Plummer was in about 75 productions. Those included The Infernal Machine in which another future Canadian star, William Shatner, was featured, and Cymbeline. 

 

Christopher Plummer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival:

 

Between 1956 and 1967 Christopher Plummer starred at Canada's STRATFORD FESTIVAL playing Henry V, Hamlet, Andrew Aguecheek, Mercutio, Leontes, Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac and Marc Antony, as well as other roles. He returned 26 years later on 13 July 1993 to help the festival celebrate its exact 40th anniversary day with a gala one-man show entitled A Word or Two, Before You Go. Barrymore made its 1996 Canadian debut at Stratford and Plummer's King Lear was seen in 2002. He played Caesar in the Stratford Festival's Caesar and Cleopatra, which was also filmed for television in 2009. In 2010 he returned to the Festival ’s Theatre  playing Prospero in the Tempest.

Christopher Plummer will return to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to perform his self-created show A Word or Two, Before You Go, in the summer of 2012 when the theatre will stage four new works as part of its 60th season.

His film roles have become increasingly more interesting as time has passed. In the past year, Plummer has appeared as Hal in “Beginners,” for which he has just received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also brought his Tony Award-winning Broadway role as John Barrymore to the screen in “Barrymore,” which played at the Toronto International Film Festival. He appeared in David Fincher’s highly anticipated film, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” as Henrik Vanger, the patriarch of the extended Vanger family.

But Plummer will always do theatre. “Nothing can replace a live audience,” he said. “That’s been the case for 3,000 years.”

According to him, the public’s regard for theatre has changed, and this has had a lamentable effect on not only the acting profession, but on young people’s appreciation for the arts. “I grew up in an era where the theatre was still absolutely revered and the cinema and the theatre complemented each other,” he said. “Now, the theatre – it’s there and always will be there, of course, but the movies and the video games and all the other ancillary kind of success industries, as it were, have all got together and kind of obliterated what we’re all about. That’s sad because the theatre is the place for language and when language is sort of ignored, then there’s not much hope for any kind of esoteric or artistic life.”

Plummer pointed to Shakespeare, Marlowe and Milton. “That is the highest we can go, the theatre, because for an actor, he is spouting words of all the greatest writers of all time, and they wrote for the theatre,” he said.

For his current stage project, Plummer has been working on a one-man show, “A Word or Two.” It is an autobiographical journey through literary works that have influenced him since childhood. In the past, he has performed a brief version of the show at charity fundraisers. He has since lengthened it and added more substance, he said, and he will perform it at the 2012 Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. “I get a chance to play all sorts of different creatures from the books and then narrate through that my story as I go,” he said. He hopes that after Stratford, the show will move on to New York for a limited run.

Meanwhile, he’s busy promoting this year’s films, particularly as he is being nominated for accolades for his performance in “Beginners.” As busy as he is, at age 82, Plummer shows no signs of stopping. “There’s no such thing as retirement,” he said. “This is a hobby as well as a profession, you know? It’s a fascinating world and never boring.” He brought up the late English actor, John Gielgud, who died in 2000 at the age of 96. “He was looking marvelous, straight as a ramrod, seemed to have just as much energy as he had before,” Plummer said of Gielgud. “No, no, I’m determined to pass John (laughs). I want to get to 97 at least.”


Christopher Plummer In Theatre:

 

He played Iago to James Earl Jones' Othello in Shakespeare's "Othello" on Broadway in 1982.

 

He played Macbeth opposite Glenda Jackson's Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" on Broadway in 1988.

 

The Lark (1955). Drama. Written by Jean Anouilh. Book adapted by Lillian Hellman. Incidental music by Leonard Bernstein. Scenic Design by Jo Mielziner. Costume Design by Alvin Colt. Lighting Design by Jo Mielziner. Assistant Scenic Design: John Harvey. Assistant Costume Design: Frank Spencer. Directed by Joseph Anthony. Longacre Theatre: 17 Nov 1955- 2 Jun 1956 (229 performances). Cast: Julie Harris (as "Joan"), Theodore Bikel (as "Robert de Beaudricourt"), Boris Karloff (as "Cauchon"), Christopher Plummer (as "Warwick"), Joseph Wiseman (as "The Inquisitor"), Vincent Beck, Joe Bernard, Charles Bressler, Arthur Burrows, Michael Conrad (as "A Monk/A Soldier"), Ward Costello (as "Joan's Father"), Roger De Koven (as "The Promoter"), Joan Elan, Bruce Gordon, Edgar Grower, Jean Hakes, Michael Higgins, Ann Hillary, Lois Holmes, Milton Katselas, Edward Knight, Elizabeth Lawrence, William Lennard, Brayton Lewis, Ruth Maynard, Richard Nicholls, Russell Oberlin, Michael Price, John Reese, Ralph Roberts, Paul Roebling (as "The Dauphin"), Pauline Seim, Rita Vale, Betty Wilson. Produced by Kermit Bloomgarden.

 

Play "Lock up your daughters" in Dublin, Ireland

 

January 31, 2009: Live play "Julius Caesar" (on cinema screens across Canada).

 

The Dark Is Light Enough (1955). Comedy. Written by Christopher Fry. Directed by Guthrie McClintic. ANTA Playhouse: 23 Feb 1955- 23 Apr 1955 (69 performances). Cast: Katharine Cornell (as "Countess Rosmarin Ostenburg"), Tyrone Power (as "Richard Gettner, An Austrian in the Hungarian rebel army"), Arnold Moss (as "Colonel Janik, A Hungarian rebel officer"), John Williams (as "Belmann, Member of the Countess, Salon"), Dario Barri, Eva Condon (as "Bella, A Housekeeper"), Jerome Gardino, Ted Gunther (as "Beppy, A Hungarian corporal"), Donald Harron, Charles Macaulay, Christopher Plummer (as "Count Peter Zichy, A Hungarian in the Austrian government"), William Podmore, Sydney Pollack (as "Rusti, a Hungarian corporal"), Paul Roebling (as "Stefan, Son of the Countess"), Marian Winters. Produced by Katharine Cornell and Roger L. Stevens. Produced by arrangement with H.M. Tennent, Ltd.

 

(May 24,1961) He acted in William Shakespeare's play, "Richard III" in the Royal Shakespeare Company production in the Stratford Theatre Festival at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England with Eric Porter and Edith Evans in the cast. William Gaskill was director.

 

(April 4,1961) He acted in William Shakespeare's play, "Much Ado About Nothing" in the Royal Shakespeare Company production in the Stratford Theatre Festival at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England with Geraldine McEwan in the cast. Michael Langham was director.

 

(July 11, 1961) He acted in Jean Anouilh's play, "Becket," in the Stratford Theatre Festival at the Aldwych Theatre in London, England in the Royal Shakespeare/Stratford-On-Avon Company production with Eric Porter, Gwen Frangcon-Davies, Peter Jeffrey, Diana Rigg, Ian Holm, and Roy Dotrice in the cast. Peter Hall was director.

 

(December 13, 1961-April 1962) He acted in Jean Anouilh's play, "Becket," for the Stratford Theatre Festival for the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre at the Globe Theatre in London, England with Eric Porter, Gwen Frangcon-Davies, Diana Rigg, Philip Voss, Esmond Knight, and Robert Lang in the cast. Peter Hall was director.

 

Arturo Ui (1963). Written by Bertolt Brecht (from "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui"). Book adapted by George Tabori. Incidental music by Jule Styne. Music orchestrated by Ray Ellis. Production Design by Rouben Ter-Arutunian. Make-up Supervisor: Mitchell Erickson. Lighting Assistant: Martin Aronstein. Directed by Tony Richardson. Lunt-Fontanne Theatre: 11 Nov 1963 - 16 Nov 1963 (8 performances + 5 previews that began on 6 Nov 1963). Cast: Christopher Plummer (as "Arturo Ui. Produced by David Merrick. Associate Producer: Neil Hartley.

 

(1971) He acted in Jean Giraudoux's play, "Amphitryon 38," in a National Theatre production at the New Theatre in London, England with Geraldine McEwan, Constance Cummings, Richard Kay, and Jeanne Watts in the cast. Laurence Olivier was director.

 

(1971) He acted in Georg Buchner's play, "Danton's Death," in a National Theatre production at the New Theatre in London, England with Gillian Barge, Louise Purnell, Tom Georgeson, Charles Kay, Ronald Pickup, and Anna Carteret in the cast. Jonathan Miller was director.

 

(June 1971-January 1972) He acted in the Repertoire Season in the National Theatre production in Georg Buchner's play, "Danton's Death;" Adrian Mitchell's play, "Tyger;" Jean Giraudoux's play, "Amphitryon 38;" Luigi Pirandello's play, "The Rules of the Game;" and Eugene O'Neill's play, "Long Day's Journey Into Night;" at the New Theatre in London, England with Tom Baker, Anna Carteret, Constance Cummings, Bill Fraser, Geraldine McEwan, Laurence Olivier, Ronald Pickup, Joan Plowright, Denis Quilley, Paul Scofield, and Benjamin Whitrow in the cast.

 

The Good Doctor (1973). Written by Neil Simon. Adapted and suggested from stories by Anton Chekhov. Additional lyrics by Neil Simon. Incidental music by Peter Link. Directed by A.J. Antoon. Eugene O'Neill Theatre: 27 Nov 1973- 25 May 1974 (208 performances + 8 previews that began on 19 Nov 1973). Cast: Rene Auberjonois, Barnard Hughes, Marsha Mason, Christopher Plummer, Frances Sternhagen. Replacement actor during run: Kathryn Walker [from ? Feb 1974- ?]. Produced by Emanuel Azenberg and Eugene V. Wolsk.


Christopher Plummer -  Broadway

 

 

Inherit the Wind [Broadway]

Broadway Revival, 2007

Henry Drummond

 

King Lear [Broadway]

Lincoln Center Revival, 2004

King Lear of Britain

 

Barrymore [Broadway]

1997

John Barrymore

 

No Man's Land [Broadway]

1994

Spooner

 

Macbeth [Broadway]

Broadway Revival, 1988

Macbeth (a general of the Scottish army)

 

 

Othello [Broadway]

1982

Iago

 

The Good Doctor [Broadway]

1973

Performer

 

Cyrano [Broadway]

Original Broadway Production, 1973

Cyrano de Bergerac

 

The Royal Hunt of the Sun [Broadway]

Broadway Production, 1965

Francisco Pizarro (Commander of the Expedition)

 

Arturo Ui [Broadway]

1963

Arturo Ui

 

J.B. [Broadway]

1958

Nickles

 

Night of the Auk [Broadway]

1956

Lewis Rohmen

 

The Lark [Broadway]

1955

Warwick

 

The Dark Is Light Enough [Broadway]

1955

Count Peter Zichy (A Hungarian in the Austrian government)

 

Home Is the Hero [Broadway]

1954

Manchester Monagham

 

The Starcross Story [Broadway]

1954

George Phillips



Below is a list of the roles that actor Christopher Plummer played in his sixty year career, the name of the show, the theatre location, and the year it was performed:

 

• Cymbeline, Canadian Repertory Theatre, Ottawa, Ontario, 1948
In Plummer’s two years of acting with the Canadian Repertory Company, he played seventy-five different roles.

• Faulkland, The Rivals, Canadian Repertory Theatre, 1950

• Old Mahon, The Playboy of the Western World, Bermuda Repertory Theatre, 1952

• Anthony Cavendish, The Royal Family, Bermuda Repertory Theatre, 1952

• Ben, The Little Foxes, Bermuda Repertory Theatre, 1952

• Duke Manti, The Petrified Forest, Bermuda Repertory Theatre, 1952

• Father, George and Margaret, Bermuda Repertory Theatre, 1952

• Hector Benbow, Thark, Bermuda Repertory Theatre, 1952

• Bernard Kersal, The Constant Wife, Bermuda Repertory Theatre, 1952

• (Broadway debut) George Phillips, The Starcross Story, Royale Theatre, 1954.This show only lasted for one night.

• Manchester Monaghan, Home Is the Hero, Booth Theatre, New York City, 1954

• Jason, Medea, International Festival, Sarah Bernhardt Theatre, Paris, 1955

• Count Peter Zichy, The Dark Is Light Enough, American National Theatre Academy Theatre, New York City, 1955

• Earl of Warwick, The Lark, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1955 (worked with Theodore Bikel, who played Captain von Trapp on stage)

• Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, American Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, CT, 1955

• Ferdinand, The Tempest, American Shakespeare Festival, 1955

• Title role, Henry V, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, then Assembly Hall Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1956

• Narrator, L'histoire du soldat, City Center Theatre, New York City, 1956
• Lewis Rohnen, Night of the Auk, Playhouse Theatre, New York City,1956

• Title role, Hamlet, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1957

• Sir Andrew Agueckeek, Twelfth Night, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1957 

• Nickles, J. B., American National Theatre and Academy Theatre, 1958

• Leontes, The Winter's Tale, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1958

• Bardolph, Henry IV, Part I, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1958

• Benedick, Much Ado about Nothing, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1958

• Philip the Bastard, King John, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1960

• Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1960

• (London debut) King Henry II, Becket, Aldwych Theatre, 1961

• Benedick, Much Ado about Nothing, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-on- Avon, England, 1961

• Title role, Richard III, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1961

• King Henry II, Becket, Aldwych Theatre, then Globe Theatre, London, 1961

• Title role, Cyrano de Bergerac, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1962 

• Title role, Macbeth, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1962

• Title role, Arturo Ui, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York City, 1963

• Francisco Pizarro, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, American National Theatre and Academy Theatre, 1965

• Mark Antony, Antony and Cleopatra, Stratford Shakespeare Festival,1967

• Jupiter and Amphitryon, Amphitryon 38, National Theatre Company, New Theatre, London, 1971

• Danton, Danton's Death, National Theatre Company, New Theatre, 1971

• Title role, Cyrano (musical), Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, then Palace Theatre, New York City, 1973 (won his first Tony Award for this performance).

• Anton Chekov, The Good Doctor, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 1973

• Lovers and Madmen, Opera House, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, 1973

• Love and Master Will, Opera House, Kennedy Center, 1975

• Edgar, Drinks before Dinner, New York Shakespeare Festival, Public/Newman Theatre, New York City, 1978

• Title role, Henry V, American Shakespeare Festival, 1981

• Iago, Othello, Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, 1982

• Parade of Stars Playing the Palace, Palace Theatre, New York City,1983 

• Peccadillo, Royal Poinciana Playhouse, Palm Beach, FL, 1985

• Title role, Macbeth, Mark Hellinger Theatre, New York City, 1988

• Narrator, A Christmas Carol, Hudson Theatre, New York City, 1990

• Spooner, No Man's Land, Roundabout Theatre, New York City, 1993 then Criterion Theatre, New York City, 1994

• John Barrymore, Barrymore, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, 1996 then Music Box Theatre, New York City, 1997 (won his second Tony Award for this performance).

• A Shakespearean Tribute to the Late Sir John Gielgud, Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York City, 2000

• Appeared in the solo show A Word or Two, Before You Go.

 

In 2002, he appeared in a lauded production of King Lear, directed by Jonathan Miller. The production successfully transferred to New York City's Lincoln Center in 2004.

 

Plummer returned to the stage at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in August 2008 in a critically acclaimed performance as Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff; this production was videotaped and shown in high-definition in Canadian cinemas on January 31, 2009 (with an encore presentation on February 23, 2009) and broadcast on April 4, 2009 on Bravo! in Canada. Plummer once again returned to the Stratford Festival in the summer of 2010 in The Tempest as the lead character, Prospero.


Plummer has toured in one-man-shows about Stephen Leacock and John Barrymore. His solo role in Barrymore earned him a Broadway Tony for best actor in 1997. He reprised the role in January 2011 in Toronto's Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre at the age of 81.

Christopher Plummer will return to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to perform his self-created show A Word or Two, Before You Go, in the summer of 2012 when the theatre will stage four new works as part of its 60th season.

 


Major Tours

• Gerard, Nina, U.S. cities, 1953

• Title role, Macbeth, U.S. cities, 1988

• John Barrymore, Barrymore, U.S. cities, beginning 1997.

• Also appeared in The Dark Is Light Enough, U.S. cities.

 

The reputation of actor Christopher Plummer has been due to his memorable performances on stage.


Top Five Stage Roles of Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer 

J.B. (1958): This Canadian-born star has played every conceivable classical role on stages around the world, but our list will concentrate on five of his seven Tony-nominated performances. Plummer’s first Tony nod came in 1958 in a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that sounds both awesome and odd: Archibald MacLeish’s free-verse retelling of the Old Testament story of Job. Plummer played Nickles, a Satanic figure who urges J.B. (Pat Hingle) to commit suicide.



 

Cyrano (1973): You’ve seen him warble “Edelweiss” as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but Plummer is also a Best Actor Tony winner for singing the role of Cyrano de Bergerac in the first of two short-lived musical adaptations of Edmond Rostond’s romantic adventure. Huge chunks of the show have been preserved in an original cast recording that shows off Plummer’s flair for lyrics penned by A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess.



 

Othello (1982): Plummer cemented his reputation as an unparalleled classical actor with a Tony-nominated performance as Iago opposite the great James Earl Jones. Plummer’s chilling portrayal of evil made it clear that Othello, powerfully portrayed by Jones, never stood a chance. (In his autobiography, Plummer blamed his Tony loss on the fact that his actress daughter, Amanda, won that year for Agnes of God.)



 

Barrymore (1997): At age 68, Plummer took on a demanding solo performance as iconic American actor John Barrymore in William Luce’s biographical play, bringing a rakish charm to the stage and earning his second Tony Award. Plummer, a lover of alcohol in his youth, has written of his obsession with Barrymore, who drank himself to death at 60. The role proved to be such a good fit that he reprised it to acclaim (at age 81, no less!) at Stratford in 2011.



 

King Lear (2004): The Mount Everest of Shakespearean roles has claimed plenty of victims—but Plummer scaled its heights in a Tony-nominated performance that was both powerful and heartbreaking. In a production that filled the huge stage at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lear’s old age became the emphasis, making his descent into madness all the more affecting.










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