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Frank Langella

01 Jan 1938 (Age 80)

Frank Langella Biography

Frank A. Langella, Jr. is an Academy Award-nominated, Tony Award-winning American stage and film actor. His Tonys include two for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Edward Albee's Seascape (1975), and Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool (2002), and for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his performance as Richard Nixon in Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon (2007).

Langella was nominated for two other Best Leading Actor title in a Play Tonys; first in 1978 for the Edward Gorey-designed revival of Bram Stoker's Dracula and again in 2004 for Stephen Belber's Match.

Personal Life

Langella, an Italian American, was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of Frank A. Langella, Sr., a business executive. Langella attended Washington Elementary School and Bayonne High School in Bayonne. He graduated from Columbia High School, in the South Orange and Maplewood School District, in 1955, and graduated from Syracuse University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama. He remains a brother of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity.

Langella was married to Ruth Weil from June 14, 1977, to their divorce in 1996. They have two children. He lived with actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg, whom he met on the sets of Eddie in 1996, until they separated in March, 2001.


After an appearance in the early Mel Brooks film The Twelve Chairs, Langella became known for his success in the title role of the Broadway production of Dracula. Despite his initial misgivings about continuing to play the role, he was persuaded to star opposite Laurence Olivier in the subsequent film version directed by John Badham.

He went on to play Sherlock Holmes in an HBO adaptation (1981) of William Gillette's famous stage play. He repeated the role on Broadway in 1987 in Charles Marowitz's play Sherlock's Last Case. That same year, Langella would also portray the villain Skeletor in Masters of the Universe. In 1988, Langella co-starred in the movie And God Created Woman.

For years afterward, Langella largely worked on stage, but his film and television output has increased in the recent years. In 1993, he made a memorable three-episode appearance on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the devious Jaro Essa. He also appeared as Al Baker in Dominance, a 2003 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and had a recurring role as Pino in the 2005 short-lived sitcom Kitchen Confidential.

On film, he played Claire Quilty in Adrian Lyne's adaptation of Lolita and appeared as a villainous pirate in the summer 1995 release Cutthroat Island. His film work also includes roles in George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) as former CBS chief executive William S. Paley and Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (2006) as Daily Planet editor Perry White.

Langella received critical acclaim as well as the Boston Society of Film Critics Award in 2007 for his sensitive portrayal of an elderly novelist in Starting Out in the Evening.

Langella is best known as an accomplished stage actor, last appearing in Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon, which received enthusiastic reviews during a run at the Donmar Warehouse and Gielgud Theatre in London before moving to New York's Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in April 2007, culminating in Langella's second Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a play.

He made his first splash on stage in New York in William Gibson's A Cry of Players, playing a young, highly fictionalized William Shakespeare, opposite Anne Bancroft at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre in 1968.

He has also appeared in notable off-Broadway productions, including in the title role of Robert Kalfin's Chelsea Theater Center production of The Prince of Homburg, which was filmed by PBS for the Theatre in America series. He recently starred as Sir Thomas More in the 2008 Broadway revival of A Man for All Seasons, which finished its limited run in December.

Langella reprised the role of Richard Nixon in the 2008 film Frost/Nixon, directed by Ron Howard. He received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA nominations for Best Actor for his performance. On January 22, he was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category.

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