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Barnard Hughes Poster

Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 16 July 1915Bedford Hills, New York, USA
Date of Death 11 July 2006New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameBarnard Aloysius Kiernan Hughes

Mini Bio (2)

Barnard Hughes began his acting career with the Shakespeare Fellowship Repertory company in New York City. Since then, he has played more than 400 roles on the stage alone, including "Da" which he also filmed. Among his other roles are Polonius to Stacy Keach's "Hamlet", Dogberry in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Much Ado About Nothing" and off-Broadway performances in "Uncle Vanya" (directed by Mike Nichols), "A Doll's House", "Hogan's Goat", "The Three Sisters", "The Devil's Disciple" and "Translations".

On Broadway, he appeared in the hit play "Prelude to a Kiss" after completing a run of "You Can't Take It With You" at Dublin's Abbey Theatre. On screen, he created his first big impact in Midnight Cowboy (1969). Since then, his films have included The Lost Boys (1987), First Monday in October (1981), _Tron (1982)_ and The Hospital (1971). Among his television credits are the series The Cavanaughs (1986), Mr. Merlin (1981) and Doc (1975).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Emmy and Tony Award-winner Barnard Hughes forged a career as one of American's most successful character actors, equally at home and successful on stage, the silver screen, and television. Most of his success came after middle-age.

He made his Broadway debut in 1939 in Mary McCarthy's "Please, Mrs. Garibaldi", a flop that lasted only four performances. He appeared in another 22 Broadway shows, his last being Noel Coward's "Waiting in the Wings, which closed in the year 2000. His Broadway career lasted spanned 61 years and eight decades. Along the way, he won the 1978 Tony Award as best Actor in a play for Da (1988), his most famous role, which also brought him the Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actor in a Play. (He won a lifetime achievement Drama Desk Award in 2000.) He also was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1973 for Much Ado About Nothing (1973), which was fitting, as it was in Shakespeare repertory that he honed his craft.

The son of Irish immigrants, he was born Bernard Aloysius Kiernan Hughes on on July 16, 1915, in Bedford Hills, New York, a hamlet lying 41 miles north of the heart of Broadway in Times Square. (He changed the spelling of his Christian name on the advice of a numerologist; thespians are very superstitious.)After graduating from the La Salle Academy and attending Manhattan College, he joined New York City's Shakespeare Fellowship Repertory Co. He was a member of the company for two years. He did not actually appear on Broadway in Shakespeare until 1964, when he played Marcellus to Richard Burton's Hamlet (1964). Off-Broadway, he played Polonius to Stacy Keach's Obie Award-winning Hamlet in 1972.

His only other Shakespearean turn on the boards of the Great White Way was as Dogberry in "Much Ado About Nothing" in the 1972-73 season, which brought him his first Tony nomination. Off-Broadway, he also appeared as the Chorus in "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" and Sir John Falstaff in "The Merry Wives of Windsor". Back on Broadway, his most prominent role other than "Da" (which he also played in the roadshow tour) was as the Old Man opposite Alec Baldwin in Prelude to a Kiss (1992).

Hughes had a 54 year-long screen career, equally adept in television as in movies. He was a regular on the soap opera Guiding Light (1952) from 1961-66. Though Hughes was a highly effective dramatic actor, he had a flair for comedy and appeared on such sit-coms as _"The Phil Silvers Show" (TV series) and _"Car 54, Where Are You?" (1962)_ before having recurring roles on "All In the Family" (1971) as a priest and on The Bob Newhart Show (1972) as Bob's father in the 1970s. He eventually headlined his own sit-com in the mid '70s, Doc (1975), which had a successful first season but was canceled early into its second after the network demanded changes to boost ratings. Instead, the ratings sank.

His break-through performance in the movies arguably was a the messianic doctor who was a victim of malpractice and turned avenger in Paddy Chayefsky's The Hospital (1971) in 1971. It came two years after a small but memorable part in Best Picture Oscar winner Midnight Cowboy (1969), as he middle-aged gay mamma's boy who picks up self-styled "hustler" Joe Buck with disastrous consequences.

Hughes married actress Helen Stenborg in 1950 and they remained married until his death on July 11, 2006, five days before what would have been his 91st birthday. The couple had two children, theatrical director Doug Hughes (who was also a Tony-winner) and a daughter, actress Laura Hughes.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Helen Stenborg (19 April 1950 - 11 July 2006) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (9)

Won Broadway's 1978 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for Hugh Leonard's "Da," a role he recreated in the film vrsion of the same name, Da (1988). He also received a Tony nomination in 1974 as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."
Father of actress Laura Hughes stage director Doug Hughes.
From an Irish-American family
Served in the Army during World War II.
Went to Manhattan College.
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch)
A member of the Tenthouse Theater, a Palm Springs, CA, repertory company which opened in 1950 and played for several years.
Died only 5 days prior to his 91st birthday.
Upon his death, his remains were interred at the Church of the Transfiguration in New York City.

Personal Quotes (2)

I like coming out last on the curtain call. I love standing alone and taking a bow. I'm sure there are times when I appear to be enjoying myself inordinately on that stage. If that's so, it's because it IS so." - referring to his starring role in "Da
I didn't make a lot of money, but I worked all the time. I worked for writers who didn't make money. I worked for directors who didn't make money. There wasn't a basement in New York I didn't work in. - of his early years in the theater

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