Starred (as "Walter Burns") in "The Front Page" on Broadway (1969). Comedy (revival). Written by Ben Hecht
and Charles MacArthur
. Directed by Harold J. Kennedy
(also in cast as "Bensinger" from the Tribune). Ethel Barrymore Theatre: 18 Oct 1969-28 Feb 1970 (158 performances + 6 previews). Cast: Val Avery
(as "Diamond Louis"),
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6' 4" (1.93 m)
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[on young actors] Each one assumes that his mere presence is God's gift to humanity and he finds out over the years that this isn't the case, but that the acquisition of the skills is equally important. You find out that the essence of it is simplification.
In 1973, he played the terminally-ill political activist Larry Slade in The Iceman Cometh
(1973). Ironically, while filming, he knew he was approaching the final stages of lung cancer and died in July of that year. His wife Jessica had died just the year before, also succumbing to cancer.
Often played stern authority figures, in sharp contrast to his real life persona.