Langella, an Italian American, was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of Angelina and Frank A. Langella Sr., a business executive who was the president of the Bayonne Barrel and Drum Company. 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 set of Eddie in 1996, until they separated in March 2001.
Langella made his first foray 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, and won film fame in two 1970 films: Mel Brooks' The Twelve Chairs and Frank Perry's Diary of a Mad Housewife, being nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for the latter. Langella won his first Tony Award for his performance in Edward Albee's Seascape and 1975 and was nominated for another for what may have been the performance for which he was best known for in the early part of his career: the title role of the 1977 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 eschewed the career of a traditional film star by always making the stage the focal point of his career, appearing on Broadway in such plays as Sherlock's Last Case, Strindberg's The Father (winning a Drama Desk Award), Match (Tony Award nomination), and Fortune's Fool, for which he won a second Tony Award.
But Langella would continue to juggle film and television with his stage work, playing 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 film And God Created Woman. 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.
He was cast as Richard M. Nixon 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 third Tony Award. He reprised the role of 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. He was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category for the role, losing to Sean Penn's performance in Milk.
In 2000 he played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a musical version of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden. 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.
His awards include the Obie Award for Distinguished Performance in John Webster's The White Devil (1965), two Tonys for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Edward Albee's Seascape (1975), and Ivan Turgenev's Fortune's Fool (2002), and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Richard Nixon in Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon (2008). Langella was nominated for two other Best Leading Actor 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.
- ↑ Andy Rudd. "Oscar nominations: Frank Langhella - Top 10 facts you need to know about the Academy Award-nominated Frost/Nixon actor". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- ↑ Mcgrath, Charles (2009-01-04). "So Nixonian That His Nose Seems to Evolve". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- ↑ Roberts, Sheila (2007-11-22). "Frank Langella Interview, Starting out in the Evening". MoviesOnline. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- ↑ Peter Marks (1996-02-11). "Frank Langella Stamps 'The Father' as His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- ↑ "Frank Langella Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- ↑ White, Timothy (1998). The entertainers. Billboard Books. p. 72. ISBN 0823076067.
- ↑ Coutros, Evonne E. "PLAYING A WICKED STREAK FOR ALL IT'S WORTH", The Record (Bergen County). January 23, 1994.
- ↑ "Frank Langella Biography (1940?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- ↑ Napoleon, Davi (1991). Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater. Iowa State University Press. ISBN 0813817137.
- ↑ Cox, Gordon. Frank Langella to be 'Man' on B'way, Variety, 21 May 2008.
- ↑ Video Interviews: The Box
- ↑ Frank Langella Scores Starring Role in 'Unknown White Male'
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