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A child of Hollywood character actors, his father Victor Jory played Jonas Wilkerson, the scheming overseer in Gone with the Wind. Jory received his Actor's Equity card as a young child. He was at the forefront of the regional theater movement of the 1960s, which began with the opening of the Guthrie Theater in 1963, showing that not all theater talent was centralized in New York City and Los Angeles. Jory served as artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre from 1965 to 1966; his contract was terminated once the fledgling theater hit rough financial waters. In 1969, he took over the helm of Actors Theatre of Louisville, a small regional theater just five years old. Under his leadership, it became one of the top theaters in the country. Jory's major accomplishment was the foundation and cultivation of the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, beginning in 1976. It has since produced a number of outstanding plays including The Gin Game (1978), Crimes of the Heart (1981), Cementville (1991) and Dinner with Friends (1998), not to mention almost everything Jane Martin has ever written. Jory retired from Actors Theatre in 2000. That fall, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington School of Drama as Professor of Acting and Directing. Also, in 2000, Jory was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. He is the President's Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Asked if Jane Martin's identity will be revealed after her death, Jory has stated with a laugh, "That's a press conference no one will come to. By the time I die, no one will care anyway."
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