June 25, 1951
Canton, Ohio, U.S.
Lee Wilkof (born June 25, 1951) is an American actor and veteran of the Broadway stage. He originated the roles of Sam Byck in Assassins and Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, later earning a Tony Award nomination for the 2000 revival of Kiss Me, Kate. He appeared as The Wizard in the San Francisco production of Wicked, a role in which he previously played on the First National Tour of the show.
Wilkof has appeared in numerous television series (Ally McBeal, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Hart to Hart) and films (Asylum Seekers, The Grey Zone, This Boy's Life). He is featured in the 2009 film Leaves of Grass, starring Edward Norton.
Wilkof currently plays the role of OJ Berman in Breakfast at Tiffany's on Broadway, at the Cort Theatre.
Wilkof lives in New York City with his wife, director Connie Grappo, and their daughter Perrie.
Wilkof hails from Canton, Ohio, a town of approximately 80,000 and home to the Professional Football HOF. His father ran a steel scrap and iron business. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati's prestigious College-Conservatory of Music in 1973, and also studied acting with Austin Pendleton in New York City.
After graduating from UC, Wilkof wrote and starred in a comedy revue called The Present Tense for several weeks in New York City. Norman Lear was so impressed with Wilkof's performance that he brought him to Los Angeles in 1978. Wilkof took small film and television roles (Hart to Hart, The Entity), but his big break came in 1982 with the leading role of a lifetime: Little Shop of Horrors.
Wilkof starred as Seymour in the original Off-Off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors, and also recorded the cast album. This was followed by a series of Broadway and Off-Broadway roles.
- Sweet Charity Revival, as Herman, 1986
- The Front Page Revival, as Schwartz, 1986–1987
- She Loves Me Revival, as Ladislav Sipos, 1993–1994
- Kiss Me, Kate Revival, as First Man (singing Brush Up Your Shakespeare) 1999-2001
- The Boys from Syracuse Revival, as Dromio of Syracuse, 2002
- Democracy, as Gunther Nollau, 2004–2005
- The Odd Couple Revival, as Vinnie, 2005–2006
- Breakfast at Tiffany's, as OJ Berman, 2013
Off-Broadway, Regional and Tour
- Little Shop of Horrors, as Seymour, 1982
- Angry Housewives, as Lewd, 1986
- Assassins, as Samuel Byck, 1990
- Do Re Mi, (Encores! Concert), as Fatso O'Rear, 1999
- Little Shop of Horrors, Broadway Florida tryout, as Mr. Mushnik, 2003
- Ballad of Little Pinks at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, 2003
- Face The Music, Encores! Concert, as Martin Van Meshbesher, 2007
- Wicked First National Tour, as The Wizard (2007–2008)
- Wicked San Francisco production, as The Wizard (2009–2010)
- The Iceman Cometh, The Goodman Theatre, as Hugo Kalmar 2012
Wilkof's film career enabled him to work with some of the industry's best actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio (This Boy's Life), David Arquette (The Grey Zone) and Edward Norton (Leaves of Grass). He also appeared in several successful independent films.
- Serial (1980)
- Wholly Moses! (1980)
- The Entity (1981)
- Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star (1986)
- Kill Me Again(1989)
- Chattahoochee (1989)
- The Walter Ego (1991)
- This Boy's Life (1993)
- The Associate (1996)
- Howard Stern's Private Parts (1997)
- The Grey Zone (2001)
- School of Rock (2003)
- Imaginary Heroes (2004)
- Mojave Phone Booth (2006)
- Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
- Love Comes Lately (2007)
- Asylum Seekers (2008)
- Leaves of Grass(2009)
- YellowBrickRoad (2010)
Wilkof's best-known television work includes Ally McBeal and Law & Order. He played guest roles on The West Wing, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Without a Trace, Matlock, What's Happening Now!!, Doogie Howser, MD, Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Newhart.
Recurring roles include:
- Disco Beaver from Outer Space (1978)
- W.E.B. as Harvey Pearlstein (1978)
- Delta House as Einswine (1979)
- Hart to Hart as Stanley Friesen (1982)
- Max Headroom as Edwards (1987–1988)
- 100 Centre Street as Alexander Weiss (2001)
- Ally McBeal as District Attorney Nixon (1998–2002)
- Law & Order franchise as various characters (1991–2004)
Awards and nominations
- OBIE Award and Drama Desk nomination for The Present Tense
- Drama Desk nomination for Assassins
- Tony nomination for Kiss Me, Kate
- Drama Desk nomination for Kiss Me, Kate
- "Lee Wilkof IMDB""Leaves of Grass (2009)". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- Lee Wilkof Biography (1951-)
- "Lee Wilkof on BroadwayWorld.com". Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- "Slamdance '10: Which Way to Go? in Official 'YellowBrickRoad' One Sheet". BloodyDisgusting.
- "Lee Wilkof". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- Lee Wilkof at the Internet Movie Database
- Lee Wilkof at the Internet Broadway Database
- Lee Wilkof at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Broadway World Biography