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September 4, 1938|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||August 24, 1988
New York, New York
Leonard Frey (September 4, 1938 – August 24, 1988) was an American actor.
Frey was born in Brooklyn, New York. After college, where he studied art with designs on being a painter, he studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under famed acting coach Sanford Meisner, and pursued a career in theater instead.
Frey, who was openly gay, received critical acclaim in 1968 for his performance as Harold, a bitter, pockmarked gay man who dreads his birthday in off-Broadway's The Boys in the Band. This landmark play introduced mainstream audiences to the culture of gay men who supported each other, providing friendship, family and, when necessary, reality checks. He would go on to appear alongside the rest of the original cast in the 1970 film version, directed by William Friedkin.
Frey was nominated for a 1975 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in The National Health. Other stage credits include revivals of The Time of Your Life (1969), Beggar on Horseback (1970), Twelfth Night (1972) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1980).
Frey earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Motel the tailor in the film Fiddler on the Roof. (He had appeared in the original Broadway production as Mendel, the rabbi's son.) He played Clare Quilty in the Alan Jay Lerner musical Lolita, My Love which closed, before reaching Broadway, in 1974.
Frey's television credits included appearances on Hallmark Hall of Fame, Medical Center, Mission Impossible, Eight is Enough, Quincy, M.E., Hart to Hart, Barney Miller, Moonlighting, and Murder, She Wrote, as well as a co-starring role as the villainous Parker Tillman on the short-lived ABC western comedy Best of the West.
On The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode entitled "Ted Baxter's Famous Broadcaster's School," Frey plays the lone student within a sea of empty chairs, and steals the scene, as he insists the main characters "lecture" just to him, even though they were expecting hundreds.
- Leonard Frey at the Internet Movie Database
- Leonard Frey at AllMovie
- Leonard Frey at the Internet Broadway Database
- Leonard Frey at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Leonard Frey at Find a Grave