Mandy Patinkin, June 2008
|Born||Mandel Bruce Patinkin
November 30, 1952
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Spouse(s)||Kathryn Grody (m. 1980)|
Patinkin is well known for his portrayal of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride in 1987. His other film credits include Alien Nation (1988), Yentl (1983), and Dick Tracy (1990). He has appeared in major roles in television series such as Chicago Hope, Dead Like Me, and Criminal Minds, and plays Saul Berenson in the Showtime series Homeland.
He is a noted interpreter of the musical works of Stephen Sondheim, and is known for his work in musical theatre, originating iconic roles such as Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park with George and Ché in the original Broadway production of Evita.
Patinkin was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Doris "Doralee" (née Sinton), a homemaker, and Lester Patinkin, who worked for the People's Iron & Metal Company and the Scrap Corporation of America. His mother wrote Grandma Doralee Patinkin's Jewish Family Cookbook. Patinkin's cousins include Mark Patinkin, an author and nationally syndicated columnist for The Providence Journal, and Sheldon Patinkin of Columbia College Chicago's Theater Department, a founder of The Second City.
Patinkin grew up in a middle-class family, descended from Russian- and Polish- Jews, and was raised in Conservative Judaism, attending religious school daily "from the age of seven to 13 or 14" and singing in synagogue choirs, as well as attending the Camp Surah in Michigan.
He attended South Shore High School, Harvard St. George School, and Kenwood High School (later renamed Kenwood Academy), and graduated in 1970. He attended the University of Kansas, and the Juilliard School (Drama Division Group 5: 1972–1976). At Juilliard, he was a classmate of Kelsey Grammer. When the producers of the popular American sitcom Cheers were auditioning for the role of Dr. Frasier Crane, Patinkin put Grammer's name forward.
After some TV commercial and radio appearances, including the CBS Radio Mystery Theater in 1974, Patinkin had his first success in musical theater, where he played the part of Che in Evita on Broadway in 1979. Patinkin went on to win that year's Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. He then moved to film, playing parts in movies such as Yentl and Ragtime. He returned to Broadway in 1984 to star in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George, which saw him earn another Tony Award nomination for Best Actor (Musical).
Patinkin played Inigo Montoya in Rob Reiner's 1987 The Princess Bride, in which he delivers the iconic line, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Patinkin found his studies a huge asset in The Princess Bride, playing the role of the best swordsman in the country, short of the main character, and part of his role included proficiency in fencing at a professional level. Over the next decade he continued to appear in movies, such as Dick Tracy and Alien Nation.
In 1994, he took the role of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on CBS' Chicago Hope for which he won an Emmy Award. However, despite the award and the ratings success of the show, Patinkin left the show during the second season because he was unhappy spending so much time away from his wife. He returned to the show in 1999 at the beginning of the sixth season, but it was later canceled in 2000. Since Chicago Hope, Patinkin has appeared in a number of films. However, he has mostly performed as a singer, releasing three more albums. In 1995 he guest starred in The Simpsons in the episode "Lisa's Wedding" as Hugh Parkfield, Lisa's future English groom.
In 1998, he debuted his most personal project, Mamaloshen, a collection of traditional, classic, and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish ("Mamaloshen" is Yiddish for "mother tongue"). The stage production of Mamaloshen was performed on and off–Broadway, and has toured throughout the country. The recording of Mamaloshen won the award Deutscher Schallplattenpreis (Germany’s equivalent of the Grammy Award).
In 1999, he co-starred in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland as Huxley, the primary or the main villain of that film who tries to steal Elmo's blanket. He returned to Broadway in 2000 in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of John LaChiusa's The Wild Party, earning another Tony Award nomination for Best Actor (Musical). In 2003-2004 he was seen in the Showtime comedy-drama Dead Like Me as Rube Sofer. In 2004, he played a six–week engagement of his one–man concert at the Off Broadway complex Dodger Stages.
Patinkin was absent from a table read for Criminal Minds and did not return for a third season. The departure from the show was not due to contractual or salary matters, but over creative differences. He left apologetic letters for his fellow cast members explaining his reasons and wishing them luck. Many weeks before his departure, in a videotaped interview carried in the online magazine Monaco Revue, Patinkin told journalists at the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo that he loathed violence on television and was uncomfortable with certain scenes in Criminal Minds. He called his choice to do Criminal Minds his "biggest public mistake", and stated that he "thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality, and after that, I didn't think I would get to work in television again." 
He spoke of having planned to tour the world with a musical and wanting to inject more comedy into the entertainment business. In later episodes during the 2007–08 season, Jason Gideon was written out of the series, and replaced by Special Agent David Rossi (played by Joe Mantegna).
On October 14, 2009, it was announced that Patinkin would be a guest star on an episode of Three Rivers, which aired on November 15, 2009. He played a patient with Lou Gehrig's Disease injured in a car accident who asks the doctors at Three Rivers hospital to take him off life support so his organs can be donated. He filmed an appearance on The Whole Truth that had been scheduled to air December 15, 2010, but ABC pulled the series from its schedule two weeks prior.
He starred in the new musical Paradise Found, co-directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman, at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London. The musical played a limited engagement from May 2010 through June 26, 2010.
Patinkin and Patti Lupone performed their concert An Evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin on Broadway for a limited 63-performance run starting November 21, 2011, at the Barrymore Theatre, and which ended on January 13, 2012. This concert marks the first time the pair has performed together on Broadway since they appeared together in Evita.
Patinkin married actress and writer Kathryn Grody in 1980. They have two sons, Isaac and Gideon. Gideon joined his father onstage in Dress Casual in 2011. Patinkin has described himself as "Jewish with a dash of Buddhist" belief. On the Canadian radio program Q, Patinkin describes himself as a "JewBu" because of this mix of beliefs and "spiritual, but not religious".
Patinkin suffered from keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease, in the mid-1990s. This led to two corneal transplants, his right cornea in 1997 and his left in 1998. He also was diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer in 2004. He celebrated his first year of recovery in 2005 by doing a 280-mile charity bike ride with his son, Isaac – the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride: Cycling for Peace, Partnership & Environmental Protection. In 2005, he became a vegan.
Patinkin has been involved in a variety of Jewish causes and cultural activities. He sings in Yiddish, often in concert, and on his album Mamaloshen. He also wrote introductions for two books on Jewish culture, The Jewish American Family Album, by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, and Grandma Doralee Patinkin's Holiday Cookbook: A Jewish Family's Celebrations, by his mother, Doralee Patinkin Rubin.
In May 2012, Patinkin delivered the opening speech at the "Annual Convention of the Israeli Left", where he recounted his experiences during a visit to the West Bank with members of the Breaking the Silence organization.
Patinkin contributed to the children's book Dewey Doo-it Helps Owlie Fly Again: A Musical Storybook, inspired by Christopher Reeve prior to Christopher and Dana Reeve's deaths. The award-winning book, published in 2005, benefits the Christopher Reeve Foundation and includes an audio CD with Patinkin singing and reading the story as well as Dana Reeve and Bernadette Peters singing.
- 1980: Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical – Evita
- 1987: CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Theatrical or Dramatic Special – Sunday in the Park with George
- 1995: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Chicago Hope
- 1984: Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy – Yentl
- 1990: Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor – Alien Nation
- 1995: Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama – Chicago Hope
- 1995: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series – Chicago Hope
- 1996: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series – The Larry Sanders Show: "Eight"
- 1999: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series – Chicago Hope: "Curing Cancer"
- 2003: DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song in a DVD, Premiere Movie – Run Ronnie Run: "How High the Mountain"
- 2013: Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – Homeland
- 2013: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Homeland