Paxton Whitehead

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Paxton Whitehead
Born (1937-10-17) 17 October 1937 (age 76)
East Malling, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Patricia Gage (divorced)
Katherine Jane Robertson

Paxton Whitehead (born 17 October 1937) is a British actor who made his professional debut in 1956. He played Professor Phillip Barbay in the 1986 comedy film Back to School.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Paxton was born in East Malling, Kent, the son of Louise (née Hunt) and Charles Parkin Paxton, a lawyer. He trained at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art beginning when he was 17 years old. After attending the academy he worked in repertory, small touring companies that rehearsed and performed a new play each week. In 1958 he was signed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Career[edit]

In 1961, Whitehead directed Doric Wilson's first play to be performed, his comedy And He Made a Her, a production at the off-off-Broadway venue Caffe Cino.[1] He made his Broadway debut in "The Affair" (1962) after appearing in Canadian stage and TV productions.[2][3] Whitehead replaced Jonathan Miller in the Broadway production of Beyond the Fringe in 1964 and appeared on the LP recording of the show, Beyond the Fringe '64.[2][4] He went on to appear with the American Shakespeare Company to direct in regional repertory.[3]

Whitehead succeeded Barry Morse as Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, the only repertory company dedicated to the works of George Bernard Shaw. Under his leadership, it continued to develop into an international event. During his tenure he was able to push through a plan of building the purpose-built 869 seat state-of-the-art Festival Theatre to expand considerably the capacity for audiences at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Queen Elizabeth II, Indira Gandhi and Pierre Trudeau were among those who attended performances at the Shaw Festival Theatre during its inaugural season in 1973. He served until 1977 and also appeared in productions as actor. His notable appearances included The Apple Cart, Major Barbara, The Philanderer, Arms and the Man, Misalliance and Heartbreak House with Jessica Tandy. Whitehead and Suzanne Grossman adapted Georges Feydeau's plays There's One in Every Marriage for the Broadway stage in 1971, and Chemin de Fer in 1974.[5]

He received an honorary degree in arts from Trent University in 1978 and earned an Antoinette Perry "Tony" Award nomination for Camelot in 1980. He has appeared in numerous Broadway productions including My Fair Lady with Richard Chamberlain, The Harlequin Studies with Bill Irwin, Noël Coward's Suite in Two Keys, Peter Shaffer's Lettice and Lovage, London Suite by Neil Simon and as Sherlock Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood.

In recent years, Whitehead has continued to work in regional theatre and on Broadway. In 2007, he made a cameo in Desperate Housewives as the father of Susan Mayer's fiancée, Ian.[6] Whitehead appeared in the role of Phil at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT from 12–27 July 2007 in Relatively Speaking, a comedy.[7][8][9] Whitehead began previews of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre on 17 December 2010 in the role of Reverend Canon Chausible. The show opened on 13 January 2011 and was filmed live on 11/12 March 2011 for broadcast in June 2011.[10] He will play the role George Bernard Shaw in Anthony Wynn's Bernard and Bosie: A Most Unlikely Friendship in a benefit performance for the Episcopal Actors' Guild on 5 May 2011.[11]

Whitehead is an Associate Artist of the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. He performs on recordings of Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma and Harley Granville-Barker's The Voysey Inheritance.

Work[edit]

Stage productions[edit]

Actor[edit]

  • Kentish Colt, The Epilogue, The Old Stagers Theatre, Canterbury, England, UK, 1949
  • Alphonse, All for Mary, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, England, UK, 1956
  • Francisco, Hamlet, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, UK, 1958
  • Sellars, The Grass is Greener, Theatre Royal, Bath, England, UK, 1960
  • Gallows Humor, Gramercy Arts Theatre, New York City, USA, 1961
  • Prosecuting counsel, One Way Pendulum, East 74th Street Theatre, New York City, USA, 1961
  • Gilbert Dawson-Hill, The Affair, Henry Miller's Theatre, 1962
  • Torvald Helmer, A Doll's House, Theatre Four, New York City, USA, 1963
  • Gower, Henry V, American Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, CT, USA, 1963
  • King of France, King Lear, American Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, England, UK, 1963
  • Horner, The Country Wife, Front Street Theatre, Memphis, TN, USA, 1964
  • Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady, Front Street Theatre, 1964
  • Jack Absolute, The Rivals, Charles Playhouse, Boston, MA, USA, 1964
  • Archie Rice, The Entertainer, Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, CT, USA, 1965
  • Adolphus Cusins, Major Barbara, Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, OH, USA, 1965
  • Randall Underwood, Heartbreak House, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1965
  • Christoforou, The Public Eye, Manitoba Theatre Centre, 1965
  • Algernon, The Importance of Being Earnest, Manitoba Theatre Centre, 1965
  • John Worthing, The Importance of Being Earnest, Canadian Players, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1966
  • Lord Summerhays, Misalliance, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, 1966
  • Magnus, The Apple Cart, Shaw Festival, 1966
  • Sergius, Arms and the Man, Shaw Festival, 1967
  • Adolphus Cusins, Major Barbara, Shaw Festival, 1967
  • Hector Hushabye, Heartbreak House, Shaw Festival, 1968
  • Coustilliou, The Chemmy Circle, Shaw Festival, 1968
  • Charley's Aunt, Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, USA, 1968
  • Chemin de Fer, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, USA, 1969
  • Rondelay, Hudson West Theatre, New York City, USA, 1969
  • Dubedat, The Doctor's Dilemma, Shaw Festival, 1969
  • The actor, The Guardsman, Shaw Festival, 1969
  • Tempest, Forty Years On, Shaw Festival, 1970
  • The Chemmy Circle, Arena Stage, Washington, D.C., USA, 1970
  • Hector Hushabye, Heartbreak House, Goodman Memorial Theatre, Chicago, IL., USA, 1970
  • The Emperor, The Brass Butterfly, Chelsea Theatre Center, New York City, USA, 1970
  • Reverend Alexander Mill, Candida, Longacre Theatre, New York City, USA, 1970
  • Canon Throbbing, Habeas Corpus, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, USA, 1975
  • Charteris, The Philanderer, Shaw Festival, 1971
  • Lead roles, Tonight at 8:30, Shaw Festival, 1971
  • Valentine, You Never Can Tell, Shaw Festival, 1973
  • Savoyard, Fanny's First Play, Shaw Festival, 1973
  • Fancourt Babberley, Charley's Aunt, Shaw Festival, 1974
  • Burgoyne, The Devil's Disciple, Shaw Festival, 1975
  • Sergius, Arms and the Man, Shaw Festival, 1976
  • Magnus, The Apple Cart, Shaw Festival, 1976
  • Adrian, The Millionairess, Shaw Festival, 1976
  • Ronnie Gamble, Thark, Shaw Festival, 1977
  • Sherlock Holmes, The Crucifer of Blood, Helen Hayes Theatre, New York City, USA, 1978
  • Henry Carr, Travesties, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Canada, 1979
  • Sherlock Holmes, The Crucifer of Blood, Elitch Gardens Theatre, Denver, Colorado, USA, 1979
  • Title role, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1980
  • Ronnie Gamble, Thark, Philadelphia Drama Guild, USA, 1980
  • Malvalio, Twelfth Night, Philadelphia Drama Guild, USA, 1980
  • Pellinore, Camelot, State Theatre, New York City, USA, 1980
  • Sergeant of police, The Pirates of Penzance, Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, USA, 1981
  • Harpagon, The Miser, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, USA, 1982
  • Hector, Heartbreak House, Theatre Royal, London, UK, 1983
  • Anthony Absolute, The Rivals, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, USA, 1983
  • Freddy, Noises Off, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City, USA, 1983–85
  • Title role, Richard III, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, USA, 1985
  • Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, USA, 1986
  • Richard Willey, Out of Order, Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ, USA, 1997
  • Sherlock Holmes, The Mask of Moriarty, Paper Mill Playhouse, 1998
  • Narrator, Rocky Horror Show, Tiffany Theater, Hollywood, CA, USA, 1998
  • Sir Hugo Latymer, A Song at Twilight, Mirage Theater Company, Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York City, USA, 2000
  • George Hilgay, Shadows of the Evening, Mirage Theater Company, Lucille Lortel Theater, USA, 2000
  • Xanadu Live, Male, The Gascon Center Theatre, Culver City, CA, USA, 2001
  • Twelfth Night, Malvolio, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, USA, 2001
  • The Circle, Clive Champion-Cheney, South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, CA, USA, 2001
  • Where's Charley, Mr. Spettigue, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA, USA, 2002
  • The Voysey Inheritance, Mr. Voysey, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2003
  • The Harlequin Studies, Pantalone, Peter Norton Space (Off-Broadway), USA, 2003
  • What the Butler Saw, Dr. Rance, Boston University Theatre, Boston, MA, USA, 2004
  • Absurd Person Singular, Ronald, Biltmore Theatre (Broadway), USA, 2005
  • Also appeared in A Little Hotel on the Side; King Lear, Manitoba Theatre Centre; Neil Simon's London Suite.

Tour History

  • Francisco, Hamlet, Royal Shakespeare Company, Moscow and Leningrad, Soviet Union, 1958
  • Lead role, The Grass Is Greener, Royal Shakespeare Company, U.K. cities, 1959
  • Freddie, Pygmalion, Royal Shakespeare Company, U.K. cities, 1960
  • Beyond the Fringe, U.S. cities, 1963
  • The Bed Before Yesterday, U.S. cities, 1976
  • Pellinore, Camelot, U.S. cities, 1980–81
  • Also toured with the Andrew McMaster Company, U.K. cities, 1957.

Director[edit]

  • The Circle, Shaw Festival, 1967
  • The Chemmy Circle, Shaw Festival, 1968
  • A Flea in Her Ear, Charles Playhouse, 1969
  • Forty Years On, Shaw Festival, 1970
  • The Secretary Bird, Main Stage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1970
  • The Chemmy Circle, Main Stage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1971
  • The Sorrows of Frederick, Main Stage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1971
  • Misalliance, Shaw Festival, 1972
  • Getting Married, Shaw Festival, 1972
  • Charley's Aunt, Shaw Festival, 1972
  • Widowers' Houses, Shaw Festival, 1973
  • Arms and the Man, Main Stage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1973
  • The Crucifer of Blood, Elitch Gardens Theatre, Denver, Colorado, USA, 1979
  • Misalliance, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, then Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, USA, 1982
  • The Real Thing, Seattle Repertory Theatre, WA, USA, 1986
  • Beyond the Fringe, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, transferring to the Los Angeles Theatre Centre, USA, 1986

Writer[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Importance of Being Earnest Rev. Canon Chasuble
2001 Kate & Leopold Uncle Millard
1999 Wakko's Wish (animated) Voice of King Salazar Direct to video
1999 The Duke Basil Rathwood
1997 RocketMan British Reporter
1996 London Suite Dr. McMerlin (TV)
1995 Goldilocks and the Three Bears McReady
1994 Trick of the Eye Deane (TV)
1993 My Boyfriend's Back Judge In Heaven
1993 12:01 Dr. Tiberius Scott (TV)
1993 The Adventures of Huck Finn Harvey Wilks
1992 Boris and Natasha: The Movie Anton/Kreeger Paulovitch
1992 Hale the Hero General Howe (TV)
1991 Rover Dangerfield Count (voice)
1991 An Inconvenient Woman Hector Paradiso (TV)
1991 Child of Darkness, Child of Light Father Rosetti (TV)
1990 Chips, the War Dog Smythe
1988 Tales from the Hollywood Hills: The Old Reliable Phipps (TV)
1987 Baby Boom Center Instructor
1986 Jumpin' Jack Flash Lord Malcolm Billings
1986 The Alan King Show John Emerson (TV)
1986 Back to School Dr. Phillip Barbay
1979 Riel McDougall

Television[edit]

Year Title Episode Role Notes
2007 Desperate Housewives Dress Big Graham Hainsworth
2004 The West Wing A Change Is Gonna Come Bernard Thatch
2003 Charlie Lawrence It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother British Ambassador[43]
2002 The Drew Carey Show Rich Woman, Poor Man Helford
2001 Dead Last To Live and Amulet Die Chancellor Johns
2000 The West Wing Noël Bernard Thatch
1992–1999 Mad About You Recurring character Hal Conway
1998 Friends Recurring character Mr. Waltham
1998 Early Edition Romancing the Throne Vesti
1997 Liberty! The American Revolution Recurring character Horace Walpole
1996 Frasier A Lilith Thanksgiving Dr. Campbell
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun World's Greatest Dick Dr. Menard
1995–1996 Ellen Recurring character Dr. Whitcomb
1996 Caroline in the City Caroline and the Cat Dancer Cats Producer
1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest The Darkest Fathoms Commander (voice)
1995 Simon Regular cast Duke
1993 Almost Home The Fox and the Hound Sir Reginald Harrington
1992 Dinosaurs Wilderness Weekend Judge (voice)
1992 Dinosaurs The Clip Show Sir David Tushingham (voice)
1991 Law & Order The Troubles Fenwick
1989 Murder, She Wrote The Grand Old Lady Captain Oliver
1989 The Nutt House My Man Tarkington Alec Creed
1988 Baby Boom The Right School for Elizabeth Dr. Whittaker
1987–1988 Marblehead Manor Regular cast Albert Dudley the Butler
1987 Down and Out in Beverly Hills Jerry Jumps Right In Derek
1986 The A-Team Beneath the Surface Morgan
1986 Hart to Hart Rich and Hartless Gordon Chumley
1986 Hart to Hart Hart and Sole Patrick Burke
1982 Magnum, P.I. Foiled Again William Troubshaw
1974 Performance Village Wooing
1974 The National Dream: Building the Impossible Railway Lord Dufferin TV mini-series

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Doric Wilson on the Caffe Cino." Doric Wilson Professional Web Page. Originally printed in Other Stages (NYC). 8 March 1979.
  2. ^ a b "Paxton Whitehead: Male, Performer, Writer, Dramaturg". Internet Broadway Data Base. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  3. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. "Biography". Allmovie. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  4. ^ Mandelbaum, Ken. "DVDs: So That's the Way You Like It: BEYOND THE FRINGE (Acorn Media)". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  5. ^ Simonson, Robert (2010-08-25). "Suzanne Grossman, Actress and Writer, Dies at 72". Playbill. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  6. ^ IMDB Cast Listing for "Desperate Housewives" Dress Big
  7. ^ a b Monty, Scott (2007-06-22). "Where Are the Slippers Now?" (VALL)". Baker Street Blog. Retrieved 2007-06-22. 
  8. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam (2007-06-25). "Carr, Waterston, Whitehead to Star in Westport's Relatively Speaking". Playbill. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  9. ^ a b Lipton, Brian Scott (2007-06-25). "Carr, Hart, Waterston, Whitehead Set for Westport's Relatively Speaking". Theater Mania. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  10. ^ Broadway's The Importance of Being Earnest to be Filmed for the Big Screen
  11. ^ Episcopal Actors' Guild
  12. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2011-05-26). "Williamstown to Welcome Richard Easton, Donna McKechnie, Maura Tierney, Steven Weber". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  13. ^ "Next at Westport Playhouse: 'The Circle'". Westport News. 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  14. ^ "Ivey, Whitehead & More Complete Roudabout's 'The Importance of Being Earnest'". Broadway World. 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  15. ^ "The Importance of Being Ernest: full cast announced [sic]". New York Theatre Guide. 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  16. ^ "The Importance of Being Ernest". Roundabout Theatre Company. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  17. ^ a b "Westport Country Playhouse Hosts Two Script in Hand Readings 4 October, 15 November". Broadway World.com. 2010-09-09. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew (2010-08-09). "Paxton Whitehead Will Join Marsha Mason for D.C.'s All's Well That Ends Well; Casting Complete". Playbill. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  19. ^ "Pittsburgh Public Theater Presents 'Time of My Life' 15 April - 16 May". Broadway World. 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew (2009-09-24). "Nielsen, Whitehead, Ashmanskas Cast in McCarter's She Stoops to Conquer". Playbill. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  21. ^ Siegel, Namoi (2009-10-23). "Goldsmith’s ‘She Stoops to Conquer,’ Revived at the McCarter". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  22. ^ Filichia, Peter (2009-10-22). "Mistaken identities: Grand pretensions abound in 'She Stoops to Conquer' at McCarter Theatre". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  23. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott (2009-06-29). "Carson Elrod, Cecilia Hart, Darren Pettie, Paxton Whitehead, et al. Set for Westport's How the Other Half Loves". TheaterMania.com. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  24. ^ "Carson Elrod, Cecilia Hart, Darren Pettie, Paxton Whitehead, et al. Set for Westport's How the Other Half Loves". Broadwayworld.com. 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  25. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2009-06-28). "How the Other Half Loves Begins Westport Run 28 July". Playbill. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  26. ^ ""How the Other Half Loves" Previews at Playhouse". westportnow.com. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  27. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2008-02-12). "Easton, Ivey and White Set for 2008 Williamstown Season". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  28. ^ Borak, Jeffrey (2008-02-12). "'She Loves Me' first on Main Stage". Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  29. ^ "White, Easton, Ivey Poised for 2008 Williamstown Theatre Fest". Broadwayworld.com. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  30. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott (2008-02-12). "Easton, Ivey, Scott, White, et al. Set for Williamstown 2008 Season". TheaterMania.com. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  31. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2008-02-05). "Westport Announces Revised 2008 Season; Paul Newman to Direct". Playbill. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  32. ^ "Westport Revises 2008–09 Season; Paul Newman to Direct". Broadwayworld.com. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  33. ^ Cooney, Beth (2008-03-30). "Westport Playhouse keeps it all in the family". Greenwich Time. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  34. ^ "The Harlequin Studies". The Internet Off-Broadway Database, Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  35. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (2003-09-21). "Review: The Harlequin Studies". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  36. ^ "The Harlequin Studies". The Internet Off-Broadway Database, Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  37. ^ "London Suite". The Internet Off-Broadway Database, Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  38. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (1995-04-10). "Review: London Suite". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  39. ^ "Rondelay". The Internet Off-Broadway Database, Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  40. ^ "A Doll's House". The Internet Off-Broadway Database, Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  41. ^ "One Way Pendulum". The Internet Off-Broadway Database, Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  42. ^ Guernsey, Otis L. (1983). The Best Plays of 1981-1982. Dodd, Mead and Company. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-396-08124-1. 
  43. ^ "Show Guide: 'Charlie Lawrence'". allyourtv.com. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 

External links[edit]