March 27, 1940
|Alma mater||Yale University, 1961|
Pendleton is known as a prolific character actor on the stage and screen, whose six-decade career has included roles in films including Catch-22 (1970); What's Up, Doc? (1972); The Front Page (1974); The Muppet Movie (1979), Short Circuit (1986); Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990); My Cousin Vinny (1992); Amistad (1997); A Beautiful Mind (2001), which earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination; and Finding Nemo (2003).
Pendleton received a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Play for the Broadway revival of The Little Foxes in 1981. He has received two Drama Desk Award nominations and the recipient of a Special Drama Desk Award in 2007. He also received a Obie Award for Best Director for the 2011 off-Broadway revival of Three Sisters. Recent Broadway credits include Choir Boy in 2016 and The Minutes in 2022.
Early life and education
Pendleton was born in Warren, Ohio, the son of Thorn Pendleton, who ran a tool company, and Frances (née Manchester) Pendleton, a professional actress. He graduated from the University School, a private all-boys school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1957. A childhood friend was Roger Ailes, later of Fox News.
Pendleton became interested in the theater through his mother, whose performances he watched when he was young. In junior high school, he put on his own performances in the basement of the family home. He participated in theater while attending Yale University, from which he graduated in 1961. He was a member of the Yale Dramatic Association, and in 1958 collaborated with lyricist Peter Bergman on two musical plays that starred Philip Proctor: Tom Jones and Booth Is Back In Town. Proctor and Bergman later formed half of The Firesign Theatre comedy group.
After Yale, Pendleton moved to New York City and studied at HB Studio. He broke into the theater performing in the 1962 off-Broadway production of Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, directed by Jerome Robbins.
Robbins directed Fiddler on the Roof when it came to Broadway in 1964, and brought Pendleton into the opening-night cast, performing the role of Motel the tailor. Pendleton went on to appear in The Last Sweet Days of Isaac (for which he won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance and an Obie Award), The Diary of Anne Frank, Goodtime Charley, and Up from Paradise, and many other plays. In August 2006, he played the Chaplain in the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater production of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children directed by George C. Wolfe at the Delacorte Theater. In 2007, he appeared as Friar Lawrence in the Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Delacorte.
Pendleton wrote the plays Uncle Bob, Booth, and Orson's Shadow, all of which were staged off-Broadway. Uncle Bob had its off-Broadway premiere in 2001 at The SoHo Playhouse, starring George Morfogen—for whom the role of Bob was written—and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, making his New York theatre debut. The critically acclaimed production was directed by Courtney Moorehead and produced by Steven Sendor.
As a director, Pendleton has worked extensively on and off Broadway. His direction of Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes garnered him a Tony Award nomination in 1981. Additional directing credits include The Runner Stumbles by Milan Stitt (1977), Spoils of War by Michael Weller (1988), and The Size of the World by Charles Evered (1996).
Pendleton is also a member of The Mirror Theater Ltd's Mirror Repertory Company, directing the company's 1984 production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, starring Geraldine Page, Sabra Jones, and Victor Slezak. His play H6R3, a compilation of Henry VI and Richard III intended to make the story line clearer and strengthen the women's parts, became a benefit production of The Mirror Theater Ltd at the then Promenade Theater in New York. Pendleton played Richard in this performance, Sabra Jones performed Elizabeth, Lynn Redgrave played Mad Margaret, Charles McAteer was Lord Rutland, Geraint Wyn Davies played Henry VI, Daniel Gerroll played Buckingham, and Lisa Pelikan played Lady Anne.
In 2009, Pendleton directed Uncle Vanya, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, at the Classic Stage Company. The same year he directed Tennessee Williams's Vieux Carré at The Pearl Theatre Company. In 2010, Pendleton directed two plays, Bus Stop at the Olney Theater and Golden Age at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. His 2011 directing of Three Sisters won him an Obie Award. In 2012, he directed a production of Detroit at the National Theatre in London.
Pendleton served as artistic director of the Circle Repertory Company with associate artistic director Lynne Thigpen. The company closed in 1996. He has taught acting at HB Studio since 1969, and teaches directing at The New School. Pendleton has been involved with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre since directing Ralph Pape's Say Goodnight, Gracie for the 1979-80 season, and is an ensemble member there. His acting credits at Steppenwolf include Uncle Vanya, Valparaiso, and Educating Rita.
In 2022, Pendleton reminisced that he was initially reluctant to join Steppenwolf, as the name bothered him and he was reluctant to move to Chicago. "But he ended up taking the gig and started auditioning the troupe—twelve relative unknowns. 'For one role, I had to choose between Laurie Metcalf and Joan Allen,' he said. A second role went to a guy named John Malkovich."
Pendleton was the subject of Starring Austin Pendleton, a 2016 documentary in which colleagues including Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Olympia Dukakis, and Ethan Hawke discuss his life and legacy.
|1962||Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You
in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad
|1964||Fiddler on the Roof||Motel||Broadway|
|1966||Hail Scrawdyke!||Irwin Ingham||Broadway|
|1967||The Little Foxes||Leo Hubbard||Broadway|
|1970||The Last Sweet Days of Isaac||Isaac||Off-Broadway|
|1974||An American Millionaire||Professor Bobby Rudetsky||Broadway|
|1975||Goodtime Charley||Charley (standby)||Broadway|
|1976||The Sorrows of Frederick||Frederick II of Prussia||Off-Broadway|
|1976||The Old Glory||Director; off-Broadway|
|1976||The Runner Stumbles||Director; Broadway|
|1978||Say Goodnight Gracie||Director; off-Broadway|
|1979||The Office Murders||Jack||Off-Broadway|
|1980||John Gabriel Borkman||Director; Broadway|
|1981||The Little Foxes||Director; Broadway|
|1983||Up from Paradise||Adam||Off-Broadway|
|1988||Spoils of War||Director; Broadway|
|1989||Grand Hotel||Otto Kringelein||Replacement; Broadway|
|1991||The Sorrows of Frederick||Frederick the Great||Off-Broadway|
|1991||What About Luv?||Harry Berlin||Off-Broadway|
|1996||The Size of the World||Director; off-Broadway|
|1996||900 Oneonta||Director; off-Broadway|
|1997||The Diary of Anne Frank||Mr. Dussel||Broadway|
|1998||The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man||Mayor||Off-Broadway|
|2006||Mother Courage and Her Children||Chaplain||Off-Broadway|
|2006||an oak tree||Father||Off-Broadway|
|2007||Toys in the Attic||Director; off-Broadway|
|2007||Romeo and Juliet||Friar Laurence||Off-Broadway|
|2008||Fifty Words||Director; off-Broadway|
|2009||Uncle Vanya||Director; off-Broadway|
|2009||Vieux Carre||Director; off-Broadway|
|2011||Three Sisters||Director; off-Broadway|
|2012||In Masks Outrageous and Austere||Dr. Lester G. Syme||Off-Broadway|
|2012||Ivanov||Lebedev||Also director; off-Broadway|
|2013||Choir Boy||Mr. Pendleton||Off-Broadway|
|2014||Between Riverside and Crazy||Director; off-Broadway|
|2014||Straight White Men||Ed||Off-Broadway|
|2018||Wars of the Roses: Henry VI & Richard III||Henry VI||Also director; off-Broadway|
|2018||Choir Boy||Mr. Pendleton||Broadway|
|2018||The Magic of Too Late||Director; off-Broadway|
|2019||Life Sucks.||The Professor||Off-Broadway|
|2020||The Minutes||Mr. Oldfield||Broadway|
|2022||The Minutes||Mr. Oldfield||Broadway|
|1970||Catch-22||Lieutenant Colonel Moodus|
|1972||What's Up, Doc?||Frederick Larrabee|
|Every Little Crook and Nanny||Luther|
|1973||The Thief Who Came to Dinner||Zukovsky|
|1974||The Front Page||Earl Williams|
|1976||Diary of the Dead||Dr. Klein|
|1977||The Great Smokey Roadblock||Guido|
|1979||The Muppet Movie||Max|
|1980||Simon||Dr. Carl Becker|
|First Family||Dr. Alexander Grade|
|1984||Talk to Me||Richard Patterson|
|1985||My Man Adam||Mr. Greenhut|
|1986||Off Beat||Gun Shop Salesman|
|Short Circuit||Howard Marner|
|1987||Hello Again||Junior Lacey|
|1990||Mr. and Mrs. Bridge||Mr. Gadbury|
|1991||The Ballad of the Sad Café||Lawyer Taylor|
|True Identity||Othello's Director|
|1992||My Cousin Vinny||John Gibbons|
|Rain Without Thunder||Catholic Priest|
|Charlie's Ear||Harold Blodgett|
|Do You Like Women?||Unknown|
|1993||Mr. Nanny||Alex Mason Sr.|
|My Boyfriend's Back||Dr. Bronson|
|Searching for Bobby Fischer||Asa Hoffmann|
|Guarding Tess||Earl Fowler|
|1995||Home for the Holidays||Peter Arnold|
|Two Much||Dr. Huffeyer|
|The Fifteen Minute Hamlet||Hamlet||Short|
|1996||Sgt. Bilko||Major Ebersole|
|2 Days in the Valley||Ralph Crupi|
|The Proprietor||Willy Kunst|
|The Associate||Aesop Franklin|
|The Mirror Has Two Faces||Barry|
|1997||Trial and Error||Judge Paul Z. Graff|
|Sue Lost in Manhattan||Bob|
|The Fanatics||Eugene Cleft|
|A River Made to Drown In||Billy|
|1998||Charlie Hoboken||Harry Cedars|
|1999||Skirty Winner||François Truffaut|
|Joe the King||Winston|
|Men of Means||Jerry Trask|
|The 4th Floor||Mr. Collins|
|Brokendown Love Story||'Lucky'||Short|
|2000||The Acting Class||Bobby Austin|
|Fast Food Fast Women||George|
|The Summer of My Deflowering||Unknown||Short|
|2001||Queenie in Love||Alvin|
|A Beautiful Mind||Thomas King|
|2002||Manna from Heaven||Two-Digit Doyle|
|Uptown Girls||Mr. McConkey|
|2004||Christmas with the Kranks||Marty|
|Piccadilly Jim||Peter Pett|
|2005||The Civilization of Maxwell Bright||Jaurice|
|The Notorious Bettie Page||Teacher|
|2006||Raising Flagg||Gus Falk|
|2007||Lovely by Surprise||Jackson|
|2010||Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps||Dr. Masters|
|2013||He's Way More Famous Than You||Dad|
|Hair Brained||Dapper Man|
|Black Box||William Peters|
|2014||She's Funny That Way||Judge Pendergast|
|2016||Starring Austin Pendleton||Himself||Documentary|
|2018||7 Splinters in Time||Fyodor Wax|
|2018||Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes||Himself||Documentary|
|2019||The Sound of Silence||Robert Feinway|
|2020||The Mimic||The Driver|
|1989||One Life to Live||Mr. Dubuis||TV series|
|1972||Love, American Style||Barney Dereemus||1 episode|
|1973||Love, American Style||Leo||1 episode|
|1974||Good Times||Donald Hargrove||1 episode|
|Great Performances||Bennie||1 episode|
|1977||You're Gonna Love It Here||Harry Rogers||TV movie|
|1978||Big City Boys||Harry Buckman||TV movie|
|1983||Great Performances||White Rabbit||1 episode|
|St. Elsewhere||Mr. Entertainment||1 episode|
|1984||St. Elsewhere||Mr. Entertainment||1 episode|
|1985||Love, Long Distance||Dr. Arthur Ruskin||TV movie|
|1986||Miami Vice||Max Rogo||1 episode|
|1986–1989||The Equalizer||Jonah||3 episodes|
|1987||Leg Work||Harold Rodman||1 episode|
|1988||Spenser: For Hire||The Professor||1 episode|
|1989||The Cosby Show||Mr. Kensington||1 episode|
|B.L. Stryker||Danny Lennox||1 episode|
|Anything But Love||Max Templeton||1 episode|
|1990||American Dreamer||Unknown||1 episode|
|21 Jump Street||Mr. Trysla||1 episode|
|1991||Lethal Innocence||Paul Kent||TV movie|
|1992||Murder, She Wrote||Barney Gunderson||Episode: "Angel of Death"|
|Four Eyes and Six Guns||Mustached Passenger||TV movie|
|1994||The Cosby Mysteries||Maynard Caldwell||Episode: "One Day at a Time"|
|Don't Drink the Water||Chef Oscar||TV movie|
|1995||Tales from the Crypt||Orloff||Episode: "Doctor of Horror"|
|New York News||Unknown||Episode: "Cost of Living"|
|Long Island Fever||Dr. Motts||TV movie|
|1997||Frasier||Dr. William M. Dorfman||Episode: "Three Days of the Condo"|
|The Practice||Sam Feldberg||Episode: "Part VI"|
|Fired Up||Bobby H.||1 episode|
|Liberty!||Benjamin Rush||2 episodes|
|1998||Tracey Takes On...||Professor Kenneth Hawkins||Episode: "Age"|
|1998–1999||Homicide: Life on the Street||Dr. George Griscom||11 episodes|
|1998–2002||Oz||William Giles||11 episodes|
|2000||The West Wing||Barry Haskell||Episode: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics"|
|Homicide: The Movie||Dr. George Griscom||TV movie|
|2001||The Education of Max Bickford||Harry||1 episode|
|2001–2002||100 Centre Street||Al Cox||2 episodes|
|2002||Touched by an Angel||Mr. Piltdown||Episode: "The Christmas Watch"|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Horace Gorman||Episode: "Control"|
|2004||Strip Search||James Perley||TV movie|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Dr. John Manotti||Episode: "Inert Dwarf"|
|2005||Joan of Arcadia||Dietrich Steinholz||Episode: "Secret Service"|
|2009||Life on Mars||Dr. Goldman||Episode: "Revenge of Broken Jaw"|
|Cupid||Dr. Boyd||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2011||Person of Interest||Pilcher||Episode: "Foe"|
|2012||Game Change||Senator Joe Lieberman||HBO TV movie|
|2016||Billions||Goose Quill||2 episodes|
|Difficult People||Director||Episode: "Cedar Grove"|
|2018||Alex, Inc.||Wesley Harman||Episode: "The Unfair Advantage"|
|2019||A President Show Documentary: The Fall Of Donald Trump||Historian||TV special|
|2020||New Amsterdam||Eli Pembroke||Episode: "Hiding Behind My Smile"|
|2021||The Good Fight||Dr. Goat||Episode: "And the Violence Spread."|
- Catalog of Copyright Entries: Musical compositions. Government Printing Office. 1963. p. 29.
- "Birth Record of Austin Campbell Pendleton". MooseRoots. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Condit, Susan (December 5, 2001). "The Pendleton Touch (continuation)". Daily Hampshire Gazette. p. 20. Retrieved January 3, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
- Austin Pendelton to Teach "Directing for the Stage" This Spring
- "Who Am Us, Anyway? Peter Bergman". Firesign Media. Archived from the original on December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
- Proctor, Philip. Bride of Firesign. Firesign Media (liner notes). Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
- "Austin Pendleton Theatre Credits". Broadway World. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Rothstein, Mervyn (July 3, 2011). "A LIFE IN THE THEATRE: Actor-Writer-Director Austin Pendleton". Playbill.
- "Austin Pendleton: Director Performer". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Brantley, Ben (March 21, 1996). "Theater Review. So Chipper, So Smiley, So Upbeat, but Why?". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- Bennetts, Leslie (June 26, 1984). "Repertory Company Blossoms". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Simonson, Robert (January 21, 2016). "Mirror Rep Presents HGRS, Pendleton's Bard With a Bonus Conflation". Playbill. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Hetrick, Adam."Pearl's Vieux Carré Begins Previews Off-Broadway May 12" Playbill, May 12, 2009
- Furlan, Julia (March 17, 2011). "And the Obie Award Goes To..." WNYC. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- "Detroit". Time Out London. May 16, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Lefkowitz, David (October 8, 1996). "NY's Circle Rep, Home of Lanford Wilson, Closes After 27 Years". Playbill.
- "Austin Pendleton". HB Studios. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- "Austin Pendleton". Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Alford, Henry (May 14, 2022). "Austin Pendleton Is Still on Broadway, Still a Babe Magnet". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
- Gallerano, Gene; Holmes, David H. (June 19, 2016), Starring Austin Pendleton (Documentary, Short, Biography, Comedy, Drama), Emily Althaus, Kevin Anderson, Lyndsey Anderson, Kate Arrington, 4 Hawk, Defendshee Productions, Neboya Collective, retrieved September 26, 2020
- "The Minutes - Creative". The Minutes. Retrieved April 3, 2022.
- Bass, Milton R. (July 30, 1981). "The Lively World". The Berkshire Eagle. p. 10. Retrieved January 3, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
- Rooney, David (June 24, 2010). "Sometimes That Inner Demon Just Needs to Win". The New York Times. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- "Starring Austin Pendleton". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- Austin Pendleton at the Internet Broadway Database
- Austin Pendleton at IMDb
- Austin Pendleton at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Austin Pendleton at the TCM Movie Database
- Austin Pendleton Talks about Stuttering and Acting
- "St. Louis Actors' Studio to host class with Austin Pendleton". St. Louis Post Dispatch. August 30, 2013.