Donald Moffat

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Donald Moffat
Born (1930-12-26) 26 December 1930 (age 87)
Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom
Years active1956–2005
Anne Murray Ellsperman
(m. 1954; div. 1968)

Gwen Arner
(m. 1970)
Children4 (2 with Ellsperman), (2 with Arner)

Donald Moffat (born 26 December 1930) is an English retired actor, long based in the United States.

Early life[edit]

Moffat was born in Plymouth, Devon, the only child of Kathleen Mary (née Smith) and Walter George Moffat, an insurance agent.[1] His parents ran a boarding house in Totnes. Completing his studies at the local King Edward VI School and national service in the Army, Moffat trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.[2]



Moffat began his career as a stage actor in London and New York. His first work was at the Old Vic Theatre Company in London.

After moving to the United States, Moffat worked as a bartender and a lumberjack in Oregon, his wife's home state. "After six months," he said, "I realized that I was an actor and I would always be an actor. And an actor must act. So I started acting again."[3] His first acting job in the United States was in Princeton, New Jersey. He worked as a carpenter, and his wife took in ironing in order to supplement his $25 per week pay.[2]

He joined APA (The Association of Producing Artists), a repertory company on Broadway, and was nominated for a Tony for Best Actor in a Play in 1967 for his roles in revivals of Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck and Pirandello's Right You Are If You Think You Are.[4]

He was nominated for the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Play for his work in Play Memory (1984) and for Outstanding Featured Actor in the revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh (1986) with Jason Robards.[5] He won an Obie for Painting Churches.[6] In 1998, he was nominated for a Gemini Award for his performance as attorney Joe Ruah in the CBC miniseries The Sleep Room. [7]

He has also appeared in many Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including the world premieres of John Guare's A Few Stout Individuals (as Ulysses S. Grant), Painting Churches, The Heiress, The Cherry Orchard, Much Ado About Nothing, The School for Scandal, The Affair and Hamlet.


Among Moffat's best-known film roles are as Lyndon B. Johnson in The Right Stuff (1983), the corrupt U.S. President in Clear and Present Danger, as well as Garry, the station commander in The Thing.


Moffat played Enos in the CBS western miniseries The Chisholms,[8] Lars Lundstrom in the ABC drama The New Land.[8]:755 and Rem in the CBS science-fiction series Logan's Run.[8]:617-618 He also appeared in The West Wing, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Tales of the City, in which his performance as dying executive Edgar Halcyon earned him many new fans. One of his last roles was as Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick in the HBO movie, 61*.


Moffat's last role was as a judge in an episode of Law & Order: Trial by Jury in 2005.

Personal life[edit]

Moffat was married to actress Anne Murray; they had a daughter, Wendy, and a son, Gabriel.[2] He later married actress Gwen Arner.[3]

Selected TV and filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Donald Moffat profile at
  2. ^ a b c Glover, William (March 28, 1967). "He's Still Broke But Has Grown As Actor". The Danville Register. Virginia, Danville. Associated Press. p. 9. Retrieved August 11, 2017 – via open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ a b "Waiting for Rem". San Antonio Express. Texas, San Antonio. August 25, 1977. p. 22. Retrieved August 11, 2017 – via open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "("Donald Moffat" search results)". Tony Awards. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Donald Moffat". Playbill. Archived from the original on 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  6. ^ "1980s". OBIE Awards. Village Voice and American Theater Wing. Archived from the original on 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  7. ^ "The Sleep Room", The Canadian Historical Review, Volume 80, Number 4, December 1999 pp. 698-705
  8. ^ a b c Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.

External links[edit]