Cimino in the Mad Dog Coll trailer
November 4, 1917|
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Died||March 3, 2012
Woodstock, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease|
|Spouse(s)||Sharon Powers (?-2012)
Joseph Jefferson Award
Leonardo Cimino (November 4, 1917 – March 3, 2012) was an American film, television and stage actor who in 1937 appeared in the original stage production of Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock. Leonardo's most well known roles are in the 1983 science fiction miniseries, V as Abraham Bernstein and the 1987 feature film The Monster Squad as the "scary German guy."
Life and career
Born in Manhattan, Cimino was the son of Andrea and Leonilda Cimino. His father was a tailor. Cimino was initially interested in pursuing a career as a violinist, and studied the instrument at the Juilliard School when he was a teenager. While studying the violin he became interested in acting and dancing, and began studying those as well. In 1936, at the age of 18, he made his professional stage debut in a supporting role in the world premiere of Gladys Bronwyn Stern's Middle Man in Suffern, New York which starred actor Ernest Truex. It wasn't until a decade later, however, that Cimino would become dedicated full-time to an acting career. During the late 1930s and early 1940s he studied acting, directing and modern dance at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.
After returning to the United States in 1945 he continued to study the performing arts at the Neighborhood Playhouse; notably studying dance with Martha Graham. In 1946 he made his Broadaway debut in a revival of Cyrano de Bergerac which starred and was directed by José Ferrer. It was the first of many projects that Cimino would collaborate with Ferrer on. He went on to appear in nearly 20 Broadway productions over the next four decades, including a 1962 adaptation of E. M. Forster’s Passage to India and a 1985 revival of The Iceman Cometh. In 1976 he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his performance of the role of Jim in Arthur Miller's A Memory of Two Mondays.
Cimino also appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions during his career, notably winning an Obie Award in 1958 for his portrayal of Smerdyakov in The Brothers Karamazov. He frequently appeared Off-Broadway in Shakespear plays at the Public Theater, including Egeon in The Comedy of Errors (1975) alongside Ted Danson and Danny DeVito. He also appeared in productions in Regional theatres across the United States during his career. In 1970 he was awarded the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Principal Role for his performance in The Man in the Glass Booth at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
- The Confession (1964)
- Stilleto (1969)
- Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
- Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972)
- Jeremy (1973)
- The Man in the Glass Booth (1975)
- Hide in Plain Sight (1980)
- Stardust Memories (1980)
- Monsignor (1982)
- Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
- V (1983 miniseries) (1983)
- Dune (1984)
- Moonstruck (1987)
- The Monster Squad (1987)
- The Seventh Sign (1988)
- Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989)
- The Freshman (1990)
- Q&A (1990)
- Hudson Hawk (1991)
- Household Saints (1993)
- Claude (1993)
- Waterworld (1995)
- The Hunger (1997)
- Witness to the Mob (1998)
- Cradle Will Rock (1999)
- Made (2001)
- Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
- Daniel E. Slotnik (March 10, 2012). "Leonardo Cimino Dies at 94; Distinctive Actor". The New York Times.
- "MIDDLE MAN' SEEN BY SUFFERN AUDIENCE; Ernest Truex Is Star in New G.B. Stern Play as County Theatre's Season Closes.". The New York Times. September 8, 1936.