Letts at BookExpo in 2019
|Born||July 4, 1965|
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Occupation||Playwright, screenwriter, actor|
|Awards||Pulitzer Prize for Drama|
Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
Tracy S. Letts (born July 4, 1965) is an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. He received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play August: Osage County and a Tony Award for his portrayal of George in the revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2013).
He is also known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in seasons 3 and 4 of Showtime's Homeland, for which he has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards as a member of the ensemble. He portrayed the pyramid-scheme con-artist Nick on the HBO comedy Divorce. In 2017, Letts starred in three critically acclaimed films: The Lovers, Lady Bird, and The Post. The latter two films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, while Lady Bird earned Letts a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination. In 2019, he portrayed Henry Ford II in James Mangold's Ford v Ferrari.
Letts wrote the screenplays of three films adapted from his own plays: Bug and Killer Joe, both directed by William Friedkin, and August: Osage County, directed by John Wells. His 2009 play Superior Donuts was adapted into a television series of the same name. His first screenplay not to be adapted from his own work, The Woman in the Window, based on the 2018 novel of the same name by A. J. Finn, is scheduled to be released in 2020.
Letts was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to author Billie Letts (née Gipson) and college professor and actor Dennis Letts. He has two brothers, Shawn, a musician, and Dana. Letts was raised in Durant, Oklahoma and graduated from Durant High School in the early 1980s. He moved to Dallas, where he waited tables and worked in telemarketing while beginning his acting career. He appeared in Jerry Flemmons' O Dammit!, which was part of a new playwrights' series sponsored by Southern Methodist University.
Letts moved to Chicago at the age of 20, working for the next 11 years at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Famous Door. He is still an active member of Steppenwolf. He was a founding member of Bang Bang Spontaneous Theatre, whose members included Greg Kotis, Michael Shannon, Paul Dillon, and Amy Pietz. In 1991, Letts wrote the play Killer Joe. Two years later, the play premiered at the Next Lab Theater in Evanston, Illinois, followed by the 29th Street Rep in New York City. Since then, Killer Joe has been performed in a number of countries in 12 languages.
His mother, Billie Letts, has said of his work, "I try to be upbeat and funny. Everybody in Tracy's stories gets naked or dead." Letts's plays have depicted people struggling with moral and spiritual questions. He says he was inspired by the plays of Tennessee Williams and the novels of William Faulkner and Jim Thompson. Letts states that he considers sounds to be effective "storytelling tools" for theater.
In 2012, Letts gained attention for his Broadway debut performance in the revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Booth Theatre. He received positive reviews and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.
In 2019, Letts appeared in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons with Annette Bening at Roundabout Theatre Company's American Airlines Theatre. The show officially opened on April 22, 2019 and closed on June 23, 2019.
Letts has written over ten plays. His most famous, August: Osage County, premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago on June 28, 2007. It had its Broadway debut at the Imperial Theatre on December 4, 2007; the production transferred to Broadway's Music Box Theatre on April 29, 2008. The Broadway show closed on June 28, 2009, after 648 performances and 18 previews. The show went on to receive seven Tony Award nominations, winning six, including Best Play. The play won Letts the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2008. Letts has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer drama prize for his plays Man from Nebraska and The Minutes, the Pulitzer committee describing the latter as a "shocking drama set in a seemingly mundane city council meeting that acidly articulates a uniquely American toxicity that feels both historic and contemporary."
Early in his acting career, in the 1990s through the mid 2000s, Letts acted in TV shows including Prison Break, The District, Strong Medicine, Profiler, Judging Amy, The Drew Carey Show, Seinfeld, Early Edition, and Home Improvement.
Letts has starred in Adam McKay's 2015 ensemble piece, The Big Short, 2016's Wiener-Dog, Christine, and Elvis & Nixon; and James Schamus's film adaptation of the Philip Roth novel, Indignation, as well as the true-story crime thriller adaptation Imperium.
In 2019, Letts portrayed Henry Ford II in James Mangold's sports drama film Ford v Ferrari, and played Mr. Dashwood in Little Women, a film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel of the same name.
Letts has written screenplays for three feature films based on his plays: Bug (directed by William Friedkin), Killer Joe (also directed by Friedkin); and August: Osage County (directed by John Wells). He has also adapted a screenplay for the upcoming feature film The Woman in the Window, starring Amy Adams, based upon the eponymous psychological thriller by A.J. Finn.
|2003||Man from Nebraska|
|2007||August: Osage County|
|2016||Mary Page Marlowe|||
|2006||Bug||Adaptation of his play|
|2007||Cop Show||Short film|
|2011||Killer Joe||Adaptation of his play|
|2013||August: Osage County||Adaptation of his play|
|2020||The Woman in the Window||Post-production|
Work as an actor
|1988||The Glass Menagerie||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|1991–1995||Bang Bang Spontaneous Theatre||Various characters||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|1994||Picasso At The Lapin Agile||Freddy||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|1999||Three Days of Rain||Walker||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2001||Glengarry Glen Ross||John Williamson||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2002||The Dazzle||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2002||Miracle on 34th Street||Lawyer||Chicago Center for Performing Arts|
|2003||Homebody/Kabul||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2004||The Dresser||Norman||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2005||Last of the Boys||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2005||Orson's Shadow||Kenneth Tynan||Off-Broadway, Barrow Street Theatre|
|2005||The Pain and the Itch||Cash||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2006||The Pillowman||Tupolski||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2006||The Well-Appointed Room||Stewart||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2007||Betrayal||Robert||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2009||American Buffalo||Walter "Teach" Cole||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2010||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?||George||Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre|
|2012||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?||George||Broadway, Booth Theatre|
|2014||The Realistic Joneses||Bob Jones||Broadway, Lyceum Theatre|
|2019||All My Sons||Joe Keller||Broadway, American Airlines Theatre|
|2020||The Minutes||Mayor Superba||Broadway, Cort Theatre|
|1998||Chicago Cab||Sports Fan|
|U.S. Marshals||Sheriff Poe|
|2007||Cop Show||Michael Cooke||Short film|
|2015||The Big Short||Lawrence Fields|
|Elvis & Nixon||John Finlator|
|Indignation||Hawes D. Caudwell|
|Lady Bird||Larry McPherson|
|The Post||Fritz Beebe|
|2019||Ford v. Ferrari||Henry Ford II|
|Little Women||Mr. Dashwood|
|2020||French Exit||Small Frank (voice)|
|The Woman in the Window||Post-production|
|1995||Home Improvement||Henry||Episode: "Jill's Surprise Party"|
|1996–1997||Early Edition||Jonathan / Marksman||2 episodes|
|1997||Seinfeld||Counterguy||Episode: "The Strike"|
|1998||The Drew Carey Show||Lomax||Episode: "Drew and the Conspiracy"|
|1999||Judging Amy||Mr. Kleinman||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2000||Profiler||Mr. Adams||Episode: "Train Man"|
|2001||Strong Medicine||Ken||Episode: "Wednesday Night Fever"|
|2001||The District||Brad Gilroy||Episode: "Melt Down"|
|2006||Prison Break||Peter Tucci||2 episodes|
|2013–2014||Homeland||Senator/Director Andrew Lockhart||17 episodes|
|2017||Comrade Detective||Vasile (voice)||Episode: "No Exit"|
|2018||The Sinner||Jack Novack||Recurring role; 7 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2004||Pulitzer Prize||Pulitzer Prize for Drama||Man from Nebraska||Nominated|||
|2008||Pulitzer Prize||Pulitzer Prize for Drama||August: Osage County||Won|||
|2008||Tony Awards||Best Play||Won|||
|2008||Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Play||Won|||
|2013||Tony Award||Leading Actor in a Play||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?||Won|||
|2018||Pulitzer Prize||Pulitzer Prize for Drama||The Minutes||Nominated|||
Film and television awards
|2013||Screen Actors Guild Award||Ensemble in a Drama Series||Homeland||Nominated|
|2014||Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2014||Writers Guild of America Awards||Best Adapted Screenplay||August: Osage County||Nominated|
|2014||Broadcast Film Critics Association||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|2014||Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|2014||Phoenix Film Critics Society||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|2014||Seattle Film Critics Award||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|2018||Screen Actors Guild Award||Cast in a Motion Picture||Lady Bird||Nominated|
- "The 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winners – Drama". pulitzer.org.
- "Interview with Billie Letts". readersread.org.
- Associated Press (2008-02-25). "Dennis Letts, 73, a Professor Who Became Broadway Actor, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "Tracy Letts's Productions at Steppenwolf". Steppenwolf Theatre Company. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- Carlton Stowers (27 November 2003). "Sweet Revenge". The Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- Aifen Wang (2008). "In-your-face Theatre with In Your Face Sound Design". Stage Research. Retrieved 2008-07-03.[dead link]
- Gans, Andrew (May 17, 2012). "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton, Will Arrive On Broadway in September". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- Schuessler, Jennifer (2013-06-06). "'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' at the Tonys". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "All My Sons". Broadway.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "Tony Winners: 'In the Heights,' 'August: Osage County'". www.vulture.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "Finalists Tracy Letts" pulitzer.org, retrieved April 16, 2018
- "2018 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Full List". Retrieved 2018-04-16.
- Otterson, Joe (2018-11-02). "'Divorce' Renewed for Season 3 at HBO With New Showrunner, Smaller Episode Count". Variety. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- Nguyen, Hanh (2018-05-18). "'The Sinner' Season 2 Reveals First-Look Photos and Who's Joining Carrie Coon in the Mystery Crime Series". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "The Big Short Gets 5 Oscar Nominations Including Best Picture". oscar.go.com. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- Debruge, Peter (2016-01-25). "Sundance Film Review: 'Indignation'". Variety. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "Indignation (2016)", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2019-03-17
- "Imperium (2016)", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2019-03-17
- "Fritz Beebe, portrayed by Tracy Letts - 'The Post': 16 of the Film's Stars and Their Real-Life Inspirations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "Lady Bird (2017)", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2019-03-17
- Surrey, Miles (2017-12-13). "SAG Awards Nominations: 'Lady Bird' Cleans Up, 'Phantom Thread' Flops". The Ringer. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
- "Oscar Nominations 2020: The Complete List". Variety. 2020-01-13. Archived from the original on January 13, 2020. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
- "Carrie Coon and Husband Tracy Letts Expecting Their First Child". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
- Juneau, Jen (July 2, 2018). "Carrie Coon and Tracy Letts Welcome Son Haskell". People.
- "Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Tracy Letts". Artists Repertory Theatre. Retrieved October 26, 2009.
This adaptation of the Russian masterpiece was commissioned by Artists Rep as part three of its four-part Chekhov project. Letts offers a fresh, new look at the decay of the privileged class and the search for meaning in the modern world, through the eyes of three dissatisfied sisters who desperately long for their treasured past.
- ""TEN" earns its rating at The Gift Theatre - Chicago Sun-Times".
- "Carrie Coon Among Cast Of 19 For Steppenwolf's World Premiere Of Tracy Letts Play". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
- "Linda Vista | Steppenwolf Theatre". www.steppenwolf.org. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
- "The Minutes | Steppenwolf Theatre". www.steppenwolf.org. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
- "Man from Nebraska, by Tracy Letts". pulitzer.org. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "August: Osage County, by Tracy Letts". pulitzer.org. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "August: Osage County". americantheatrewing.org. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "August: Osage County". marintheatre.org. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "Steppenwolf's Tracy Letts Wins Best Actor in a Play Tony Award". nbcchicago.org. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- "Finalist: The Minutes, by Tracy Letts". pulitzer.org. Retrieved April 21, 2020.