F. Murray Abraham
Having kicked around off-Broadway theater while playing a number of small roles on film and television, actor F. Murray Abraham was vaulted to stardom with an Oscar-winning turn as the pious, but vindictive composer Antonio Salieri in Milos Forman's brilliant "Amadeus" (1984). Prior to his star-marking performance, Abraham had small roles in notable films like "Serpico" (1973), "All the President's Men" (1976) and "Scarface" (1983). In between, he appeared frequently on the stage, mainly in off- and off-off-Broadway productions, while he was later recognized for playing the green grapes in the famed Fruit of the Loom commercials from the late-1970s. After his award-winning turn, however, Abraham worked steadily, but struggled to find quality projects, leading some to proclaim that he suffered from an Oscar jinx. He co-starred alongside Sean Connery in "The Name of the Rose" (1986), was uncredited in the famous flop "The Bonfire of the Vanities" (1990), and headed the Greek chorus in Woody Allen's "Mighty Aphrodite" (1995). After supporting roles in "Mimic" (1997) and "Finding Forester" (2000), Abraham transitioned to the small screen by frequently narrating the acclaimed wildlife show "Nature" (PBS, 1982- ), while appearing in episodes of "Saving Grace" (TNT, 2007-2010) and "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009- ). Though his stature might have diminished since "Amadeus," Abraham was an in-demand performer capable of delivering quality turns in a wide array of roles.