Hume Cronyn

Actor, Screenwriter, Director
The son of a prominent Canadian politician, Hume Cronyn made his stage debut with the Montreal Repertory Theatre in 1930 while still a student at McGill University and reached Broadway in 1934, playing the Janitor in ... Read more »
Born: 07/17/1911 in London, Ontario, CA

Filmography

Actor (78)

A Separate Peace 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Broadway: The Golden Age 2004 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Broadway Legends 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Off Season 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Richard Burton: Taylor-Made For Stardom 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Alfred Hitchcock: The E! True Hollywood Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Jessica Tandy 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Seasons of Love 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Horton Foote's Alone 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Angel Passing 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

Marvin's Room 1996 (Movie)

Marvin (Actor)

People 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Voice

The 50th Annual Tony Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Camilla 1994 (Movie)

Ewald (Actor)

The 48th Annual Tony Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Pelican Brief 1993 (Movie)

Justice Abraham Rosenberg (Actor)

Neil Simon's Broadway Bound 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Night of 100 Stars III 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Day One 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Cocoon: the Return 1988 (Movie)

Joe Finley (Actor)

Everybody's Doing It 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Batteries Not Included 1987 (Movie)

Frank Riley (Actor)

The 41st Annual Tony Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual Tony Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Brewster's Millions 1985 (Movie)

Rupert Horn (Actor)

Cocoon 1985 (Movie)

Joe Finley (Actor)

Impulse 1984 (Movie)

Dr Carr (Actor)

The Thrill of Genius 1984 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The World According to Garp 1982 (Movie)

Mr Fields (Actor)

Honky Tonk Freeway 1981 (Movie)

Sherm Schaefler (Actor)

Rollover 1981 (Movie)

Maxwell Emery (Actor)

Hawaii Five-O 1968 - 1980 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Oath: 33 Hours in the Life of God 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Conrack 1974 (Movie)

Skeffington (Actor)

The Parallax View 1974 (Movie)

Editor Bill Rintels (Actor)

There Was a Crooked Man 1970 (Movie)

Dudley Whinner (Actor)

Gaily, Gaily 1969 (Movie)

"Honest" Tim Grogan (Actor)

The Arrangement 1969 (Movie)

Arthur (Actor)

Hamlet 1964 (Movie)

Polonius (Actor)

Cleopatra 1963 (Movie)

Sosigenes (Actor)

Sunrise at Campobello 1960 (Movie)

Louis Howe (Actor)

The Alcoa Hour 1955 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

Crowded Paradise 1956 (Movie)

Geroge Heath (Actor)

Brute Force 1947 (Movie)

Captain Munsey (Actor)

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1946 (Movie)

Arthur Keats (Actor)

Lifeboat 1944 (Movie)

(Actor)

Shadow of a Doubt 1943 (Movie)

Herbie Hawkins (Actor)

The Phantom of the Opera 1942 (Movie)

Gerard (Actor)

12 Angry Men (TV Show)

Actor

A Doll's House (TV Show)

Actor

A Letter for Evie (Movie)

John Phineas McPherson (Actor)

Age-Old Friends (TV Show)

Actor

An African Love Story (TV Show)

Actor

Day One (Movie)

James F. Byrnes (Actor)

Foxfire (TV Show)

Actor

Grow Old Along With Me (TV Show)

Actor

Off Season (Movie)

(Actor)

People Will Talk (Movie)

Prof. Elwell (Actor)

Santa and Pete (TV Show)

Actor

Sea People (TV Show)

Actor

The Beginning or the End (Movie)

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer (Actor)

The Bride Goes Wild (Movie)

John McGrath (Actor)

The Cross of Lorraine (Movie)

Duval (Actor)

The Gin Game (TV Show)

Actor

The Green Years (Movie)

Papa Leckie (Actor)

The John Garfield Story (TV Show)

Actor

The Sailor Takes a Wife (Movie)

Freddie (Actor)

The Secret Heart (Movie)

Man (Voice)

The Seventh Cross (Movie)

Paul Roeder (Actor)

To Dance With the White Dog (TV Show)

Actor

Yesterday's Children (TV Show)

Actor

Ziegfeld Follies (Movie)

Monty (Actor)
Writer (3)

Rope 1948 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

The Dollmaker (TV Show)

Screenplay

Under Capricorn (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Director (1)

Actors Studio 1948 - 1950, 1968 - 1980 (Tv Show)

Director

Biography

The son of a prominent Canadian politician, Hume Cronyn made his stage debut with the Montreal Repertory Theatre in 1930 while still a student at McGill University and reached Broadway in 1934, playing the Janitor in "Hipper's Holiday". Short and wiry, he gained a reputation for excellence onstage, adroitly portraying ordinary people, and would later prove his versatility by branching into directing, producing and playwriting. An early appearance on the new medium of TV (a 1939 NBC presentation of "Her Master's Voice") preceded Cronyn's first feature role as the literal-minded, snooping, armchair detective-neighbor in Alfred Hitchcock's understated thriller "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943). He also collaborated on the screenplays for Hitchcock's "Rope" (1948, with Arthur Laurents) and "Under Capricorn" (1949, with James Birdie), as well as playing the ship's radio operator in the director's "Lifeboat" (1944).

Although Cronyn garnered a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as the dull-witted friend who helps Spencer Tracy avoid the Gestapo in "The Seventh Cross" (1944, his first film with wife Jessica Tandy), roles like his Nazi collaborator in "The Cross of Lorraine" (1943) and the despicably ruthless prison guard captain in "Brute Force" (1947) marked him as a baddie. In an effort to escape such typecasting, he turned down the plum part of the sadistic killer played by Richard Widmark in "Kiss of Death" (also 1947) and successfully broke out of the villain mold to enjoy a varied film acting career, playing everything from a jealous physician in "People Will Talk" (1951) and Roosevelt's gruff counselor Louis Howe in "Sunrise at Campobello" (1960) to half of a bickering old homosexual couple in "There Was a Crooked Man" (1970) and Warren Beatty's editor in "The Parallax View" (1974). Cronyn's Tony-winning stage performance as Polonius opposite Richard Burton's "Hamlet" (1964) made it to the screen via a filmed record of the Broadway production directed by John Gielgud.

Cronyn's directing debut at the helm of Tennessee Williams' one-act play "Portrait of a Madonna" starred wife Tandy and led directly to her landing the role of Blanche in Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" on Broadway. The two first acted together on stage in Broadway's "The Fourposter" (1951), a play they would eventually perform more than 600 times over the years. Subsequent plays like Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" in the 60s, "The Gin Game" in the 70s and "The Petition" in the 80s established them as the successors to Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne as the pre-eminent married acting couple of the American theater, culminating in a shared Special Lifetime Achievement Tony in 1993.

"Honky Tonk Freeway" (1981) reunited them for the first time in features since 1946, and over the next 13 years, Tandy and Cronyn would act together in five more films, as Glenn Close's parents in "The World According to Garp" (1982), as a married couple in "Cocoon" (1985), its 1988 sequel and "*batteries not included" (1987) and their final onscreen appearance as former lovers in "Camilla" (1994), released after Tandy's death. In addition to televised version of their stage work, Cronyn and Tandy co-starred in the short-lived series "The Marriage" (NBC, 1954) and their final small screen collaboration was in the poignant CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation "To Dance With the White Dog" (1993), for which he won one of this three Emmy Awards.

Cronyn began his association with Susan Cooper, co-writing "Foxfire", the 1980 Broadway play co-starring Tandy and him. Cronyn and Cooper continued their collaboration on "The Dollmaker" (ABC, 1984), starring Jane Fonda in her TV-movie debut, which earned the pair Writers Guild and Christopher Awards for their teleplay. It was at Cooper's urging that he wrote "A Terrible Liar", his 1991 autobiography chronicling the Cronyns' life together through 1966, and they expanded on their partnership (which also yielded the as yet produced screen adaptation of Anne Tyler's novel "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant") by marrying in July of 1996.

After taking some time off following Tandy's death, Cronyn resumed working, portraying the dying patriarch to Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep in "Marvin's Room" (1996), then acting on TV in the Showtime movies "12 Angry Men" and "Horton Foote's Alone" (both 1997) and the CBS miniseries "Seasons of Love" (1998). Home movies shot by Cronyn and Tandy on their journey to East Africa in 1966, augmented by footage from his return there in 1995, became "An African Love Story" (Disney Channel, 1996).

Cronin close out a long and enviable career before the cameras with appearences in several made-for-TV movies, including the heartwarming Christmas tale "Santa and Pete" (1999), in which he played St. Nicholas, and "Off Season" (2001), directed by his on-stage "Glass Menagerie" co-star Bruce Davison. Cronin passed away in 2003 at the age of 91.

Relationships

Frances Cronyn

Mother

Susan Cooper Executive Producer

Wife
Married July 20, 1996 until his death June 15, 2003

Hume Cronyn

Father
member of Canadian Parliament

Tandy Cronyn

Daughter
born in 1945 acted with father in HBO Showcaase presentation of "Age-Old Friends" (1989), playing his daughter

Christopher Cronyn

Son
born in 1943

Jessica Tandy Actor

Wife
Met 1940 Married Sept. 27, 1942 until her death Sept. 11, 1994

Susan Tettemer

Step-Daughter
Jessica Tandy's daughter by first husband, actor Jack Hawkins took Cronyn's name at the age of 12

Robert Whitehead

Cousin
married to actor Zoe Caldwell

Emily Woodruff

Wife
From Atlanta, GA; family owned majority share in Coca-Cola Company; fellow student at American Academy Married 1934; told Cronyn they needed to keep marriage secret; never lived together Divorced 1936; she later had long-term relationship with Glesca Marshall

EDUCATION

Ridley College

1930

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

New York , New York 1934
received Ninth Annual Award for Achievement for Alumni in 1964

McGill University

Montreal , Quebec 1930 - 1931
graduate studies(pre-law)

Mozarteum

Salzburg 1932 - 1933
trained for stage with Harold Kreutzberg

Milestones

1998

Appeared in the CBS minseries, "Seasons of Love"

1997

Acted in Showtime movies "12 Angry Men" and "Horton Foote's Alone"

1996

Had featured role in "Marvin's Room"

1996

Home movies shot by Cronyn and Tandy on their journey to East Africa in 1966, augmented by footage from his return there in 1995, became "An African Love Story" (Disney Channel)

1994

Last screen appearance with Tandy, playing her former lover, in "Camilla"; released after her death

1993

Last film with Pakula, "The Pelican Brief"

1993

Acted opposite Tandy in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" CBS TV-movie "To Dance With the White Dog"; earned an Emmy for his performance

1992

Earned second Emmy as the grandfather in "Neil Simon's Broadway Bound" (ABC)

1989

Teamed with Vincent Gardenia for the HBO movie "Age-Old Friends"; received first Emmy Award; daughter Tandy Cronyn co-starred

1988

Appeared in sequel (with Tandy), "Cocoon: The Return"

1987

With Tandy, reprised stage roles for a CBS "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of "Foxfire"

1987

Starred opposite Tandy in "*batteries not included"

1986

Last Broadway show to date, "The Petition", co-starring Tandy

1985

Scored big success in Ron Howard's "Cocoon", featuring an all-star cast of oldsters including Don Ameche (who won a Supporting Actor Oscar), Maureen Stapleton and Tandy

1984

Appeared opposite Tandy in PBS presentation of "The Gin Game"

1984

Co-wrote (with Cooper) award-winning teleplay, "The Dollmaker" (ABC), Jane Fonda's TV-movie debut; adapted from Harriette Arnow's novel

1981

First feature film with Tandy in 35 years, "Honky Tonk Freeway"

1980

With Susan Cooper, co-wrote play, "Foxfire"; co-starred with Tandy on Broadway

1978

Co-produced (with Mike Nichols) and starred in "The Gin Game" opposite Tandy on Broadway and on tour

1974

Acted in first of three movies directed by Alan J Pakula, "The Parallax View"

1973

Starred opposite Tandy on Broadway in "Noel Coward in Two Keys"

1969

Last film with Mankiewicz, "There Was a Crooked Man"

1968

Lost an eye to cancer (date approximate)

1966

Starred opposite Tandy in Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" on Broadway

1964

Played Polonius in "Hamlet" (on stage and film), directed by John Gielgud and starring Richard Burton in the title role; won Tony Award as Featured Actor in a Play

1963

First time playing his favorite role (Harpagon) in Moliere's "The Miser" at Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN

1960

Portrayed Louis Howe in "Sunrise at Campobello"

1954

TV series debut as actor (with Tandy), "The Marriage" (NBC); also produced

1953

Regular actor on radio series, "The Marriage"

1951

First of three films directed by Joseph L Mankiewicz, "People Will Talk"

1951

First time acting on stage opposite Tandy in Broadway production of "The Fourposter", a play they would end up doing more than 600 times over the years

1950

Broadway directing debut, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep"

1949

Adapted "Under Capricorn" (from Helen Simpson's novel), directed by Hitchcock

1948

Debut as TV series producer (with Donald Davis) and director (with Fred Carr and Ralph Warren), "Actors Studio" (initially aired on ABC, later on CBS)

1948

Wrote first screen adaptation, "Rope" (from Patrick Hamilton's play), directed by Hitchcock

1946

Stage directing debut, "Portrait of a Madonna" in Los Angeles, starring Tandy; this one-act play by Tennessee Williams led directly to her playing Blanche Du Bois in Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" on Broadway

1943

Earned Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his turn in "The Seventh Cross"; wife Jessica Tandy's first appearance in an American film

1942

Screen acting debut in "Shadow of a Doubt", first of four feature collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock (two acting, two writing)

1939

TV debut as Ned Farrar on "Her Master's Voice" (NBC)

1935

Breakthrough stage role as the the lead in the road company of George Abbott's Broadway success, "Three Men on a Horse"

1934

Broadway acting debut in "Hipper's Holiday"

1931

Immigrated to USA

1931

Professional stage debut, "Up Pops the Devil" with Cochran's Stock Company at the National Theatre, Washington, DC

1930

Stage acting debut at Montreal Repertory Theatre (while at McGill)

Bonus Trivia

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"To go on being an actor, you need sheer animal energy. If you can't restock your energy, you have to hide your lack of it." --Hume Cronyn ("The MGM Stock Company" 1972)

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Lecturer at AADA (1938-39) and Actors' Lab in Los Angeles (1945-46)

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He received the Commedia Matinee Club Award for "The Fourposter" in 1952.

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Given the Barter Theatre Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Theatre in 1961

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Presented with the Herald Theatre Award for "A Delicae All!" in 1972

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Awarded Brandeis University's Creative Arts Award for Distinguished Achievement (1978)

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Inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1979

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Received National Press Club Award in 1979

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Given the Commonwealth Award for distinguished service in the Dramatic Arts (1983)

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Awarded the Humanitas Prize from the Human Family Institute (1985)

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Received Alley Theatre Award in recognition of Significant Contribution to the Theatre Arts (1987)

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Received honorary LL.D from the University of Western Ontario in 1974

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Awarded honorary LHD from Fordham University (1985)

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Decorated with the Order of Canada

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"Audrey Wood, Tennessee Williams' agent was a friend of mine. I said, 'I'm looking for something to produce, and if I find the right thing, I think I can find the money.'"She went into a back office and brought out a thin blue folder. She said: 'This isn't a play, it's three one-acts by somebody you never heard of named Tennessee Williams. He's got serious eye trouble and he's bicycling around the South, and I expect a telegram any day saying he's been killed. He needs money.'

.

"I read the plays, and they were magical, and I took an option on them. I only needed $11,000 for a Broadway production. Can you imagine that? And I couldn't raise the $11,000. 'Tennessee who? That's nobody's name. One-acts? Forget it.' I went back and told Audrey: 'Renew the option, and I'll throw in six more one-acts he's written.' I took them but never got them on. Eventually they were published as a book ... "I got [the Actors Lab Theater in L.A.] to do three of the plays; Jessie [Jessica Tandy] did 'Portrait of a Madonna'. I remember [Charlie] Chaplin coming backstage one night. Irene Selznick, who produced 'Streetcar', came to see it, and so did Elia Kazan, who directed 'Streetcar'. And that's how Jessie became Blanche Du Bois." -- Hume Cronyn to New York Newsday, July 9, 1995.

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