Born Mandel Patinkin, November 30, 1952 in Chicago, IL; son of Lester (in scrap metal business) and Doris (a homemaker) Patinkin; married Kathryn Grody (an actress), June 15, 1980; children: Isaac and Gideon. Education: Attended University of Kansas, 1970-72, and the Juilliard School of Drama, 1972-74. Addresses: Home--Manhattan, New York. Office--Dodger Touring Ltd., 1501 Broadway, Suite 2015, New York, NY 10036; (212) 768-8705; United Talent Agency, 9560 Wilshire Boulevard, #500, Los Angeles, CA 90212.
Tony and Emmy Award-winning singer/pianist/actor Mandy Patinkin is noted for his remarkable tenor and fresh interpretation of classic theater standards from composers such as Oscar Hammerstein II and Stephen Sondheim. He infuses timeless classics with his own brand of gentle, almost quirky musical stylings: he trills, holds notes for a few beats longer than the original, and imparts a uniquely theatrical flair to each rendition.
Patinkin was born at Chicago's Mercy Hospital in 1952 and was named after his grandfather, Menachem Mandel. As a boy, he attended Hebrew school at the Congregation Rodfei Zedek, where he sang in the boy's choir. It was his early choir years that sparked his love of music and honed his sensitivity to the perfect pitch. When Patinkin grew a little older, his mother encouraged him to participate in community theater. After high school at South Shore High in Chicago, Patinkin attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, for two years before moving to New York City to attend the Juilliard School of Drama in 1972.
When Patinkin auditioned for the 1979 play Evita, he had not concentrated on singing for eight years. Yet, his audition won him a spot in the cast--the role of Che Guevara. His talent shone, and in 1980, Patinkin won a Tony Award for Outstanding Featured Actor for his portrayal of Che Guevara. That same year, he married actress Kathryn Grody.
Patinkin's acting career was intertwined with his musical career, since much of his acting entailed performing in musicals. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his starring role as Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park with George in 1984. In 1985, Patinkin played Buddy Durant in Follies In Concert; the following year he played Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific, and in 1987 he played Peter Handsworth in The Knife. In the 1990s, his roles included: the Marriage Arranger in Kismet (1991), Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden (1991), Marvin in the musical Falsettos (1993), and in 1996 he played Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha.
Patinkin began his concert career at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York City in 1989, which coincided with the release of his first solo album, Mandy Patinkin. After releasing his first album, he toured extensively across the U.S. and in Canada as well. He indulged his love of theater by performing songs from stage classics, particularly those written by Rogers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, and Stephen Sondheim. A year later, in 1990, he released his second solo album, Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual, followed by his inclusion in Tenors Anyone?, which was released in 1991. Patinkin was also included on Love Songs, a Sony compilation of previously released material, in 1992.
In 1994 Patinkin released his third solo album, Experiment, which highlighted songs that span nine decades and encompass songs from Irving Berlin to Alan Mencken. In 1995 Patinkin released the solo effort Oscar & Steve, a compilation of songs written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Stephen Sondheim. In 1996, Patinkin took a short respite from his solo efforts to sing on the Leonard Bernstein's New York cast album.
Patinkin's film career is just as impressive as his musical career, which is a statement rarely attributed to a musician or actor. Between 1978 and 1997, Patinkin appeared in over twenty-six films, many of which are now considered durable classics. Patinkin played Avigdor in Yentl, 88 Keys in Dick Tracy, Alfred De Musset in Impromptu, Inigo Montoya in Princess Bride, Tateh in Ragtime, and himself in Madonna: Truth or Dare. In 1997 he played Andrew in Men with Guns and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Patinkin often accepts roles that allow him to stretch as an actor and often to sing as well. Yentl and Ragtime were centered around music, as was Impromptu and Madonna: Truth or Dare. Patinkin's line from The Princess Bride, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" was memorized by children all across the country, who watched and loved the film; it's Patinkin's most famous screen line. He told Jonathon Schwartz of A & E Review, "I looove that I was in that movie because--maybe more than anything I've done--because kids like it."
Patinkin's film success is matched by his television success, and he has often infused his television roles with music. While portraying Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on Chicago Hope from 1994 to 1996, his character actually serenaded hospital co-workers with Patinkin's brand of classic theater music. Geiger is arguably Patinkin's most famous character, and his role as Dr. Geiger won him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1996.
In 1995, Larry King featured Patinkin and his music on his show, entitled "Larry King: An Evening with Mandy Patinkin." Patinkin also appeared with Keith Lockhart in An Evening at Pops in 1995, and on Homicide: Life On the Street. He appeared as himself on The Larry Sanders Show in 1992, and appeared in An Evening at Pops in 1989. Other television appearances include Sesame Street, Taxi, and The Simpsons.
Patinkin is a Renaissance Man in the truest meaning of the word: he combines his considerable talents and interests to broaden the definition of musician, actor, and singer. He embraces comedy and tragedy, musicals and police shows, children's films and pop rock documentaries. He has appeared in Shakespeare plays, Arthur Miller dramas, and Alien Nation. His flexibility is reminiscent of another era--an era when Gene Kelly could dance, act, sing, woo the leading lady, and even tap dance on the ceiling. Patinkin harks back to that era of multi-talented singers and thespians. Patinkin has achieved a unique status in the realm of television and films: an actor noted for both his acting and his musical talent. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Elvis Presley are a few of the other crossover singer/actors, which renders Patinkin in a nostalgic light. Although it's difficult to predict what he'll portray on film and television in the future, his musical career is firmly rooted in a passion for musical theater and in the heartwarming songs of America's greatest theatrical songwriters.
Mandy Patinkin's Career
Began his concert career at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York City in 1989, which coincided with his first solo album, Mandy Patinkin. Began touring the U.S and Canada after 1989; released second solo album, Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual in 1990; released Experiment in 1994; released Oscar & Steve in 1997.Has appeared in over twenty films, including Yentl (1983), Maxie (1985), The Princess Bride (1987), The House on Carroll Street (1988), Alien Nation (1989), Dick Tracy (1990), The Doctor (1991), and Men with Guns (1997). Television appearances include, Sesame Street, Taxi, and The Simpsons. Played the role of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on the drama series Chicago Hope, 1994-96.
Mandy Patinkin's Awards
Tony Award, Outstanding Featured Actor, for his portrayal of Che Guevara in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Evita, 1980; Emmy Award, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Dramatic Series, for his portrayal of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on Chicago Hope, 1996.
- Selective Works
- Solo Albums Mandy Patinkin, CBS/Sony Records, 1989.
- Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual, CBS/Sony Records, 1990.
- Experiment, Elektra/Nonesuch Records, 1994.
- Oscar & Steve, Elektra/Nonesuch Records, 1995.
- Cast Albums Evita, MCA Records, 1979.
- Sunday In the Park With George, RCA Records, 1984.
- South Pacific, MCA Records, 1986.
- Kismet, Rhino Records, 1991.
- The Secret Garden, Polydor Records, 1991.
- Leonard Bernstein's New York, Nonesuch Records, 1996.
- Man of La Mancha, MCA Records, 1996.
- A & E Review, 1988.
- http://sawdust.cvfn.org/~rossowbe/music/mp/bio-stage.html, bio-
- Additional information was found in transcripts of the Linda Ellerbee interview with Patinkin on her show, Later, in 1988.