Mandy Patinkin

Active - 1978 - 2019  |   Born - Nov 30, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Spirituality & Philosophy, Language & Literature, Fantasy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Intense, dynamic Julliard alumnus Mandy Patinkin, born November 30th, 1952, has tackled everything from ancient classics to modern musicals during his formative years in regional theatre. From 1975 through 1981, Patinkin was a mainstay of Joseph Papps New York Shakespeare Festival. Making his Broadway debut in 1977, Patinkin won a Tony Award three years later for his raw-nerved portrayal of Che Guevara ("Not much to ask for!") in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita. He later appeared as star-interlocutor in Stephen Sondheim's musical Sunday in the Park with George, a role he repeated for the benefit of future generations on a videotaped TV presentation in 1986. In films from 1977, Patinkin made his earliest impression on moviegoers in a brace of E. L. Doctorow adaptations: he played the immigrant-artist-turned-pioneer filmmaker in Ragtime (1981) and the Julius Rosenberg counterpart in Daniel (1983). He also portrayed Avigdor, Barbra Streisand's dream lover, in Yentl (1983), and essayed the part of a Spanish swashbuckler (with a hilariously impenetrable accent) in The Princess Bride (1985). His extensive musical skills, both as vocalist and instrumentalist, have gone virtually untapped in films, save for his turn as 88 Keys in Dick Tracy (1990). The scope of Patinkin's musical talents were generously displayed in his one-man show Dress Casual, and also in his many "concert recordings" of classic Broadway scores. Despite his devotion to his craft, Mandy Patinkin evidently has his head on straight in terms of priorities: in 1996, he gave up the meaty role of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger in the weekly TV medical series Chicago Hope because he didn't like spending so much time away from his wife (actress Kathryn Grody) and children.

Patinkin recorded an album comprised of traditional, classical, and contemporary Yiddish music in 1998, and starred in The Adventures of Elmo and Grouchland the following year. In 2003, Patinkin played the role of mentor to a fledgling grim reaper in the Showtime series Dead Like Me, and joined the cast of the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds in 2005 to play the criminal profiler Jason Gideon. Patinkin left the show after two seasons. Patinkin remained active in music, theater, television, and film following his depature from Criminal Minds, and took on a regular role in Homeland, a drama series from Showtime.

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  • His mother, Doris, is a cookbook author.
  • Began singing in public at his synagogue in Chicago at the age of 9.
  • Met wife Kathryn in 1978 when they were cast in the off-Broadway drama Split.
  • Made his 1980 Broadway debut in a Tony-winning performance as Che in Evita.
  • Underwent corneal transplants in both eyes to avert blindness.
  • Recorded the CD Kidults in 2001 to appeal to the child in each adult.
  • Collects Lionel trains.
  • Left the hit series Criminal Minds after two seasons citing creative differences due to his dissatisfaction with violence on television.
  • Reunited almost 30 years later with his friend and Evita costar for a series of concerts titled An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.