F Murray Abraham
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|F. Murray Abraham|
|Abraham in 2008|
(1939-10-24) October 24, 1939
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Wife/Husband||Kate Hannan (1962–present)|
Fahrid Murray Abraham (Pittsburgh, Pa., October 24, 1939), known as F. Murray Abraham , is an American actor of Syrian and Italian descent, winner of the Oscars, Golden Globe and BAFTA, for his role as Antonio Salieri in Amadeus).
He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Son of Josephine, a housewife, and Fahrid Abraham, a car mechanic. His father was an Assyrian Christian, who emigrated from Syria during the famine of 1920. His paternal grandfather was a cantor in the Syrian Orthodox Church. Abraham’s mother was the daughter of an Italian immigrant who worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania.
Abraham grew up in El Paso, Texas, near the Mexican border, where he was a member of a gang during his adolescence.
Since 1962, he is married to Kate Hannan, with whom he has two children.
He studied two years at Texas Western College (now known as the University of Texas at El Paso), where he received a special mention from the Alpha Psi Omega (ΑΨΩ) honor society, for his performance in Comanche Eagle , during the 1959-1960 season.
She participated in several university projects and ended up traveling to New York to specialize in interpretation, where she had as a teacher the prestigious actress Uta Hagen.
He made his debut in the professional theater with Ray Bradbury’s play Remedio para melancólicos, and gradually appeared in television series such as Kojak and in movies, where he was placed within the stream of titles based on the concept of liberalism American, which was still in force in the first half of the 1970s. His appearances in that period (Serpico, 1973, The couple witty, 1975, All men of the president, 1976) were based on this ideological model.
These works did not make Abraham an interpreter recognized by the general public. But his participation in advertising, where, disguised as a bunch of grapes, appeared in a series of spots under the brand of men’s underwear Fruit of the Loom, yes that made the viewers stay with his face.
His great opportunity would come from the hand of Milos Forman, with Amadeus, a film for which he was awarded the Oscar for best actor in 1984. Although the film a priori refers to the figure of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (played by Tom Hulce), the protagonism is shared with Antonio Salieri, an Italian musician who spent most of his life in the Imperial Court of Vienna, for which he was a composer and maestro de capilla, and which could have plagiarized part of the author’s work .
The image of the Italian musician that Abraham offers does not differ too much from another personality of the fourteenth century, the Inquisitor Bernardo Gui, who gives life in The Name of the Rose (1986). In the filming of this film, he began to build fame as a difficult actor, the director Jean-Jacques Annaud defined him as an egocentric actor who considered himself more important than anyone because he had an Oscar on his bookshelf. At that time, Sean Connery had not yet won his for The Untouchables of Eliot Ness. The name of the rose was a success but ended up pigeon-holing Abraham in the sinister characters. A typecasting motivated by a very specific physicist (Syrian-Italian roots), which, however, has been able to detach in its television aspect, as proven by its recreations of Abraham Lincoln, Tommaso Buscetta, Cyrano de Bergerac or Al Capone.
Apart from his work in the cinema, Abraham has achieved success in theater, and has acted in productions of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Broadway and Off-Broadway as A Life in the Theater, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Uncle Vania, A Month in the Field or The Merchant of Venice.
His latest works have been in series such as Salvando a Grace (2009), Law & amp; Order: Criminal Intent (2010), The Good Wife (2011, 2012, 2014), Blue Bloods (2012) or Homeland (2013). From time to time, he has worked in the cinema, in Spanish co-productions such as El puente de San Luis Rey and En busca de la tomb of Christ, and also in Italian as Perestroika, Barbarossa or Giancarlo Giannini’s film, I Looked in Obituaries.
In addition to his acting career, F. Murray Abraham is also a professor of drama at Brooklyn College and at the University of New York.
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