Alfred Lunt

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Alfred Lunt (August 12, 1892 – August 3, 1977) was an American stage director and actor, often identified for a long-time professional partnership with his wife, actress Lynn Fontanne. Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre was named for them.



Lunt received two Tony Awards, an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for 1931's The Guardsman and an Emmy Award for the Hallmark Hall of Fame's production of The Magnificent Yankee. He became a star in 1919 as the buffoonish lead in Booth Tarkington's Clarence, but soon distinguished himself in a variety of roles. The roles ranged from the Earl of Essex in Maxwell Anderson's Elizabeth the Queen, to a song-and-dance man touring the Balkans in Robert E. Sherwood's Idiot's Delight, a megalomaniacal tycoon in S. N. Behrman's Meteor and Jupiter himself in Jean Giraudoux's Amphitryon 38. His appearances in classical drama were infrequent, but he scored successes in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and Chekhov's The Seagull (in which Lunt played Trigorin, his wife played Arkadina, and Uta Hagen made her Broadway debut in the role of Nina). He was described by director and critic Harold Clurman as "universally acclaimed the finest American actor in the generation which followed John Barrymore; the Lunts are absolute angels." [1]

Lunt had a very distinctive stage technique; among other traits, in almost every one of his roles he made a point of playing at least one protracted sequence with his back to the audience, conveying his character's emotions with his voice and body rather than his face.

In 1964, Alfred Lunt and his wife, Lynn Fontanne, were presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson.

Selected Broadway stage work

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