Paul Ryan Rudd

Paul Stephen Rudd; May 15, 1940 – August 12, 2010[1]) was an American actor, director, and a professor.[2]

Paul Stephen Rudd
Born
Paul Stephen Rudd

(1940-05-15)May 15, 1940
DiedAugust 12, 2010(2010-08-12) (aged 70)
Other namesPaul Rudd (as billed through his career)
OccupationActor, director, professor
Spouse(s)Joan Mannion (divorced)
Martha Bannerman (1983–2010; his death)
Children3

He appeared as the title character in a 1976 production of Shakespeare's Henry V, opposite Meryl Streep as his love interest. Though best known for his live theatre performances, such as those on Broadway and the New York Shakespeare Festival, he also appeared in the 1978 film The Betsy and on television in the 1975 short-lived series Beacon Hill as Brian Mallory, the scheming Irish chauffeur.[1]

Biography

Early life

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 15, 1940.[3] He attended Boston Latin School and later Assumption Preparatory School,[4] graduating in 1958.[5] He earned a degree in psychology from Fairfield University.[1]

Originally named Paul Kenneth Rudd, he adopted Ryan as his middle name from his mother's maiden name, whose name had become Kathryn Rudd after marriage. He studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood but left, recognizing that the vocation was not for him. At some point, he married Joan Mannion, whom he later divorced.[1]

Acting career

Rudd worked in entertainment from 1967–86, variously as actor or as director, both on and off-Broadway.[4] He landed his first significant Broadway role in 1974 as Ken, the lobotomized motorcyclist, in The National Health by Peter Nichols.[1] His name was in the credits of the 1975 revivals of Ah, Wilderness! (co-starring Geraldine Fitzgerald, Swoosie Kurtz and Teresa Wright) and The Glass Menagerie as the "Gentleman Caller" (along with Maureen Stapleton, Pamela Payton-Wright and Rip Torn).

In 1976, he starred as Billy, the tortured young soldier, in David Rabe's Streamers. That year, he also played the title role of Henry V with the New York Shakespeare Festival opposite Meryl Streep as Katherine, whom he marries in the play.[1] He played in Theodore Mann's Romeo and Juliet[6] as Romeo, with Pamela Payton-Wright as Juliet in 1977.[7][8] In 1979, he starred as Scooper in Bosoms and Neglect opposite Marian Mercer.[9]

In 1975, he played Brian Mallory in the short-lived television series Beacon Hill.[1] In 1977, he portrayed John F. Kennedy in the NBC TV movie Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. He went on to appear in The Betsy, the 1978 film based on the Harold Robbins novel.[1]

Rudd married his second wife, Martha Bannerman, in 1983. They eventually had three children: Graeme, Kathryn and Eliza. During this time, Rudd held guest roles in several television shows, including Hart to Hart, Moonlighting, Knots Landing and Murder, She Wrote.[1][10]

In 1986, Rudd retired from acting to raise his children,[4] moving his family from Los Angeles to his Greenwich, Connecticut near his native Massachusetts.[10]

Later years

Later in life, Rudd taught[2] at local middle schools and high schools – on the subjects of theater, especially Shakespeare, and poetry.[4] He was part of the theatre faculty at Sarah Lawrence College from 1999 to 2006.[11][10]

Rudd came briefly out of retirement for a 2000 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing the double role of Oberon and Theseus–perhaps inspired by a production of the same play he saw at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre while visiting London. Starting in 2004, Rudd was a teaching faculty member and associate director of the MFA drama program at the New School for Drama until his death.[10]

Death

Rudd died at his Greenwich, Connecticut home at the age of 70 from pancreatic cancer. He was survived by his wife, Martha, and three children.[7]

Critical acclaim

Clive Barnes, while reviewing Romeo and Juliet, wrote in The New York Times:[1][7]

Paul Rudd makes a taut-nerved Romeo, his handsome face either tense with pain or almost consciously relaxed and sunny. He speaks the verse very well, with intelligent nuances, and his ardent death wish at the end is most impressive.

References

  1. Fox, Margalit, "Paul Ryan Rudd, Actor of Stage and Screen, Dies at 70", The New York Times. August 14, 2010.
  2. Rizzo, Frank. "Paul Rudd, Actor in '70s, Dies at Age 70 in Greenwich" Archived 2013-01-19 at Archive.today
  3. Contemporary theatre, film, and television, Volume 5. Gale Research Company. 1988.
  4. RIP: Paul Rudd, westernboothill.blogspot.com, August 2010.
  5. Assumption College Magazine, Volume 5, Number 1. Winter 2007, pg. 27 Archived 2010-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Guernsey, Otis L. Curtain times: the New York Theatre, 1965-1987, Part 4, Hal Leonard Corporation, 1987.
  7. Notice of death of actor Paul Rudd, upi.com; accessed November 19, 2017.
  8. Clive Barnes, while reviewing Romeo and Juliet, wrote in The New York Times
    Paul Rudd makes a taut-nerved Romeo, his handsome face either tense with pain or almost consciously relaxed and sunny. He speaks the verse very well, with intelligent nuances, and his ardent death wish at the end is most impressive.
  9. Paul Ryan Rudd at the Internet Broadway Database
  10. Chamoff, Lisa. Actor Paul Ryan Rudd brought Shakespeare alive for Broadway audiences, local students Archived 2012-03-12 at the Wayback Machine, Connecticut Post, September 4, 2010.
    Reprinted in the California Chronicle.
  11. Peterson's Graduate and Professional Programs: The humanities, arts, and social sciences 2007. Edition 41. Peterson's, 2007; ISBN 0-7689-2158-9, ISBN 978-0-7689-2158-8
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