Thursday, October 6, 2022
Home ENTERTAINMENT Robert LuPone, actor and leader of influential theater company, dies at 76

Robert LuPone, actor and leader of influential theater company, dies at 76

Robert LuPone, who as an actor earned a Tony Award nomination in the original run of “A Chorus Line” and played Tony Soprano’s family doctor, and also helped found and direct the influential Off-Broadway theater company. MCC Theater for almost 40 years, he has died. Hey what 76.

LuPone, brother of Broadway icon Patti LuPone, died Saturday after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer, according to Matt Ross Public Relations.

“The MCC Theater community mourns the loss of our much loved and inspiring partner, colleague, and dear friend, Bob LuPone, who lived without fear and with great curiosity, good humor, a boundless passion for connection, and a lot of heart. He will be deeply missed.” and always,” the theater company said in a statement.

LuPone’s first professional job was in 1966, on the set of the Westbury Music Fair production of “The Pajama Game,” starring Liza Minnelli. He made his Broadway debut in Noel Coward’s 1968 production of “Sweet Potato” and went on to appear in “Minnie’s Boys,” “The Rothschilds” and “The Magic Show.”

LuPone initially played Al in “A Chorus Line,” but convinced creator-director Michael Bennett to let him play Zach after the original actor left. LuPone would earn a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor for the role.

“Deepest condolences to the Lupone family,” Betty Buckley said on Twitter.

Born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York, LuPone graduated from The Juilliard School with a bachelor’s degree in dance in 1968.

He was teaching an acting class at New York University when one of his students was Bernie Telsey. Together they would help form the Manhattan Class Company in 1986, known today as the MCC Theatre.

Inauguration of the MCC Theater
MCC Theater Co-Artistic Director Robert LuPone speaks at the MCC Theater Groundbreaking Event on March 22, 2016 in New York City.

Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage

LuPone, Telsey along with third co-artistic director Will Cantler built MCC into a theatrical powerhouse, producing Broadway-bound plays like “Frozen,” “Reasons to be Pretty,” “Hand to God,” “School Girls; African Mean Girls.” Play,” “The Snow Geese,” “The Other Place,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Wit.”

While serving as co-artistic director of MCC, LuPone also worked as an actor, appearing in “A View from the Bridge,” “True West,” and “A Thousand Clowns,” all on Broadway. He was in the Chicago premiere of Sam Shepard’s “The Tooth of Crime” and on television he was in “Sex and the City,” “Guiding Light,” and “All My Children,” for which he received a Daytime Emmy nomination. .

He played Dr Bruce Cusamano on “The Sopranos”, jokingly nicknamed “Cooze” by neighborhood mobster Tony Soprano. In one memorable episode, Tony plays a prank by bringing Cooze a sealed box and asking him to put it away for a while, without telling his nervous neighbor that the package is full of sand.

He also served as director of the MFA program in drama at the New School for Drama from 2005 to 2011 and served as chairman of the ART/New York board of directors.

LuPone is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son Orlando; sister Patty; and brother, William.


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