New York — Bob LuPone, an exceptional actor known for his Tony Award-nominated performance in “A Chorus Line” and his portrayal of Tony Soprano’s family physician, has passed away at the age of 76. In addition to his acting prowess, LuPone was a co-founder and influential leader of the renowned off-Broadway theater company, MCC Theater. His legacy will forever shape the world of performing arts.
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The Life and Career of Bob LuPone
Born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York, Bob LuPone was destined for the stage. With a bachelor’s degree in dance from The Juilliard School, LuPone made his professional debut in 1966, captivating audiences in “The Pajama Game” alongside Liza Minnelli. He continued to grace Broadway with his talent, performing in notable productions such as “Sweet Potato,” “Minnie’s Boys,” “The Rothschilds,” and “The Magic Show.”
However, LuPone’s most remarkable achievement came with his involvement in the groundbreaking production of “A Chorus Line.” Originally cast as Al, LuPone convinced the creator and director, Michael Bennett, to let him take on the role of Zach after the original actor departed. This bold move earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor, solidifying his place in theater history.
MCC Theater: Revolutionizing Off-Broadway
Beyond his individual accomplishments, LuPone played a pivotal role in the evolution of off-Broadway theater. In 1986, he co-founded MCC Theater, initially known as Manhattan Class Company, alongside Bernie Telsey, his former student at New York University. Together with co-artistic director Will Cantler, they transformed MCC into a powerhouse, producing remarkable plays like “Frozen,” “Reasons to be Pretty,” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Wit.”
With MCC Theater, LuPone became more than an actor — he became an influential figure in the industry. His unwavering dedication to nurturing talent and pushing creative boundaries has left an indelible mark on the performing arts landscape.
A Multifaceted Career
While leading MCC Theater, LuPone managed to maintain his own acting career, impressing audiences both on and off Broadway. He showcased his versatility in productions such as “A View from the Bridge,” “True West,” and “A Thousand Clowns.” Additionally, LuPone made notable television appearances in shows like “Sex and the City,” “Guiding Light,” and “All My Children,” earning him a Daytime Emmy nomination.
One of his most memorable roles was Dr. Bruce Cusamano on the popular series “The Sopranos.” LuPone’s portrayal of Tony Soprano’s neighbor and physician brought both humor and depth to the character, showcasing his exceptional range as an actor.
A Fond Farewell
Bob LuPone’s passing is a profound loss for the theater community. His unparalleled talent, insatiable curiosity, and infectious humor will be deeply missed. The MCC Theater community fondly remembers him as a beloved partner, colleague, and dear friend who fearlessly pursued his passions and forged genuine connections.
LuPone is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son, Orlando; sister, Patti; and brother, William. His contribution to the world of performing arts will continue to inspire generations to come.
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Original Article: Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits