Tony-winner Fritz Weaver, TV and Broad­way star, dies at 90

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Mark Kennedy

Tony Award­win­ning char­ac­ter ac­tor Fritz Weaver, who played Sher­lock Holmes and Shake­spear­ian kings on Broad­way while also cre­at­ing mem­o­rable roles on TV and film from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” to “Marathon Man,” has died. He was 90.

Weaver died at his New York City home on Satur­day night, ac­cord­ing to his daugh­ter, Ly­dia Weaver, and son-in-law, Bruce Ostler. No cause was given.

A tall man — he stood 6-foot-3 — who was blessed with a deep, res­o­nant voice, Weaver found parts in ev­ery medium, of­ten cast as the aris­to­cratic vil­lain.

Weaver won a Tony in 1970 play­ing a pri­vateschool dis­ci­plinar­ian in the play “Child’s Play” and earned an Emmy Award nom­i­na­tion in 1978 as the pa­tri­arch of a Jewish fam­ily in the TV minis­eries “Holo­caust.”

His many other TV cred­its in­clude guest parts on “Mur­der, She Wrote,” “The Twi­light Zone,” “Mag­num, P.I.” “Mat­lock,” “Gun­smoke,” “Fal­con Crest” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”

His film work in­cluded play­ing a col­lege pro­fes­sor in “Marathon Man” op­po­site Dustin Hoffman, a FBI agent in “Black Sun­day,” the 2015 Adam San­dler film “The Cob­bler” and the 2016 film “The Con­gress­man,” star­ring Treat Wil­liams. In 2013, he played Supreme Court Jus­tice Hugo Black in HBO’s “Muham­mad Ali’s Great­est Fight.”

But his first love was the stage. He earned a Tony nom­i­na­tion for his Broad­way de­but in “The Chalk Gar­den” and he went on to play King Henry IV, Peer Gynt, a singing Holmes in the mu­si­cal “Baker Street” and a town of­fi­cial in a 1991 Broad­way re­vival of “The Cru­cible,” among oth­ers.

“The stage is where I be­gan,” Weaver said in 1986. “That’s where I have the most ac­cu­mu­lated ex­pe­ri­ence. Movies and tele­vi­sion have al­ways been a means of earn­ing a liv­ing. And I’m grow­ing more and more fa­mil­iar with the vo­cab­u­lar­ies of both those things.”

Born in Pitts­burgh, he at­tended the Univer­sity of Chicago, in­tend­ing to ma­jor in physics, when he was cast in the part of Arch­bishop Thomas Becket in T.S. Eliot’s tragedy “Mur­der in the Cathe­dral.”

He later told the Chris­tian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor that play­ing that role changed his life: “When you play the great roles, you get spoiled and think you’ll have a whole ca­reer play­ing noth­ing but great roles, and of course you can’t.”

AP FILE PHOTO

In this April 19, 1970, file photo, Tony win­ners, from left, Cleavon Lit­tle, who won best ac­tor in a mu­si­cal for “Purlie,” Lau­ren Ba­call, won best ac­tress in a mu­si­cal for “Ap­plause,” Tammy Grimes, won best ac­tress for the re­vival “Pri­vate Lives”, and Fritz Weaver, who won best ac­tor in a dra­matic role for “Child’s Play,” pose at the 24th An­nual Tony Awards cer­e­mony in New York.

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