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John Cullum (born 2 March 1930) is a Tony Award-winning American actor and singer.


Cullum was born in Knoxville, Tennesseemarker where he attended the University of Tennesseemarker. He played there on the school's Southeastern Conference championship tennis team, and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta.

He has been married to Emily Frankel since 1959. They have one son, JD Cullum, who is also an actor.


He made his Broadwaymarker debut as Sir Dinadan in Alan Jay Lerner's and Frederick Loewe's Camelot in 1960. He also understudied Richard Burton (King Arthur) and Roddy McDowell (Arthur's son Mordred), going on four times when Burton became ill and succeeding McDowell. He would go on to play Laertes opposite Burton's 1964 Broadwaymarker performance as Hamlet (and in the film version of the production) and in Burton's final Broadwaymarker appearance in Noel Coward's Private Lives in 1983.

In 1965, he was called in to replace Louis Jourdan during the Boston tryout of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. It would be his first starring role on Broadway, netting him a Theatre World Award and his first Tony Award nomination. The original cast album received a Grammy Award (presented to lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Burton Lane).

He portrayed Edward Rutledge of South Carolina in the Broadway musical 1776, providing a dramatic highlight with his performance of "Molasses to Rum to Slaves," a tirade against the hypocrisy of some Northerners over the slave trade ("They don't keep slaves, but they are willing to be considerable carriers of slaves to others. They're willing – for the shilling.") Cullum had been the third Rutledge on Broadway, but played the role the longest and repeated it for the 1972 film.

He is perhaps most famous for premiering the role of Charlie Anderson in the musical Shenandoah, which began at Goodspeed Opera Housemarker in Connecticut in 1974. Cullum won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle Awards when the show moved to New York. He also played the role at Wolf Trap, opened the national tour in Chicago, and starred in the limited run Broadway revival fifteen years after the original.

He followed Shenandoah by playing the maniacal Broadway producer Oscar Jaffee in the musical On the Twentieth Century, opposite Madeline Kahn and later Judy Kaye, earning his second Tony Award.

He netted his fourth Tony nomination in 2002 for originating the role of corporate bad guy Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown The Musical and his fifth Tony nomination in the 2007 revival of 110 in the Shade. Recent Broadway appearances include the title role of William Shakespeare's seldom-performed Cymbeline, and August: Osage County, by Tracy Letts

In addition to enjoying a long theatrical career, he is well known to television audiences for his regular role as Holling Vincoeur on the quirky CBS series Northern Exposure and his extended appearances on the NBC medical drama ER as Mark Greene's father, and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as constitutional lawyer and later judge, Barry Moredock.


Stage productions



Awards and nominations



External links

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