Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


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Hume Cronyn

Hume Cronyn

1932: Member of the Kappa Alpha Society at the McGill University.

1972: Won an 1972-73 Obie for Distinguished Performance for "Krapp's Last Tape".

1990: He and wife Jessica Tandy were both honored with the American National Medal of the Arts from the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington DC.

7/11/88: He was awarded the O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada) for his services to drama.

Although not widely known, he had a glass eye, having lost the real one to cancer.



Appeared as Sosigenes in Cleopatra (1963), One film critic's witty appraisal of this mammoth, megastar, megabuck, four-hour production was, "I never miss a Hume Cronyn movie."

At time of death had eight grandchildren and five great-granchildren.

Attended Ridley College, St. Catharines, Ontario

Became a US citizen late in life.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 112-114. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.

His father Hume Blake Cronyn has an observatory dedicated to him in the University of Western Ontario. The refractor telescope was the largest ever built in the western hemisphere at the time.

In 1946 Elia Kazan, looking for an actress to play Blanche Dubois in his upcoming Broadway production of "Streetcar Named Desire", saw a Los Angeles production of Tennessee Williams' earlier play "Portrait of a Madonna" in which Cronyn directed his wife Jessica Tandy. He was so impressed by her performance that he offered her the role.

Inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame in 1999.

Son: Christopher Cronyn, daughter: Tandy Cronyn.

Starred (with wife Jessica Tandy) as Ben Marriott on NBC Radio's "The Marriage" (1953-1954).

Stepchildren: Jonathan Grant and Kate Glennon.

The original screenplay of The Locket (1946), called "What Nancy Wanted", was written by Norma Barzman, who was married to writer Ben Barzman, who was blacklisted during the McCarthy "Red Scare" period of the 1940s and 1950s. She sold the script to Cronyn, who planned to direct the film with wife Jessica Tandy starring. Cronyn then sold the script to RKO, which assigned Sheridan Gibney to rewrite it.

Was once a boxer who was nominated for the Canadian Olympic boxing team.

Won a Tony Award in 1964 for his performance as Polonius in the Richard Burton Broadway production of "Hamlet", which was recorded live on stage in a process known as Electronovision, and shown in movie theaters the same year (Hamlet (1964/I)).

Won two Tony Awards: in 1964, as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for playing Polonius in Shakespeare/s "Hamlet," and, in 1994, a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achuievement that was shared with his wife, Jessica Tandy. And he was nominated six other times: as Best Actor (Dramatic), in 1961 for: Big Fish, Little Fish" and in 1967 for Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance;" as Best Actor (Play), in 1978 for "The Gin Game" and in 1986 for "The Petition;" as Producer (Dramatic), in 1965 as co-producer of Best Play nominee "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground;" and as co-producer in 1978 of Best Play nominee "The Gin Game."

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