Tv Stars Really They Started On The Legit Stage

Tv Stars Really They Started On The Legit Stage

TV Stars - Really? They Started On the​ Legit Stage
Many times the​ general public associates an​ actor with a​ role they play on a​ long-running television show, not realizing that often that thespian had an​ active career on the​ stage first .​
Jerry Orbach and​ Sam Waterston on Law and​ Order, Jason Alexander on Seinfeld, and​ Patricia Heaton on Everybody Loves Raymond are a​ few of​ the​ many actors who first trained for, cut their teeth on, and​ professionally performed on the​ legitimate stage.
The fact is​ the​ technique most often taught to​ American stage actors - some form of​ the​ Stanislavski Method - works very nicely on both TV and​ film .​
Although there are adjustments to​ be made going from the​ stage to​ television, a​ well-trained stage actor can usually make those adjustments fairly quickly.
The biggest changes have to​ do with the​ subtlety employed by those acting for​ the​ camera .​
Stage actors find that physically and​ vocally less is​ more in​ front of​ the​ camera .​
Additionally, a​ good film or​ television actor has a​ sound sense of​ how to​ use the​ camera frame to​ their best advantage .​
An actor like Michael Caine is​ a​ master at​ this.
For someone who has only done television or​ film, acting on the​ stage can be difficult .​
The stage demands that actors sustain a​ character for​ long periods of​ time, something the​ electronic media does not do .​
Overall, stage performing also calls for​ bigger actions than those needed for​ television and​ film .​
If someone has never been trained for​ the​ theatre, this can be intimidating.
Of course the​ scariest thing about acting on stage is​ the​ fact that you’re in​ front of​ a​ live audience and​ if​ you make a​ mistake, you don’t get a​ Mulligan .​
Even when a​ television show is​ done in​ front of​ a​ live audience, there’s less pressure for​ the​ actor to​ be perfect .​
If they go up (that is, forget their lines), they can make a​ joke and​ get a​ laugh while cut is​ called .​
They then get to​ try the​ moment, action or​ scene again .​
There is​ no cut in​ a​ live stage performance; there is​ only covering for​ a​ flubbed line, a​ missed entrance, or​ a​ misplaced prop.
Here are a​ few actors that you’ve become familiar with on television who first acted on the​ legitimate stage.
Jerry Orbach
Orbach, who passed away in​ 2004, was best known as​ the​ wisecracking Detective Lennie Briscoe on Law and​ Order .​
As a​ young man, he attended the​ University of​ Illinois and​ Northwestern University where he studied drama .​
After going to​ New York, he continued to​ study for​ the​ stage .​
He became closely associated with musicals, creating the​ role of​ El Gallo and​ singing the​ well-know opening number Try to​ Remember in​ the​ long-running musical the​ Fantasticks .​
He won the​ Tony in​ 1969 for​ his portrayal of​ Chuck Baxter in​ Promises, Promises; he sang the​ hit song I’ll Never Fall in​ Love Again in​ that show .​
He also played leads in​ Chicago (Billy Flynn) and​ Forty-Second Street (Julian Marsh) .​
Most Law and​ Order fans don’t realize that Orbach had a​ beautiful, resonate singing voice.
Bebe Neuwirth
Beatrice Bebe Neuwirth has recently become a​ regular on Law and​ Order, where she plays the​ role of​ Tracey Kibre .​
However, it​ was on the​ sitcom Cheers that she found fame by playing Lilith Sternin-Crane - a​ tough, tense psychiatrist and​ wife of​ Frasier Crane .​
Neuwirth trained at​ the​ Julliard School and​ first made her name as​ a​ dancer and​ actor in​ the​ national tour of​ a​ Chorus Line (1980), where she played Cassie and​ Sheila .​
In 1982, she appeared on Broadway in​ Dancin’, directed and​ choreographed by the​ legendary Bob Fosse, and​ in​ the​ musical Little Me .​
She cemented her reputation on the​ Great White Way by playing the​ lead in​ Bob Fosse’s revival of​ the​ musical Sweet Charity (1986), for​ which she won a​ Tony .​
Neuwirth is​ an​ amazing, charismatic musical performer, who commands the​ stage with her voice and​ body.
Jason Alexander
Best know as​ Jerry Seinfeld’s obnoxious best friend George Costanza in​ the​ sitcom Seinfeld, Alexander, who was born Jay Greenspan in​ Newark, NJ, is​ another former Tony winner .​
While he was an​ undergraduate at​ Boston College, Alexander was cast in​ Stephen Soundheim’s Broadway musical Merrily We Roll Along .​
He won the​ Best Actor in​ a​ Musical Tony for​ his role in​ Jerome Robbin’s Broadway (1989) .​
In the​ first few episodes of​ Seinfeld, he wasn’t quite sure of​ how to​ play George Castanza so he imitated Woody Allen.
Sam Waterston
On television he plays tough, no nonsense D.A .​
Jack McCoy in​ Law and​ Order (1990), but originally Waterston was best known for​ his stage roles .​
He went to​ Yale, where he did not study acting, but did taking acting classes at​ the​ American Actors Workshop in​ Paris .​
Waterston played numerous roles in​ New York, including Jonathan in​ Oh, Dad, Poor, Dad, Mama’s Hung You in​ the​ Closet and​ I’m Feeling so Sad, Hamlet in​ Hamlet, and​ Signoir Benedick of​ Padua in​ Much Ado About Nothing, for​ which he won the​ Drama desk award for​ Best Actor .​
Prior to​ becoming associated with Law and​ Order, he was best known for​ his work in​ straight plays, both new and​ classic .​
On stage, Waterston perfected an​ elegant, refined style, displaying an​ ability to​ make precise and​ subtle acting choices.
Barry Bostwick
On the​ Michael J .​
Fox sitcom Spin City, Bostwick played the​ dimwitted mayor Randall M .​
Winston Jr .​
in​ 70 episodes .​
Since that time, he’s appeared on numerous hit TV shows as​ a​ guest star, including Scrubs, Cold Case and​ Law and​ Order .​
But Bostwick has deep Broadway roots that include the​ creation of​ the​ role of​ Danny Zuko in​ Grease, for​ which he received a​ Best Actor in​ a​ Musical nomination, and​ the​ creation of​ the​ lead role of​ Jamie Lockhart in​ the​ musical the​ Robber Bridegroom, for​ which he won the​ Tony .​
Bostwick, who also played in​ numerous straight plays, was known for​ his high energy and​ slapdash style .​
While performing in​ his award winning run as​ Jamie Lockhart, Bostwick broke his arm when he fell swinging across the​ stage on a​ rope .​
He proved he was a​ trouper though when, after a​ short recuperative period, he got back on stage with his arm in​ a​ cast and​ continued to​ play Lockhart, rope swing and​ all.
Patricia Heaton
For 70 episodes, Heaton played Debra Barone, Ray Romano’s wife on the​ very popular sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond .​
As a​ young woman, she focused on theatre arts at​ Ohio State University and​ then went to​ New York where she studied with William Esper .​
She made her debut in​ the​ Broadway gospel musical Don’t Get God Started, but overall during her career in​ New York she was relegated to​ small roles .​
With a​ few acting buddies, she started a​ theatre company called Stage Three, which produced new works in​ NYC .​
In 1989 they took their successful production of​ the​ Johnstown Vindicator to​ Los Angeles, where casting directors saw and​ liked Heaton .​
Slowly her TV career started to​ take off .​
But Heaton has long acknowledged that despite the​ fact that she never made it​ big on Broadway, her stage training has been instrumental to​ her success on television.
James Gandolfini
Gandolfini continues his run as​ the​ cold-hearted, insecure, narcissistic Tony Soprano on HBO’s hit series the​ Sopranos .​
After receiving a​ degree in​ Communications from Rutgers University, Gandolfini went on to​ study acting in​ the​ late 1980’s at​ the​ prestigious Actors Studio in​ New York City .​
After making his professional stage debut in​ Big El's Best Friend, he appeared in​ many New York productions .​
He made his Broadway debut in​ 1992 as​ Steve Hubbell in​ the​ revival of​ Tennessee Williams’ a​ Streetcar Named Desire, which starred Alex Baldwin and​ Jessica Lang .​
Other New York credits included On the​ Waterfront, One Day Wonder and​ Tarantulas Dancing .​
The same year he first appeared on Broadway, he also landed his first screen role, which was in​ Sidney Lumet's a​ Stranger Among Us .​
Since 1992, he’s appeared in​ over 20 films .​
He’s been Tony Soprano in​ over 70 episodes.
Other actors, who have either made their name or​ learned invaluable acting lessons in​ the​ theatre before becoming part of​ the​ electronic entertainment industry, include Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Duvall, Meryl Streep, and​ Swoosie Kurtz .​
These actors have labored hard to​ learn their craft on what was the​ first acting platform available to​ humankind - the​ live stage.
Movies are a​ little over 100 years old and​ television is​ about 75 years old .​
The formal theatre goes back over 2,500 years! It’s the​ true learning and​ testing ground for​ acting technique, stamina, and​ skill that, once honed, can then be transferred to​ any other venue.
Go to​ a​ Broadway show or​ a​ professional theatre near you - you may catch a​ performance by someone you’ll see break through on the​ tube in​ the​ next few years .​
One night, you’ll be sitting in​ your den or​ living room watching the​ next big hit drama or​ sitcom and​ say, Hey, didn’t we see that actor on the​ stage? Yeah, you did, before they were famous .​
Very cool.

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