An actor and singer with a “wonderfully expressive voice,” as a boy Patinkin sang in the choir at his Jewish temple, and performed in musicals such as “Anything Goes,” “Stop the World — I Want to Get Off,” and “Carousel” at the local youth center. After attending the University of Kansas and studying drama at the Juilliard School of Music, he worked in regional theater before spending most of the late ’70s with the New York Festival Theatre. In 1980 he won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Che in the Broadway production of “Evita,” and was nominated again, four years later, for his performance in the leading role of “Sunday in the Park with George.” In 1985 Patinkin was one of the many stars of “Follies in Concert,” which played for two nights only at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. His version of “Buddy’s Blues,” in particular, is one of the cast CD’s many highlights. A year later, Patinkin featured on another fine album, a new CBS studio recording of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s classic “South Pacific,” on which he was joined by opera singers Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras. The album went to number 5 in the UK chart, and Patinkin’s sensitive version of “Younger than Springtime” was released as a single. In 1989, his one-man show, “Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual,” played for a four week season at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York, and in 1990 Patinkin co-starred with Claire Moore in the world premiere of the Jason Carr/Julian Barry/Peter Hall musical “Born Again,” based on Eugene Ionesco’s play “Rhinoceros,” at the Chichester Festival Theatre in England.
Since making his film debut in THE BIG FIX in 1978, Patinkin has made highly effective appearances in several other movies, including RAGTIME, YENTL, DICK TRACY (in the role of 88 Keys, Madonna’s pianist), TRUE COLORS, THE DOCTOR, and THE MUSIC OF CHANCE (1993). In 1991 he was back on Broadway, playing the hunchbacked uncle, Archibald Craven, in “The Secret Garden,” and in January 1993 he succeeded Michael Rupert as Marvin in “Falsettos.”
- "The Secret Garden"
- "Sunday in the Park with George"
- James Lapine
- Patti LuPone
- Bernadette Peters
- Harold Prince
- Tim Rice
- Stephen Sondheim
- Andrew Lloyd Webber
Source: Biographical information provided by MUZE. Excerpted from the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POPULAR MUSIC, edited by Colin Larkin. © 2004 MUZE UK Ltd.
Photo credits: Photofest and Martha Swope