Kathleen Chalfant

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Kathleen Chalfant
Born Kathleen Ann Bishop
(1945-01-14) January 14, 1945 (age 73)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Henry Chalfant (m. 1966)
Children 2

Kathleen Ann Chalfant (née Bishop; born January 14, 1945) is an American actress. She has appeared in many stage plays, both on Broaway and Off-Broadway, as well as making guest appearances on television series, including the Law & Order franchise.

Life and career

Chalfant was born Kathleen Ann Bishop[1][2] in San Francisco, California, and was raised in her parents' boarding house in Oakland. Her father, William Bishop, was an officer in the Coast Guard. She studied acting in New York with Wynn Handman, who was a protégé of Sanford Meisner[3] and with Alessandro Fersen in Rome.[4]

Chalfant worked as a Production Coordinator at Playwrights Horizons in the mid-1970s, beginning with Demons: A Possession by Robert Karmon.[5] She made her Off-Broadway acting debut in Cowboy Pictures in June 1974.[6] She has since appeared in over three dozen Off-Broadway productions. In 2015, she appeared in the Women's Project Theater production of Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl[7] and as Rose Kennedy in the Nora's Playhouse production of Rose by Laurence Leamer.[8]

Chalfant was nominated for her official Broadway debut role[9] at the 1993 Tony Awards for Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) in Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. She earned the Outer Circle Critics, Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel awards for her performance as Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit in 1998; she shaved her head for the role.[10] During her work with Wit, she incorporated her experiences dealing with terminal cancer of her half-brother, Alan Palmer, who died in 1998.[11]

For her 2003 performance in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads,[12] Chalfant won a second Obie award. In 2009, Chalfant performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film[13] utilizing dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

Chalfant has played recurring roles in a number of television series including House of Cards, Law & Order, Rescue Me, and The Guardian. Her roles in feature films have included Isn't It Delicious and Kinsey.

Chalfant currently plays Margaret Butler in The Affair on Showtime.

She was presented with the 2018 Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement.[14]

In July 2018 she will read T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets at the Bard Summerscape Festival as part of a new performance with choreography by Pam Tanowitz, music by Kaija Saariaho, and images by Brice Marden.[15]

Personal life

In 1966, Chalfant married Henry Chalfant, a photographer and documentary filmmaker. They have a son, David Chalfant, who was the bass player for the folk-rock band, The Nields, and a daughter, Andromache, a set designer in New York.

Social justice and political activism

Chalfant has spoken widely about the role of art and artists in advocating for civil rights and social justice issues,[16] and "theater as a platform for social change."[17] She has been hosted by the Center for Constitutional Rights, as part of the Guantanamo Lawyers Panel[18] and was among a group of artists endorsing a cultural boycott of Israel to advocate for Palestinian rights. The group noted the precedent of cultural boycott in apartheid-era South Africa.[19]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1987 Five Corners Mrs. Fitzgerald
1989 Miss Firecracker Miss Lily
1990 Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Dean Segment: "Lot 249"
1991 Dangerous Music Therapist Short
1991 Out of the Rain Ruth
1992 Bob Roberts Constance Roberts
1996 MURDER and murder Mildred
1998 The Last Days of Disco Zenia
1998 Side Streets Nanda
1999 QM, I Think I Call Her QM Dr. Ruth Fielding Short
2000 Company Man Mother Quimp
2000 Woman Found Dead in Elevator Woman Short
2002 Book of Kings Nina Short
2004 Kinsey Barbara Merkle
2007 First Born Mrs. Kasperian
2007 Perfect Stranger Elizabeth Clayton
2007 The Last New Yorker Mimi
2008 Second Guessing Grandma Jean Short
2009 Duplicity Pam Frailes
2012 Lillian Lillian Manning Short
2013 Isn't It Delicious Joan Weldon
2013 The Bath Liz Short
2013 A Dream of Flying Old Woman Short
2016 They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief Mabel Elliot Documentary
2017 Class Rank Editor in Chief
2017 In the Studio Ilene Post-production
2017 Before/During/After Olga Post-production
2018 Hereditary Ellen Taper Leigh Uncredited

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1991 American Playhouse Mrs. Hauser "The Hollow Boy"
1992 L.A. Law Marlene Branson "Zo Long"
1994 All My Children Rae Ella 1 episode
1997 Spin City Mother Superior "Hot in the City"
1997–00 Prince Street TV series
1999 Storm of the Century Joanna Stanhope TV miniseries
2000 The Beat Mrs. Waclawek "Someone to Watch Over Me"
2000 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mrs. Nash "Noncompliance"
2001 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Priscilla Van Acker "Smothered"
2001–09 Law & Order Lisa Cutler "Phobia", "Shrunk", "Illegitimate"
2001–04 The Guardian Laurie Solt Main role
2002 Benjamin Franklin Silence Dogood TV miniseries documentary
2002 A Death in the Family Aunt Hannah TV film
2005 Lackawanna Blues Mrs. Carmichael TV film
2006 The Book of Daniel Catherine Webster Regular role
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Bessie Holland "Bombshell"
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Judge Cutress "Haystack"
2009 Rescue Me Sean's Ma Recurring role
2009 Georgia O'Keeffe Mrs. Stieglitz TV film
2009 Mercy Mrs. Borghouse "Can We Get That Drink Now?"
2012 NYC 22 Ginny Williams "Pilot"
2013 Elementary Mrs. Clennon "An Unnatural Arrangement"
2013 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight Ethel Harlan TV film
2013–16 House of Cards Margaret Tilden Recurring role
2014 The Americans Aunt Helen "The Walk-In"
2014 Good Medicine Coco LaRue "Raj"
2014 Forever Gloria Carlyle "The Art of Murder"
2014–15 The Strain Abraham's Grandmother "Runaways", "BK, NY"
2014–15 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit President Roberts "Pornstar's Requiem", "Devastating Story"
2014–present The Affair Margaret Butler Recurring role
2015–16 Madam Secretary Dean Ward "The Ninth Circle", "Unity Node", "Render Safe"
2017 Doubt Margaret Brennan 5 episodes

Theatre Credits

Theatre

Year Venue Show Role
1974 Playwrights Horizons Cowboy Pictures n/a
1975 The Coronor's Plot
Mississippi Moonshine
1976 Paradise
1977 Westside Theatre Jules Feiffer's Hold Me!
1978 American Place Theatre Fefu and Her Friends n/a (Understudy)
1980 Killings on the Last Time n/a
1982 Westside Theatre Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You/ The Actor's Nightmare Sister Mary Ignatius/ Sarah Siddons (Replacement)
1988 WPA Theatre Just Say No Mrs. Potentate
1989 Perry Street Theater The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador Lady Aitkin
1990 Union Square Theater The Crucible Mrs. Ann Putnam
Eugene O'Neill Theatre M. Butterfly Helga (Understudy)
1992 Vineyard Theater The Party Women
1994 Walter Kerr Theatre Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Rabbi Chemelwitz, Henry, Hannah Pitt, Ethel Rosenberg
Angels in America: Perestroika Prelapsarianov, Hannah Pitt, Henry, Ethel Rosenberg, Council of Principalities, Rabbi Chemelwitz
1995 East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company Iphigenia and Other Daughters Clymenestra
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater Twelve Dreams Jenny
East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company Endgame Clov
Vivian Beaumont Theatre Racing Demon Heather Espy
1996 Delacorte Theatre Henry V Mistress Quickly/Queen Isabel
New York City Center-Stage I Nine Armenians Non/Marie
1998 East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company Phaedra in Delirium n/a
MCC Theater Wit Vivian Bearing Ph.D
Union Square Theatre
1999 Westside Theatre The Vagina Monologues n/a
Vineyard Theatre True History and Real Adventures n/a
2003 Minetta Lane Theatre Talking Heads Susan (Bed Among the Lentils)
East 13th Street Theatre/Classic Stage Company Savannah Bay Madeleine
Lucille Lortel Theatre The Last Letter Anna Semyonova
2004 Theatres at 45 Bleecker/Bleecker Street Theatre] Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom Gareth Peirce
New York City Center-Stage II Five By Tenn Anna/Vera Cartwright/Frieda/One
2006 Barrow Street Theatre an oak tree Father
Lucille Lortel Theatre Great Expectations Mrs. Havisham
2007 Minetta Lane Theatre Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell Love
Harold Clurman Theatre A Hard Heart n/a
2008 Playwrights Horizons Dead Man's Cell Phone Mrs. Gottlieb
2010 Lucille Lortel Theatre Family Week Lena
2012 New York Theatre Workshop Red Dog Howls Rose Afratian
2013 Vineyard Theatre Somewhere Fun Evelyn Armstrong
2014 New York City Center- Stage I Tales From Red Vienna Edda Schmidt
2015 McGinn-Cazale Theatre Dear Elizabeth Elizabeth
2017 Playwrights Horizons For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday Ann
2018 Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre St. Vincent's Project: Novenas for a Hospital Sister Elizabeth Ann Seton

Awards and nominations

Theatre

Year Award Show Result
1993 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Angels in America: Millennium Approaches Nominated
Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
1994 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Angels in America: Perestroika
1996 Joe A. Callaway Award Henry V Won
1997 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Nine Armenians Nominated
1999 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Wit Won
Obie Award for Outstanding Performance
Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance
Drama League Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Actress
2003 Obie Award for Best Performance Talking Heads
2004 Lucille Lortel Award, Edith Oliver Award for Sustained Excellence n/a
2015 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play A Walk in the Woods Nominated
2016 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Solo Performance Rose

References

  1. ^ Search: Kathleen Bishop at familytreelegends.com; accessed April 3, 2014.
  2. ^ California Birth Records info.; accessed April 3, 2014.
  3. ^ Ryzik, Melena (May 20, 2007). "Nearly 60 Years and Counting, Working on the Art of Theater". Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  4. ^ Sturner, Lynda (24 March 2000). "Brit Wit". TheaterMania. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Demons: A Possession". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Cowboy Pictures". Internet Off-Broadway Database. Lucille Lortel Foundation. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  7. ^ Dear Elizabeth lortel.org, accessed December 18, 2015
  8. ^ Lloyd Webber, Imogen (14 September 2015). "Kathleen Chalfant Will Headline Laurence Leamer's Rose Off-Broadway". Broadway.com. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  9. ^ Kathleen Henderson, "Painting Churches Star Kathleen Chalfant on Wit, Angels in America and a Naughty Role in Kinsey", Broadway.com, March 7, 2012
  10. ^ Vincent Canby (October 18, 1998). "Battered and Broken, So That She May Rise". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  11. ^ Robin Pogrebin (October 20, 1998). "A Brother's Death Helps Bring a Performance to Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  12. ^ Ben Brantley (April 7, 2003). "Life a Bit of a Mess? Just Carry On, Dear". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  13. ^ "The People Speak". howardzinn.org. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Kathleen Chalfant Will Receive 2018 Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement" Playbill, May 7, 2018
  15. ^ Bard College, Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. "Four Quartets at the Fisher Center". fishercenter.bard.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  16. ^ Steketee, Martha Wade (4 April 2013). "Kathleen Chalfant: Practicing 'Political Performance'". Urban Excavations. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Kathleen Chalfant to Join Playwrights Panel on January 31". Aspen Institute. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  18. ^ "Guantanamo Lawyers Panel with CCR's Gitanjali Gutierrez and actress Kathleen Chalfant". Center for Constitutional Rights. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  19. ^ Norton, Ben (24 November 2015). "'Amplify your voice for justice': Roger Waters and prominent artists call for boycott of Israel in new video". Salon.com. Retrieved 24 April 2016.

External links

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