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Fritz Weaver
Fritz William Weaver

(1926-01-19)January 19, 1926
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedNovember 26, 2016(2016-11-26) (aged 90)
Alma materPeabody High School
Occupation(s)Actor, voice artist
Years active1956–2016
Sylvia Short
(m. 1953; div. 1979)
; 2 children
(m. 1997⁠–⁠2016)
AwardsSee below

Fritz William Weaver (January 19, 1926 − November 26, 2016) was an American actor. He appeared in over 170 theatre, television, and film productions in a career spanning nearly 60 years.[1][2][3]

Weaver won the 1970 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance for his performance as Jerome Malley in the original Broadway production of Child's Play, and was nominated for Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for The Chalk Garden (1958). He was also well-known as a Shakespearean, and for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the musical Baker Street.[3]

On screen, he made his film debut in Sidney Lumet's Fail Safe (1964), and appeared in Marathon Man (1976), Black Sunday (1977), Demon Seed (also 1977), Creepshow (1982), and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999).

Weaver portrayed Dr. Josef Weiss in the 1978 television miniseries Holocaust, for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.[4] He was also a fixture as a featured and guest actor on science fiction and fantasy shows, including The Twilight Zone, 'Way Out, Night Gallery, The Martian Chronicles, and The X-Files. He also narrated many educational television programs.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    1 747
    1 397
  • The Martian Chronicles (1980). Eerie Jesus Christ Manifestation. With Fritz Weaver And John Finch.
  • Fritz Weaver 1926-2016
  • "Twilight Zone" Actor Fritz Weaver 1926-2016 Memorial Video
  • La Vida y El Triste Final de Fritz Weaver
  • Fail Safe (1964) A Good Soldier - Sidney Lumet; Henry Fonda, Fritz Weaver


Early life

Weaver was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 19, 1926,[5] the son of Elsa W. Weaver (née Stringaro) and John Carson Weaver.[4] His mother was of Italian descent and his father was a social worker from Pittsburgh with deep American roots.[6]

Weaver attended the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School[7] at the University of Pittsburgh as a child, followed by Peabody High School. He served in the Civilian Public Service as a conscientious objector during World War II.


Following the war, Weaver worked at various jobs before turning to acting in the early 1950s. His first acting role for television came in 1956 for an episode of The United States Steel Hour. Weaver continued to act in television during the next four decades. In 1969, he appeared as Hebron Grant, a Mormon married to two women, on The Big Valley in the episode "A Passage of Saints." He also appeared in several episodes of Mission Impossible.

Weaver also appeared in the made-for-TV movies Holocaust (1978) and The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) in which he played Andrew Borden. He earned an Emmy nomination for the former; the award went to his co-star Michael Moriarty.

Weaver won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance for the Broadway play Child's Play (1970). His other Broadway credits included The Chalk Garden (Tony nomination and Theatre World Award win), All American, Baker Street, Absurd Person Singular, “The Price,” Love Letters, and The Crucible. He appeared in the off-Broadway play Burnt Piano for the HB Playwrights Theatre, and with Uta Hagen in a television adaptation of Norman Corwin's play The World of Carl Sandburg.

Weaver also acted in motion pictures, generally as a supporting player. He appeared in such movies as Fail-Safe (1964; as a jingoist and increasingly unstable U.S. Air Force colonel, ashamed of his foreign-born and alcoholic parents, whom he refers to as "those people"), Marathon Man (1976; as a professor advising the protagonist, a graduate student), Black Sunday (1977; as the lead FBI agent in an anti-terrorism effort), Creepshow (1982; as a scientist who discovers a monster in a crate), and John McTiernan's remake of The Thomas Crown Affair (1999). He also had roles in The Day of the Dolphin (1973), Demon Seed (1977), The Big Fix (1978), and Sidney Lumet's Power (1986). Beginning in 1995, Weaver worked primarily as a voice actor, providing narration for programs on the History Channel. After making his third guest appearance on Law & Order in 2005,[8] Weaver made a "secret decision to retire."[9]

In 2010, Weaver was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[10] Shortly thereafter, he came out of retirement to make an uncredited cameo in This Must Be the Place (2011), voicing the deceased father of Sean Penn's protagonist. He went on to give prominent supporting performances in the Emmy-nominated television film Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013) and the theatrically released We'll Never Have Paris (2014), The Cobbler (2014), and The Congressman (2016).

Personal life

His brother was the illustrator Robert Weaver, and his younger sister was art director Mary Dodson.[11] Via his sister, he was the brother-in-law to actor Jack Dodson.

Weaver was married twice. His first marriage, to actress Sylvia Short, lasted from 1953 to 1979, and ended in divorce. His second marriage, to actress Rochelle Oliver, lasted from 1997 until his death in 2016. He had two children from his first marriage, Lydia and Anthony.

Fritz Weaver died at his home in New York City on November 26, 2016, at the age of 90.[5]

Select filmography



Awards and nominations

Award Year Category Work Result
Clarence Derwent Award 1955 Best Supporting Male The White Devil Won
Drama Desk Award 1970 Outstanding Performance Child's Play Won
1980 Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play The Price Nominated
Drama-Logue Award 1981 Outstanding Performance A Tale Told Won
Grammy Award 2001 Best Audio Book, Narration & Storytelling Recording The Complete Shakespeare Sonnets Nominated
Jeff Award 2004 Actor in a Principal Role in a Play Trying Won
Primetime Emmy Award 1978 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Holocaust Nominated
Theatre World Award 1956 The Chalk Garden Won
Tony Award 1956 Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
1970 Best Actor in a Play Child's Play Won


  1. ^ "Fritz Weaver". The Official Masterworks Broadway Site. Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  2. ^ "Fritz Weaver". Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  3. ^ a b "Fritz Weaver (Performer)". Playbill.
  4. ^ a b "Fritz Weaver Biography". Film Reference Library. 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Fritz Weaver, Tony-Winning Character Actor, Dies at 90". The New York Times. November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Jones, Chris (April 22, 2004). "Fritz Weaver tackles a 'Trying' role in Chicago". Chicago Tribune.
  7. ^ Vitone, Elaine. "Well Schooled". Pitt Magazine. University of Pittsburgh. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Law & Order-Season 15-Episode 20-Tombstone". Archived from the original on 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  9. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott (November 29, 2006). "On the Fritz". TheaterMania. Retrieved 2021-09-28.
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew; Peter, Thomas. "Theater Hall of Fame Ceremony, Honoring Linda Lavin, Brian Dennehy, Michael Blakemore, Presented Jan. 24". Playbill. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  11. ^ Barnes, Mike (February 21, 2016). "Mary Weaver Dodson, Art Director on 'Murder, She Wrote,' Dies at 83". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 13, 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 May 2024, at 05:13
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