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John Cullum
Cullum in 1953
Born (1930-03-02) March 2, 1930 (age 94)[1]
Alma mater
Occupation(s)Actor, singer
Years active1956–present
Emily Frankel
(m. 1959; died 2024)
ChildrenJD Cullum

John Cullum (born March 2, 1930)[2] is an American actor and singer.[3] He has appeared in many stage musicals and dramas, including Shenandoah (1975) and On the Twentieth Century (1978), winning the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for each. In 1966 he gained his first Tony nomination as the lead in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, in which he introduced the title song, and more recently received Tony nominations for Urinetown The Musical (2002) (Best Actor in a Musical) and as Best Featured Actor in the revival of 110 in the Shade (2007).

Outside of the theatre world, Cullum is best known for his role as tavern owner Holling Vincoeur in the television drama series Northern Exposure, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. He was featured in fifteen episodes of the NBC television series ER as Dr. Mark Greene's father. He played farmer Jim Dahlberg in the landmark television drama The Day After. He made multiple guest appearances on Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as attorney/judge Barry Moredock, and appeared as Big Mike in several episodes of The Middle. He appeared as Senator Beau Carpenter on the CBS series Madam Secretary.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    27 615
    11 372
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  • John Cullum--On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, 1982 TV
  • John Cullum--I Rise Again, On the Twentieth Century, 1982 TV
  • John Cullum: An Accidental Star - "On A Clear Day"


Personal life

Cullum was born on March 2, 1930[4] in Knoxville, Tennessee.[5] He attended Knoxville High School and the University of Tennessee.[6][7] He played on the university's Southeastern Conference championship tennis team[8] and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He starred in "Chucky Jack", an outdoor drama about Tennessee Governor John Sevier, at the old Hunter Hills Theater in Gatlinburg.[9]

Cullum was married to Emily Frankel from 1959 until her death in 2024.[citation needed] They have one son, JD Cullum (John David Cullum), who is also an actor.[10]


He made his Broadway debut as Sir Dinadan in the Alan Jay Lerner/Frederick Loewe musical Camelot in 1960. He also understudied Richard Burton (King Arthur) and Roddy McDowall (Arthur's son Mordred),[11] going on four times when Burton became ill and succeeding McDowall. He went on to play Laertes opposite Burton's 1964 Broadway performance as Hamlet[12] (and in the film version of the production) and in Burton's final Broadway appearance in Noël Coward's Private Lives in 1983.[13]

In 1965, he was called in to replace Louis Jourdan during the Boston tryout of the musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.[14] It was his first starring role on Broadway, netting him a Theatre World Award and his first Tony Award nomination. The original cast album received a Grammy Award (presented to lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Burton Lane).

He portrayed Edward Rutledge of South Carolina in the Broadway musical 1776, providing a dramatic highlight with his performance of "Molasses to Rum," a tirade against the hypocrisy of some Northerners over the slave trade ("They don't keep slaves, but they are willing to be considerable carriers of slaves to others. They're willing – for the shilling.") Cullum had been the third Rutledge on Broadway,[15] but played the role the longest and repeated it for the 1972 film.

He is well known for premiering the role of Charlie Anderson in the musical Shenandoah, which began at Goodspeed Opera House, Connecticut in 1974.[16] Cullum won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards when the show was produced on Broadway in 1975. He also played the role at Wolf Trap, Virginia, in June 1976,[17] opened the national tour for 3 weeks in Fall 1977 in Chicago,[18] and starred in the limited run Broadway revival in 1989.

He followed Shenandoah by playing the maniacal Broadway producer Oscar Jaffee in the 1978 musical On the Twentieth Century, opposite Madeline Kahn and later Judy Kaye, earning his second Tony Award. He received his fourth Tony nomination in 2002 for originating the role of evil moneygrubber corporate president Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown The Musical.[14] He earned his fifth Tony nomination in the 2007 revival of 110 in the Shade, playing H.C. Curry, father to Audra McDonald's Lizzie.

In 2003, Cullum co-starred with Northern Exposure castmate Barry Corbin in Blackwater Elegy, a short film written by Matthew Porter and co-directed by Porter and Joe O'Brien.

Later Broadway appearances include the title role of William Shakespeare's seldom-performed Cymbeline, at Lincoln Center in 2007[19] and August: Osage County, by Tracy Letts for the week of September 16, 2008, and then since November 11, 2008.[20]

In addition to enjoying a long stage career, he is well known to television audiences for his regular role as Holling Vincoeur on the quirky CBS series Northern Exposure, his extended appearances on the NBC medical drama ER as Mark Greene's father, and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as constitutional lawyer and later judge, Barry Moredock. Cullum has also appeared as Lucky Strike executive Lee Garner, Sr. on AMC's Mad Men. He appeared as Leap Day William, the embodiment of the fictional Leap Day national holiday, in the "Leap Day" episode of the sixth season of NBC's 30 Rock.

John Cullum appeared on Broadway in The Scottsboro Boys (2010), a musical by Kander and Ebb about a notorious miscarriage of justice in the American South in the 1930s. The Scottsboro Boys was directed by Susan Stroman, with Cullum as the only non-African-American member of the cast.

John Cullum was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2007.[21]

In 2015 Cullum appeared and sang in the satirical B&W period movie-musical footage of Daddy's Boy on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The "forgotten footage" features comically incestuous lyrics set in an innocent context that apes classic 1930's films.[22]

Cullum, then an octogenarian, joined the cast of Waitress as Joe on October 12, 2017, replacing Larry Marshall.[23]


Stage productions

Year Title Role Notes
1956-1957 Saint Joan Ensemble Broadway
1960-1962 Camelot Sir Dinadan

u/s King Arthur


u/s King Arthur

1962 Infidel Caesar Cassios Broadway
1963 The Rehearsal u/s for The Count, Hero Broadway
1964 Hamlet Laertes Broadway
1965-1966 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Dr. Mark Bruckner Broadway
1967 Man of La Mancha Miguel Cervantes/Don Quixote Broadway Replacement
1970-1972 1776 Edward Rutledge Broadway Replacement
1972 Vivat! Vivat Regina! Lord Bothwell Broadway Replacement
1973 Carousel Billy Bigelow
1974-1977 Shenandoah Charlie Anderson Broadway
1977 The Trip Back Down Bobby Horvath Broadway
1978-1979 On the Twentieth Century Oscar Jaffee Broadway
1979-1982 Deathtrap Sidney Bruhl Broadway Replacement
1982 Whistler James McNeill Whistler One-man show at Provincetown Playhouse
1983 Private Lives Victor Prynne

s/b Elyot Chase

1985-1986 Doubles Guy Broadway
1986 The Boys in Autumn Huck Broadway
1986-1987 You Never Can Tell Waiter Broadway Replacement
1989 Shenandoah Charlie Anderson Broadway Revival
1990-1991 Aspects of Love George Dillingham Broadway Replacement
1993 Camelot King Arthur
1995 Man of La Mancha Miguel Cervantes/Don Quixote US Tour
1995 All My Sons Joe Keller Off-Broadway
1996 Show Boat Cap'n Andy Hawkes Broadway Replacement
1999 South Pacific Emile de Becque
2001-2003 Urinetown Caldwell B. Cladwell Broadway
2004 Sin: a Cardinal Deposed Cardinal Law
2005 Purlie Ol' Cap'n Cotchipee Off-Broadway
2006-2007 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Old Max Broadway
2007 110 in the Shade H.C. Curry Broadway
2007-2008 Cymbeline King Cymbeline Broadway
2008-2009 August: Osage County Beverly Weston Broadway Replacement
2010 The Scottsboro Boys The Interlocutor / Judge / Governor of Alabama Broadway
2011 Measure for Measure Vincentio Shakespeare in the Park
2011 All's Well That Ends Well The Duke Shakespeare in the Park
2013 Carousel Starkeeper / Dr. Seldon Concert
She Loves Me Mr. Maraczek
2014 Casa Valentina Terry Broadway
2017-2018 Waitress Old Joe Broadway Replacement
2019 Into the Wild Performer Playwrights Horizons[24]


Year Title Role Notes
1963 All the Way Home Andrew
1964 Richard Burton's Hamlet Laertes
1966 Hawaii Rev. Immanuel Quigley
1972 1776 Edward Rutledge
1983 The Act The President
1983 The Prodigal Elton Stuart
1983 Marie Deputy Attorney General
1987 Sweet Country Ben
1998 The Secret Life of Algernon Algernon Pendleton
1998 Ricochet River Link Curren
1999 Held Up Jack
1999 Inherit the Wind Judge Merle Coffey
2003 Blackwater Elegy J.T.
2006 The Notorious Bettie Page Preacher in Nashville
2006 The Night Listener Pap Noone
2010 All Good Things Richard Panatierre
2011 The Conspirator Justice Wylie
2013 Kill Your Darlings Professor Steeves
2013 Kilimanjaro Milton Sr
2013 Adult World Stan
2014 Before We Go Harry
2014 Love Is Strange Father Raymond
2014 The Historian Brigston Hadley
2016 Christine Bob Anderson
2019 Jungleland Yates
2021 The Acolyte Arch Pontifex Short film
2022 Simchas and Sorrows Nate


Year Title Role Notes
1963–65 The Defenders Jeremiah/Michael Yager/Angel Mauru 3 episodes
1964 The Doctors Pa Thatcher 5 episodes
1964 The DuPont Show of the Week Hugh Episode: "The Gambling Heart"
1966–67 The Edge of Night David "Giddy" Gideon Recurring
1967 Androcles and the Lion The Captain TV movie
1969 One Life to Live Artie Duncan Recurring
1969 The Outcasts Pale Hands Montaine Episode: "And Then There Was One"
1971 You Are There William Clark Episode: "Lewis and Clark Expedition"
1973 The Man Without a Country Aaron Burr TV movie
1978 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mr. Jamison TV movie
1981 Great Performances Walter/Lawyer Royall 2 episodes: "Edith Wharton: Looking Back" & "Summer"
1981 American Playhouse Himself/Carl Sandburg Episode: "Carl Sandburg: Echoes and Silences
1983 The Day After Jim Dahlberg TV movie
1986–87 The Equalizer Stuart Cane/Judge Howard Tainey 2 episodes: "Unpunished Crimes" & "Carnal Persuasion"
1986 Spenser: For Hire Anthony Bennett Episode: "Rockabye Baby"
1987–88 Buck James Henry Carliner Main role
1988 Shootdown Robert Allardyce TV movie
1989 Quantum Leap John O'Malley Episode: "To Catch A Falling Star"
1989 Money, Power, Murder. Rev. Endicott TV movie
1990–95 Northern Exposure Holling Vincoeur Main role, 110 episodes
1992 With a Vengeance Fred Mitchell TV movie
1992 Mattie's Waltz Clyde TV movie
1996 Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Millard (voice) 2 episodes
1997 All My Children Judge Carl Breen 1 episode
1997 Nothing Sacred Joe Keneally Episode: "Mixed Blessings"
1997 Touched by an Angel Mark Twain Episode: "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear"
1997, 2001 Law & Order Harold Dorning/Bernard Powell, Sr. 2 episodes: "Menace" and "Soldier of Fortune"
1997–2000 ER David Greene 15 episodes
1998 The Magnificent Seven Reverend Owen Mosley Episode: "Manhunt"
1998 To Have and To Hold Robert McGrail Main role, 8 episodes
2000 Roswell James Valenti, Sr. 2 episodes: "Into The Woods" and "The Convention"
2003–11 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Barry Moredock 11 episodes
2007 Mad Men Lee Garner, Sr. 2 episodes: "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" & "Indian Summer"
2009–18 The Middle Big Mike 9 episodes
2011 Damages Ed O'Malley Episode: "Add That Litle Hopper to Your Stew"
2012 30 Rock Leap Day William Episode: "Leap Day"
2012 Royal Pains Andres Bochinski Episode: "Dawn of the Med"
2013 The Good Wife Cardinal James Episode: "Death of a Client"
2013 Live from Lincoln Center Starkeeper/Dr. Seldon Episode: "The New York Philharmonic's Performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel"
2013 Nurse Jackie Wally Episode: "Soul"
2015 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Daddy's Daddy Episode: "Kimmy's in a Love Triangle!"
2016 Thanksgiving Walter Morgan Main role; 6 episodes
2017 Madam Secretary Senator Beau Carpenter 4 episodes
2019 The Blacklist Ted King Episode: "The Third Estate (No. 136)"
2021 Prodigal Son Logan Zeiger Episode: "Sun and Fun"

Awards and nominations




  1. ^ "Biography:John Cullum". Moosechick Notes: Northern Exposure Archives. March 2, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  2. ^ Classics, Turner (March 4, 2023). "John Cullum". Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  3. ^ Collins-Hughes, Laura (April 7, 2021). "At 91, John Cullum Is Ready to Try Something New". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  4. ^ "John Cullum". Playbill. March 4, 2023. Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  5. ^ "Two-time Tony Award Winner, John Cullum to be Honored at Annual Clarence Brown Theatre Gala on Sunday, June 7, 2015". Visit Knoxville. March 9, 2015.
  6. ^ "Cullum biography, All Movie Guide". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Shearer, John (May 28, 2010). "Famous alumni from Knoxville High School". Knoxville News Sentinel.
  8. ^ "Cullum biography". Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  9. ^ Video on YouTube
  10. ^ Allen, Morgan (September 20, 2004). "PHOTO CALL: Tony Winner Cullum and Son Celebrate 30 Years of Theatre at University of Tennessee". Playbill. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  11. ^ ​Camelot​ at the Internet Broadway Database, retrieved January 24, 2010
  12. ^ ​Hamlet​ (1964 production) at the Internet Broadway Database, retrieved January 24, 2010
  13. ^ ​Private Lives​ (1983 production) at the Internet Broadway Database, retrieved January 24, 2010
  14. ^ a b Haun, Harry (November 21, 2001). "His Kind of Town: John Cullum Is Right at Home in Urinetown: The Musical". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  15. ^ ​1776​ at the Internet Broadway Database, see Replacements, retrieved January 24, 2010
  16. ^ Richards, David (August 18, 1994). "Theatre Review:'Shenandoah' in a 20th-Anniversary Go-Round". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Houston, Levin (June 24, 1976). "Review:Shenandoah". The Free Lance–Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia.
  18. ^ Frankel, Haskel (August 28, 1977). "Theater: Cullum Debut at Goodspeed Helm". The New York Times. p. 431.
  19. ^ Gans, Andrew (November 1, 2007). "Cymbeline, with Cerveris, Rashad, Cullum and Plimpton, Begins Broadway Run Nov. 1". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  20. ^ Jones, Kenneth (November 11, 2008). "Cullum Is New Patriarch of Osage County Starting Nov. 11; Ross and Warren Also Join Cast". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew (October 12, 2007). "Fierstein, O'Brien, Cullum and Ivey Among Theater Hall of Fame Inductees". Playbill.
  22. ^ Zuckerman, Esther (March 10, 2015). "'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt': Your guide to all the guest stars". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  23. ^ McPhee, Ryan (October 5, 2017). "Tony Winner John Cullum Joins Broadway's Waitress October 12". Playbill. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  24. ^ Amber Gray, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Ryan McCartan, More Featured in Industry Reading of Into the Wild Musical
  25. ^ Tony Awards awards and nominations Archived August 31, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved January 24, 2010
  26. ^ Awards list, retrieved January 24, 2010
  27. ^ 1974–75 Awards Archived July 4, 2008, at, retrieved January 24, 2010
  28. ^ Outer Critics Circle Award, 1974–75 Archived April 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved January 24, 2010
  29. ^ Drama Desk Awards, 1981–82 Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved January 24, 2010
  30. ^ Allen, Morgan."PHOTO CALL: Tony Winner Cullum and Son Celebrate 30 Years of Theatre at University of Tennessee" Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, September 20, 2004
  31. ^ Gans, Andrew (October 12, 2007). "Fierstein, O'Brien, Cullum and Ivey Among Theater Hall of Fame Inductees". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011.
  32. ^ Outer Critics Circle Award, 2001–02 Archived April 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved January 24, 2010
  33. ^ Simonson, Robert."Drama Desk Nominations Announced April 28" Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Playbill, April 28, 2005
  34. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 28, 2008). "Drama Desk Nominees Announced; Catered Affair Garners 12 Noms". Playbill. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 June 2024, at 00:48
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