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John Ford Noonan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Ford Noonan Jr. (October 7, 1941 – December 16, 2018) was an American playwright. He also wrote for theater, film and television, and he was an actor.[1] His father worked as a jazz musician. He has four children.[2] His brother, Tom Noonan, is an actor and writer.[3] He was born in Greenwich, Connecticut.[4][5]


In 1969, his highly acclaimed Lincoln Center Theater production, The Year Boston Won the Pennant, won an Obie Award, and garnered a Theatre World Award nomination and a Pulitzer Prize nomination.[6][7] In the 1970s several of his plays were produced by Joseph Papp at The Public Theatre, including Older People, which won a Drama Desk Award; Rainbows For Sale, which won an Obie Award; Where Do We Go From Here?; Getting Through The Night and All the Sad Protestants.[8][9][10] The Club Champion’s Widow, starring Maureen Stapleton, was produced at the Robert Lewis Acting Company. A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking was produced at the Astor Place Theatre in New York, it starred Susan Sarandon and Eileen Brennan and ran for more than 800 performances.[11][2] His play, Some Men Need Help, was originally produced in New York City at the 47th Street Theatre; it starred Philip Bosco and Treat Williams.[12]

Stay Away a Little Closer starring the author's daughter, Jesse Sage Noonan, and When It Comes Early starring Harris Yulin and Kathleen Chalfant were both produced at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City.[13][14]

Noonan wrote over 35 plays and was inducted into the French Society of Composers and Authors in 1989.[6]

He wrote for TV’s Comedy Zone in the early 1980s and St. Elsewhere, for which his episode, The Women, won the 1982 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. His second Emmy nomination was for his TV adaptation of his play Some Men Need Help.[2]


As an actor, he appeared on stage, notably in 1990 at the Actors’ Playhouse in New York, when he appeared in his own play, Talking Things Over with Chekhov, in which he played a character who is also a playwright, who comes home one night to find Anton Chekhov sitting in his rocking chair.[15] He has also appeared in a number of films, including Uncle Freddy (2008), My Divorce (1997), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Adventures in Babysitting (1987), Forty Deuce (1982), Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976), and Septuagenarian Substitute Ball (1970). In the film, God Has a Rap Sheet (2003), Noonan plays the title character, God, who has taken on the persona of a former literature professor.[16] He also appeared in the TV series Bay State (1991).[17]

Personal life and death

Noonan was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Rita (McGannon), a mathematics teacher, and John Noonan, Sr., a jazz musician and doctor of dental surgery.[18] Noonan was married to Marcia Lunt, whom he divorced in 1968 and had one child with Lynn Cohen, who he was with in the late 70s. He had three children, a son (Chris Howell) and two daughters (Tracy Howell and Jesse Sage Noonan). He died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey on December 16, 2018 at the age of 77 from heart failure.[18]


  • All She Cares About Is The Yankees (1988)
  • All the Sad Protestants
  • The Club Champion's Widow (1978)
  • Concerning The Effects Of Trimethylchloride (1971)
  • A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking (1979)
  • A Critic And His Wife (1997)
  • Drowning Of Manhattan (1992)
  • The Effects of Trimethylchloride (1972)
  • Getting Through The Night (1976)
  • Good-By And Keep Cold (1973)
  • Green Mountain (1987)
  • Hetrosexual Temperature In West Hollywood (1987)
  • Lazarus Was A Lady (1970)
  • Linger
  • Listen To The Lions (1979)
  • Mom Sells Twins For Two Beers (1987)
  • Monday Night Varieties (1972)
  • Music From Down the Hill (1993)
  • My Daddy's Serious American Gift (1989)
  • A Noonan Night (1973)
  • Nothing But Bukowski (1987)
  • Older People (1972)
  • Pick Pack Pock Puck (1974)
  • Rainbows For Sale (1971)
  • Raunchy Dame In The Chines Raincoat (1987)
  • Recent Developments In Southern Connecticut (1990)
  • Sneaky Bit To Raise The Blind (1974)
  • Some Men Need Help (1982)
  • Spanish Confusion (1987)
  • Stay Away A Little Closer (1990)
  • Talking Things Over With Chekhov (1987)
  • What Drove Me Back To Reconsidering My Father (1988)
  • When It Comes Early (1995)
  • Where Do We Go From Here? (1974)
  • Why Can't You Be Him? (1987)
  • The Year Boston Won The Pennant (1969)[9]


  1. ^ Spencer, Stuart. John Ford Noonan. Bomb Magazine. Issue 28. Summer 1989. [1]
  2. ^ a b c Noonan, John Ford. Music from Down the Hill: A Comic Drama in Two Acts. Samuel French, Inc. 1995
  3. ^ "Tom Noonan Biography (1951-)". Retrieved Jul 12, 2021.
  4. ^ Arkatov, Janice. A Catcher of the Wry : John Ford Noonan is still fielding emotions to help him develop insight into characters that populate his plays. The Los Angeles Times. 19 March 1989. [2]
  5. ^ Noonan, John Ford. Some Men Need Help. Samuel French, Inc. 1983
  6. ^ a b Young, Glen, ed. The Best American Short Plays 1998-1999. Applause Theatre Book Publisher. 2001. page 157 [3]
  7. ^ Guernsey, Otis. Curtain Times: The New York Theatre, 1965-1987. Applause Theatre Books. 1987. page 135 [4]
  8. ^ Noonan, John Ford. All She Cares About is the Yankees. From the introduction by Samuel French, Inc. [5]
  9. ^ a b "Doollee . com website". Retrieved Jul 12, 2021.
  10. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. American Theatre : A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama, 1969-2000. Oxford University Press. 2001. page 47. [6]
  11. ^ Rich, Frank. Stage: ‘White Chicks’; Transplanted Texan. New York Times. 2 May 1980.
  12. ^ Rich, Frank. Theater: ‘Some Men,’ a Story of Alcoholism. New York Times. 29 October 1982.
  13. ^ Nemy, Enid. On Stage. The New York Times. 15 June 1990
  14. ^ Marks, Peter. Making It to Dartmought With That Old Moxie. New York Times. 7 June 1997.
  15. ^ Gussow, Mel. Two Characters in Search of an Offstage Chekhov. New York Times. 13 May 1990.
  16. ^ Kehr, Dave. Film Review; Yet Another Celebrity Behind Bars. The New York Times. 5 February 2003.
  17. ^ "John Ford Noonan". IMDb. Retrieved Jul 12, 2021.
  18. ^ a b Genzlinger, Neil (Dec 19, 2018). "John Ford Noonan, 'Coupla White Chicks' Playwright, Dies at 77". Retrieved Jul 12, 2021 – via

External links

This page was last edited on 12 July 2021, at 05:45
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