F. Murray Abraham Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Childhood and Early Life
American actor F. Murray Abraham was born Murray Abraham on the 24 October 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Josephine Stello and Frederick Abraham. His father’s family were from Syria, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. He was raised in El Paso, Texas.
After graduating from high school, F. Murray Abraham enrolled at the University of Texas where he studied drama.
Rise to Fame
F. Murray Abraham relocated to Los Angeles and made his first stage appearance in The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1965). He then moved across to New York City and made his off-Broadway debut in The Fantasticks (1966). His Broadway debut was The Man in the Glass Booth (1966).
Continuing with his stage work, F. Murray Abraham also began acting on television and in films. His film debut was in They Might Be Giants (1971), and he had an uncredited role in Serpico (1973). He went on to act in The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975) as a taxi driver and in The Sunshine Boys (1975) as a car mechanic. In 1976, he played Paul Leeper in All The President’s Me, Chris in a film adaptation of The Ritz (1976) and Eppis in The Big Fix (1978).
During the 1980s, he was in Scarface (1983). Then in 1985, Abraham won an Academy Award for Best Actor as well as a Golden Globe Best Actor for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1984). Other roles in the 1980s include Bernardo Gui in The Name of the Rose (1986), Father Carafa in The Third Solution (1988), Cornelius in Slipstream (1989), Dr Harry Bertram in Beyond the Stars (1989), Abdul Hamid in The Favorite (1989 and Virgil Cane in An Innocent Man (1989).
During the 1990s and 2000s films F. Murray Abraham appeared in include The Battle of the Three Kings (1990), Money (1991), Last Action Hero (1993), Nostradamus (1994), Children of the Revolution (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), Finding Forrester (2000), The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004), The Inquiry (2006), The Unseen World (2010), Dead Man Down (2013), The Mystery of Dante (2014) and Isle of Dogs (2018).
Broadway appearances include The Ritz (1975-1976), Legend (1976), Teibele and Her Demon (1979-1980), Macbeth (1986-1987), Angels in America (1994), A Month in the Country (1995), Triumph of Love (1997-1998), Mauritius (2007) and It’s Only a Play (2015-2015).
He appeared in the West End as Benjamin Rubin in The Mentor (2017). Off-Broadway productions he has acted in include The Fantasticks (1967), Landscape of the Body (1977), Uncle Vanya (1983-1984), Twelfth Night (1986), Waiting for Godot (1988), A Life in the Theatre (1992), King Lear (1996), The Jew of Malta (2007), The Merchant of Venice (2011) Nathan the Wise (2016).
Between 2012 and 2018, F. Murray Abraham played the role of Dar Adal in 39 episodes of Homeland. He has appeared in numerous other television shows including Burl Preston in 4 episodes of The Good Wife (2011-2014), an episode of Bored to Death (2010), the narrator of Kingdom of David: The Saga of the Israelites (2003), Pompeii: The Last Day (2003), NOVA - Newton’s Dark Secrets (2005) and In the Valley of the Wolves (2007).
Awards and Achievements
F. Murray Abraham was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2015. He is the recipient of many awards and nominations including a 2011 Obie Award for his performance on stage in The Merchant of Venice. For Amadeus (1984) he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe, the 1985 Albert Schweitzer Award for Classic Film Acting and a BAFTA nomination.
In 2015, he was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Italy recognised Abraham by presenting him with the Premio per gli Italiani nel Mondo prize which is awarded by the Italian government and the Marzio Tremaglia Foundation to distinguished members of the Italian diaspora. Abraham also won The Gielgud Award in 2010. For his portrayal of Dar Adal in Homeland, he has twice been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2015 and 2018).
F. Murray Abraham married Kate Hannan in 1962. The couple have two children, Jamili and Mick.