Sam Wanamaker Biography (1919-1993)



Born June 14, 1919, in Chicago, IL (one source lists Seattle, WA); died of cancer, December 18, 1993, in London, England. Film, television, and stage actor and director. Despite a rich career in acting and directing, Wanamaker gained his greatest notice for his efforts to build an exact reconstruction of playwright William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Wanamaker developed his skillsas a stage actor in summer stock productions during the 1930s. By the 1950s he had expanded his talents to directing, including the plays Purple Dust andThe Threepenny Opera, as well as continuing his acting with such roles as Iago in Othello. Concurrent with his stage directing and acting, Wanamaker established a cinematic career, and he subsequently appeared in such films as Taras Bulba, The Concrete Jungle, and Private Benjamin. He also began acting on television by the 1970s, including a role in the award-winning drama Holocaust. Wanamaker's consuming passion, however, was building a replica of the openair Globe Theatre--originally erected and used in the seventeenth century--onthe banks of the Thames River. By the time of his death he had raised more than ten million dollars for his dream. Prior to his death, he was able to oversee the first stages of the theatre's construction, which was expected to becompleted in the spring of 1994. He was posthumously awarded the 1994 Society of London Theater Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Gender
Male
Occupation
actor, director
Birth Details
June 14, 1919
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Death Details
December 18, 1993
London, England

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