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F. Murray Abraham

F. Murray AbrahamAKA Fahrid Murray Abraham

Born: 24-Oct-1939
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Mozart's antagonist in Amadeus

The name of actor F. Murray Abraham conjures up images of the half-mad composer Antonio Salieri in the film Amadeus (for which he won an Oscar as Best Actor) or the gargoyle-like inquisitor in The Name of the Rose. In his most widely-seen performance, however, Abraham played the talking leaf in TV commercials for Fruit of the Loom.

His grandfather was a legendary singer in his village in Syria, and his father was the only son to survive the famine in Syria during World War I. His father emigrated, met and married an Italian-American woman, and Abraham was born as WWII started gearing up. It has been suggested that Abraham's mellifluous speaking voice is a hereditary gift from his late grandfather. After studying with prestigious drama teacher Uta Hagen, Abraham made his stage debut in a 1966 Los Angeles production of Ray Bradbury's The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. The next year, he made his off-Broadway debut in The Fantasticks with Jerry Orbach and Nancy Allen. Abraham supported his family as an actor for more than ten years, and made more than ten films including All the President's Men and Scarface, before becoming famous. His breakthrough film was Amadeus, for which he learned to play the piano, read music, and conduct a symphony.

While he is known for his serious dramatic performances, Abraham has done fine work in other genres as well. He was memorable as the "screaming queen" in The Ritz, a Broadway comedy that was made into a film in 1976. And in Arnold Schwarzenegger's underrated, overblown The Last Action Hero, Abraham spoofed his own image when his character was pegged as the murderer because he looked "like the guy that killed Mozart".

During the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Abraham took part in an oddly artistic protest, as actors read and performed Aristophanes's Lysistrata in 900 venues in 56 countries. In the classical play, complete with bawdy humor and prosthetic phalluses, the women of Athens object to war with Sparta by withholding their sexual favors until the men relent.

Father: Fahrid Abraham (auto mechanic)
Mother: Josephine Abraham (housewife)
Wife: Kate Hannan (m. 1962, two children)

    University: University of Texas at Austin
    Professor: Brooklyn College (1985-)

    Oscar for Best Actor 1985 for Amadeus
    Golden Globe 1985 for Amadeus
    Italian Ancestry
    Syrian Ancestry

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    The Grand Budapest Hotel (6-Feb-2014)
    Inside Llewyn Davis (19-May-2013)
    Dead Man Down (8-Mar-2013)
    Perestroika (20-Mar-2009)
    Carnera: The Walking Mountain (22-Apr-2008)
    Shark Swarm (9-Mar-2008)
    The Final Inquiry (13-Dec-2006)
    The Bridge of San Luis Rey (22-Dec-2004)
    Five Moons Plaza (9-May-2003)
    The Hire: Ticker (7-Nov-2002)
    Joshua (19-Apr-2002)
    Thir13en Ghosts (23-Oct-2001)
    The Knights Who Made the Enterprise (6-Apr-2001)
    Finding Forrester (19-Dec-2000) · Crawford
    The Darkling (14-Aug-2000)
    Excellent Cadavers (16-Oct-1999)
    The All New Adventures of Laurel & Hardy in "For Love or Mummy" (31-Aug-1999)
    Muppets From Space (14-Jul-1999) · Noah
    Noah's Ark (2-May-1999) · Lot
    Esther (29-Mar-1999)
    Star Trek: Insurrection (11-Dec-1998) · Ru'afo
    Color of Justice (7-Sep-1997) · Jim Sullivan
    Mimic (22-Aug-1997) · Dr. Gates
    Looking for Richard (5-Jul-1996) · Himself
    Children of the Revolution (15-Jun-1996) · Stalin
    Dead Man's Walk (12-May-1996)
    Mighty Aphrodite (13-Sep-1995)
    Dillinger and Capone (1995)
    Nostradamus (18-Aug-1994)
    Surviving the Game (15-Apr-1994) · Wolfe, Sr.
    Last Action Hero (18-Jun-1993) · John Practice
    Journey to the Center of the Earth (28-Feb-1993)
    Loaded Weapon 1 (5-Feb-1993)
    Mobsters (26-Jul-1991) · Arnold Rothstein
    By the Sword (1991)
    An Innocent Man (6-Oct-1989)
    Intimate Power (9-Aug-1989) · Abdul Hamid
    Beyond the Stars (31-Mar-1989)
    Slipstream (10-Feb-1989)
    The Third Solution (17-Mar-1988)
    The Name of the Rose (24-Sep-1986) · Bernardo Gui
    Amadeus (6-Sep-1984) · Antonio Salieri
    Scarface (9-Dec-1983) · Omar
    The Big Fix (6-Oct-1978) · Eppis
    Madman (1978)
    The Ritz (8-Jul-1977)
    All the President's Men (7-Apr-1976) · Sgt. Leeper
    The Sunshine Boys (6-Nov-1975) · Mechanic
    The Prisoner of Second Avenue (14-Mar-1975)
    They Might Be Giants (9-Jun-1971)



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