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Hume Cronyn Dies at 91


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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Peter Kline

Peter Kline

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Posted June 16 2003 - 08:46 AM

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Actor Hume Cronyn Dies

'Cocoon' Star Was Married To Jessica Tandy
The second half of a legendary acting couple has died.


Hume Cronyn, a veteran stage and screen actor who charmed audiences with his portrayals of irascible old men, died Monday of cancer in Fairfield, Conn., according to a family spokesman. He was 91.

Cronyn was married to the late actress Jessica Tandy, who died of cancer in 1994 at age 73. She and Cronyn were married from 1942 until the time of her death. The couple had two children together.

The duo starred together in "Foxfire" in 1983, "Cocoon" in 1985 and it's sequel, "Cocoon: The Return" in 1988. They also appeared together on Broadway in "The Gin Game" in 1978, a play that earned Tandy a Tony award.

On television, both he and Tandy, were Emmy Award nominees in 1994 for their performances in "Hallmark Hall of Fame: To Dance With the White Dog." Cronyn won the award for Best Actor in a Miniseries. In it, he played an elderly man whose dead wife's spirit returns in the form of a dog.

He also won another Emmy for the television movie "Christmas on Division Street."

Cronyn's work originated on the stage. He played a variety of characters, including a janitor in "Hippers' Holiday," in his Broadway debut in 1934; the gangster Elkus in "There's Always a Breeze," 1938; and Andrei Prozoroff, the brother in Chekov's "Three Sisters," 1939. He made his film debut in 1943 as the detective story addict Herbie Hawkins in Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt."

According to The Associated Press, after he appeared in Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" in 1944, a critic in the New York World-Telegram wrote, "Hume Cronyn is one of the most vivid young character actors to come along in Hollywood in quite a time."

He went on to take other film parts, both major and minor, appearing in numerous movies over the next 50 years, including: "Phantom of the Opera" in 1943; "The Postman Always Rings Twice" in 1946; "Cleopatra," 1963; "There Was a Crooked Man," 1970; and "The World According to Garp" in 1982.

Cronyn was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in "The Seventh Cross" in 1944.

Cronyn's other film credits included "Batteries Not Included" in 1985, "The Pelican Brief" in 1993 and "Camilla" in 1994. His last feature film role came in the title role in "Marvin's Room" in 1996, where he played an ailing father of two estranged sisters (Meyrl Streep and Diane Keaton).

The actor's last role was in the Hallmark company television movie "Off Season."

The fact that he played curmudgeons throughout his career wasn't lost on the veteran actor. According to AP, Cronyn joked about it with the New York Post in a 1987 interview saying, "I don't mind playing absolute bastards -- some of the best parts I've had have been heavies. I just don't want to play the grouch."

#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Jo_C

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Posted June 16 2003 - 10:34 AM

It is sad indeed about Mr. Daisy himself. Cronyn had a long and legendary career, and we are grateful to still see his work.

With condolences to his two children (one of which is J. Tandy Cronyn, actress/daughter who starred with her mom in the movie "Story Lady"), Hume Cronyn has now re-joined his wife Jessica Tandy in legendary status. May he rest well in his new dimension of rest until the Second Coming.

A toast, then, to Hume Cronyn. Long may his work in films live on.