Patti LuPone and Joel Grey Join Star-Studded "Oz" Cast

By Andrew Gans
May 8, 2002

Add Tony winners Patti LuPone and Joel Grey to the stellar list of actors who have played recurring roles on the acclaimed TV series "Oz."

Add Tony winners Patti LuPone and Joel Grey to the stellar list of actors who have played recurring roles on the acclaimed TV series "Oz."

LuPone, the Tony-winning star of Evita, will play an archivist in the prison library during the upcoming final season of the HBO jailhouse series. Grey, who was last on Broadway in the Tony-winning revival of Chicago, will star as one of the Oz inmates.

LuPone is doing double-duty these days, filming "Oz" by day in New Jersey and starring in Noises Off eight times a week at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. An Olivier Award winner for her work in the London productions of Les MisÚrables and The Cradle Will Rock, LuPone's Broadway credits include the aforementioned Evita as well as The Old Neighborhood, Master Class, Anything Goes, The Robber Bridegroom, Working and Oliver!. She also headlined two solo concerts, Patti LuPone On Broadway and Matters of the Heart, and received glowing notices for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the Lincoln Center concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

Grey is, perhaps, best known for his Tony-winning performance as the Emcee in the original Broadway production of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret, a role he re-created on film to Oscar-winning effect. He earned Tony nominations for his work in George M!, Goodtime Charley and The Grand Tour and has also appeared in a slew of television and film productions. Grey also received an Emmy nomination for his guest-starring role on TV's "Brooklyn Bridge" and is the father of actress Jennifer Grey.

In related news: When LuPone begins her role, the "Oz" cast will boast three former Norma Desmonds: LuPone, who created the role in the original London production of Sunset Boulevard and nabbed an Olivier Award nomination for her work; Betty Buckley, who starred in the London and Broadway productions of the musical and also garnered an Olivier nomination; and Rita Moreno, who played a brief stint in the London company during Petula Clark's vacation. Buckley portrays Suzanne Fitzgerald, an inmate's mother, on the series and Moreno is a prison nun/therapist, Sister Peter Marie Reimondo.

The final series of "Oz" is scheduled for a January 2003 debut on HBO. Among the many other theatre stars who have appeared on the celebrated, gritty series are Brian F. O'Byrne, Milo O'Shea, Austin Pendleton, Ben Vereen, Mary Alice, Patrick Breen, Charles Busch, Philip Casnoff, Edie Falco and series regular B. D. Wong.