UPDATED: Tom Aldredge, the Tony-Nominated Actor of Passion, Little Foxes, On Golden Pond and More, Has Died

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22 Jul 2011

Tom Aldredge
Tom Aldredge

Tom Aldredge, the lean and reliable character actor of stage and screen, whose roles ranged from the Narrator/Mysterious Man of Into the Woods to elderly gents on "The Sopranos" and "Boardwalk Empire," died July 22 at a hospice in Tampa, FL, after a battle with lymphoma, his agent said.

Mr. Aldredge, 83, who was recently predeceased by his wife of more than 50 years, the costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge, had lived in Stamford, CT, until very recently. He had moved to Tampa to live with his nephew Tom Huddleston and his wife, Sylvia, who were with him when he died.

The Dayton, OH, native appeared in over 28 Broadway productions and received five Tony Award nominations (all but one in the Featured Actor category). His Broadway resume includes Twelve Angry Men, The Crucible, Tom Sawyer, 1776, Three Sisters Inherit the Wind, On Golden Pond (creating the role of cranky old dad Norman Thayer), The Iceman Cometh and Slapstick Tragedy. He earned Tony nominations for Twentieth Century (2004), the Stephen Sondheim musical Passion (1994), a revival of Where's Charley? (1975), The Little Foxes (1981, as Horace Giddens, opposite Elizabeth Taylor as Regina Giddens) and Sticks and Bones (in the Best Actor category, in 1972, for which he won a Drama Desk Award).

Broadway director Scott Ellis, reflecting on the work of Mr. Aldredge, told Playbill.com, "I was blessed to work with Tom many times. As both an actor and a person, there was truly nobody better. When I started casting 12 Angry Men, Tom was the first actor I asked to do it. I figured if I got him, everyone else would follow."

He added, "Several months ago, we had a 1776 reunion in honor of Tom. The entire company showed up. A month later, the same thing happened with the 12 Angry Men cast. That's how much Tom was loved."

James Lapine, who wrote the books to the musicals Into the Woods and Passion, which he also directed, told Playbill.com, "Tom Aldredge was a class act. Always a pleasure to work with. A real team player who gave his full concentration whether in rehearsal or on stage. A warm, smart and funny person, he brought depth and emotion to every role he played. I will never forget him singing 'No More' with Chip Zien during Into the Woods. It brought me to tears every time I heard it."

Off-stage, Mr. Aldredge was an avid sailor, his agent said. One holiday, he and his wife traveled the Greek Isles by sailboat together. He was also known to build radio-controlled airplanes and fly them on his property.

Mr. Aldredge appeared on seven seasons of TV's "The Sopranos," playing Hugh DeAngelis, Carmela's father. Other TV work includes "Boardwalk Empire," "Taking Chance" with Kevin Bacon, two seasons of "Damages," "O! Pioneers," "Third Watch" and "Henry Winkler Meets Shakespeare," for which he won an Emmy Award.

His films include "Cold Mountain," "Rounders," "Message in a Bottle," "Diminished Capacity" and more.