EMMYS 2017: Before He Was Homeland’s Saul, Mandy Patinkin Was Broadway’s Great Leading Man

Special Features   EMMYS 2017: Before He Was Homeland’s Saul, Mandy Patinkin Was Broadway’s Great Leading Man
Playbill looks back on the 2017 Emmy nominee’s theatre roots.
Mandy Patinkin
Mandy Patinkin Courtesy NJPAC

A graduate of the Juilliard School, the man now famous for his counterterrorism tactics on Showtime’s Homeland began with a foundation in the classics of theatre.


Patinkin made his Broadway debut in 1975 as Mr. Arthur Gower in the comedy Trelawny of the ‘Wells,’ a show whose cast also included John Lithgow and Meryl Streep in their early days. Just weeks after the play closed, Patinkin was cast in Broadway’s Hamlet as Fortinbras. The actor earned one more credit in a Broadway straight play before he broke out in musical theatre.

His first major success was his portrayal of Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, directed by Hal Prince and starring Patti LuPone in the title role. Patinkin’s powerful yet ethereal tenor and masterful performance earned him the 1980 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.

Hollywood scooped him up temporarily, pairing him opposite Barbra Streisand in Yentl and casting him in Ragtime.

But in 1984, Stephen Sondheim came calling. Patinkin worked alongside the master to originate the role of Georges Seurat in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George, which earned the actor another Tony nomination. His “Finishing the Hat” is now a musical theatre standard.

After another break (and appearances in films like The Princess Bride and Dick Tracy), Patinkin originated the role of Archibald Craven in 1991’s The Secret Garden, where he cemented “Lily’s Eyes” as one of the great male duets of the musical theatre canon. After earning a Drama Desk nomination for that performance, he hopped over to Falsettos to step in as a Marvin replacement.

Broadway had a hard time holding on to Patinkin for longer engagements, but he did perform a special concert of Sunday in the Park in 1994 and a solo concert Mandy Patinkin in Concert: “Mamaloshen” in 1998 before originating the role of Burrs on Broadway in The Wild Party.

Since then, Patinkin has been back for three separate Broadway concert engagements: Mandy Patinkin in Concert, Celebrating Sondheim, and An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.

Patinkin’s 2017 Emmy nomination marks his sixth nod—his third for Homeland. He previously won the statue in 1995 for his work as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on Chicago Hope.

Tune in to the 69th Annual Emmy Awards September 17 on CBS.


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