Three-time Tony Award nominee and Theater Hall of Fame inductee Brian Murray currently stars in Mat Schaffer's new thriller Simon Says at The Culture Project’s Lynn Redgrave Theater. Here, the acclaimed actor shares the performances that most affected him as part of the audience. Murray told Playbill.com, “There are so many, and if I leave anyone out, please accept my profoundly respected apologies.”
The only actor I have ever known who can get a laugh when he forgets his lines. He is the greatest light comedian I have ever seen. I directed him as well in The Circle.
Paul Scofield in A Man For All Seasons
…for his truth, elegance, and simplicity. He was my favorite actor; he did all the things that I long to do, and he did everything I honored as an actor. He was simple and never phony and underplayed everything. Something I wanted to do but never was able to achieve. I have acted with him as well. In King Lear. Paul, my beloved Paul.
A presence of grace and charm, witty and skilled beyond belief, spread warmth around like a blanket. I directed her in Hay Fever.
Barnard Hughes in Da
[It] was a perfect Tony-winning performance; I played his son. He gave love to his fellow cast members and to the audience. Entirely adorable.
Marian Seldes as Woman in The Play about the Baby
[The play] premiered in 1998 at Malvern Theatres—we performed together in this production—and in everything I ever did with her or could imagine doing with her, on or off Broadway. She was the perfect lady of the theatre.
Roberta Maxwell in Ashes
She is a double-edged genius.
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson in the 1973 production of The Waltz of the Toreadors
…which I had a good fortune to direct. The wonder of them as a team, how they coexisted on stage. Eli gave one of those performances that made me cry, just out of the sheer brilliance of it.
Brian Bedford in The Importance of Being Earnest, and anything else.
Brian was my oldest friend in the business and my reason for coming into this country in the first place and staying here. I always thought he was the best light comedian of his age. He was a brilliant stylistic actor.
The best listener on stage I have ever known.…She is better at solo shows than anyone I know. And she's wonderful to act with and to direct.
Liam Neeson in The Crucible
…which was magnificent, although I only saw the bits I was on stage for. Liam was a mighty gentle giant with amazing vulnerability.