Mandy Patinkin

Mandy Patinkin
Mandy Patinkin

Mandy Patinkin, June 2008
Born Mandel Bruce Patinkin
November 30, 1952 (1952-11-30) (age 58)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Singer
Years active 1970–present
Spouse Kathryn Grody (1980-present)

Mandel Bruce "Mandy" Patinkin (play /pəˈtɪŋkɨn/; born November 30, 1952) is an award-winning American actor of stage and screen and a tenor vocalist.[1][2] Patinkin is a noted interpreter of the music of Stephen Sondheim and is known for his work in musical theatre, originating iconic roles such as Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park with George, Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden, Burrs in The Wild Party and Che in the original Broadway production of Evita.

He has also appeared in television series such as Chicago Hope, Dead Like Me and the first two seasons of Criminal Minds. He currently plays Saul Berenson in the Showtime series Homeland.

Patinkin's most noted film role was as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. Other noteworthy film roles include Alien Nation, Yentl, Men With Guns, Run Ronnie Run, Dick Tracy, and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.


Early years

Patinkin was born in Chicago, Illinois, of Russian and Polish Jewish descent, the son of Doris "Doralee" Sinton, a homemaker, and Lester Patinkin, who worked for the People's Iron & Metal Company and the Scrap Corporation of America.[3][4] His mother wrote Grandma Doralee Patinkin's Jewish Family Cookbook.[4] Patinkin is a cousin of Mark Patinkin, author and nationally syndicated columnist for The Providence Journal, and Jason "Dink" Patinkin, President of Columbia University's EarthCo. One of his other cousins is Sheldon Patinkin of Columbia College Chicago's Theater Department and a founder of The Second City.

Patinkin grew up in a middle class Jewish family and was raised in Conservative Judaism,[2][5][6] attending religious school daily "from the age of seven to 13 or 14" and singing in synagogue choirs, as well as attending the Camp Surah in Michigan.[2] He attended South Shore High School, Kenwood Academy (1970 graduate), the University of Kansas, and Juilliard School. At Juilliard, he was a classmate of Kelsey Grammer. When the producers of the popular American sitcom Cheers were auditioning for the role of Dr. Frasier Crane, Patinkin put Grammer's name forward.


After some TV commercial and radio appearances, including the CBS Radio Mystery Theater in 1974, Patinkin had his first success in musical theater,[1] where he played the part of Che in Evita on Broadway in 1979. Patinkin went on to win that year's Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical.[1][2] He then moved to film, playing parts in movies such as Yentl[2] and Ragtime. He returned to Broadway in 1984 to star in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George, which saw him earn another Tony Award nomination for Best Actor (Musical).[2]

Patinkin played Inigo Montoya in Rob Reiner's 1987 The Princess Bride[2] (which Patinkin considers his favorite role), in which he delivers the iconic line, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Patinkin found his studies a huge asset in The Princess Bride, playing the role of the best swordsman in the country, short of the main character, and part of his role included proficiency in fencing, at a professional level. Over the next decade he continued to appear in various movies, such as Dick Tracy and Alien Nation.

On Broadway, over the next decade, he appeared in the Tony Award-winning musical The Secret Garden for 706 performances. He also released two solo albums, titled Mandy Patinkin and Dress Casual.

In 1994, he took the role of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on CBS' Chicago Hope[2] for which he won an Emmy Award. However, despite the award and the ratings success of the show, Patinkin left the show during the second season, as he was unhappy spending so much time away from his wife. He returned to the show in 1999 at the beginning of the sixth season, but it was later cancelled in 2000. Since Chicago Hope, Patinkin has appeared in a number of films. However, he has mostly performed as a singer, releasing three more albums. In 1995 he guest starred in The Simpsons in the episode "Lisa's Wedding" as Hugh Parkfield, Lisa's future English groom.

In 1998, he debuted his most personal project, Mamaloshen, a collection of traditional, classic, and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish[2] ("Mamaloshen" is Yiddish for "mother tongue"). The stage production of Mamaloshen was performed on and off–Broadway, and has toured throughout the country. The recording of Mamaloshen won the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis (Germany’s equivalent of the Grammy Award).

In 1999 he co-starred in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland as the villainous Huxley, who tries to steal Elmo's blanket. [7] He returned to Broadway in 2000 in the New York Shakespeare Festival's The Wild Party, earning another Tony Award nomination for Best Actor (Musical). Recently, he has also been seen in the Showtime comedy-drama Dead Like Me as Rube Sofer. In 2004, he played a six–week engagement of his one–man concert at the Off Broadway complex Dodger Stages.

In September 2005, he debuted in the role of Jason Gideon, an experienced profiler just coming back to work after a series of nervous breakdowns, in the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.[1]

Patinkin was absent from a table read for Criminal Minds and did not return for a third season.[8] The departure from the show was not due to contractual or salary matters, but over creative differences.[1][9] Many weeks before his departure, in a videotaped interview carried in the online magazine Monaco Revue, Patinkin told journalists at the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo that he loathed violence on television and was uncomfortable with certain scenes in Criminal Minds. He also spoke of having planned to tour the world with a musical and wanting to inject more comedy into the entertainment business.[10] The dark and violent nature of the show got to be too much for Patinkin,[11] and in later episodes during the 2007-2008 season, Patinkin's character was written out of the series. He was replaced by Special Agent David Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna.

On October 14, 2009, it was announced that Patinkin would be a guest-star on an episode of Three Rivers, which aired on November 15, 2009. He played a patient with Lou Gehrig's Disease injured in a car accident who asks the doctors at Three Rivers hospital to pull him off life support so his organs can be donated. He filmed an appearance on The Whole Truth that had been scheduled to air December 15, 2010, but ABC pulled the series from its schedule two weeks prior.[12]

He starred in the new musical Paradise Found, co-directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman, at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London. The musical played a limited engagement, from May 2010 through June 26.[13]

The Associated Press reported on August 1, 2011 that Patinkin will team up with his former Evita co-star Patti Lupone to bring their concert "An Evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin" to Broadway for a limited 63 performance run starting November 21, 2011 at the Barrymore theatre. This teaming will mark the first time the pair will perform on a Broadway stage since Evita. [14]

Personal life

Patinkin married actress and writer Kathryn Grody in 1980. They have two sons, Isaac and Gideon. Gideon joined his father onstage in Dress Casual in 2011.[15]

Patinkin suffered from keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease, in the mid-1990s. This led to two corneal transplants, his right cornea in 1997 and his left in 1998.[16] He also was diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer in 2004.[17] He celebrated his first year of recovery in 2005 by doing a 280-mile charity bike ride with his son Isaac — the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride: Cycling for Peace, Partnership & Environmental Protection.[18] He subsequently joined the boards of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon.

Patinkin has been involved in a variety of Jewish causes and cultural activities. He sings in Yiddish, often in concert, and on his album Mamaloshen.[19] He also wrote introductions for two books on Jewish culture, The Jewish American Family Album, by Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler, and Grandma Doralee Patinkin's Holiday Cookbook: A Jewish Family's Celebrations, by his mother, Doralee Patinkin Rubin. He is an avid toy train hobbyist.

Patinkin contributed to the children's book Dewey Doo-it Helps Owlie Fly Again: A Musical Storybook inspired by Christopher Reeve prior to Christopher and Dana Reeve's deaths. The award winning book, published in 2005, benefits the Christopher Reeve Foundation and includes an audio CD with Patinkin singing and reading the story as well as Dana Reeve and Bernadette Peters singing.[20]

Patinkin's song Coffee in a Cardboard Cup is a frequent fixture in comedian Jimmy Pardo's live shows and podcast.


  • 1980: Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical - Evita
  • 1987: CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Theatrical or Dramatic Special - Sunday in the Park with George
  • 1995: Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series - Chicago Hope
  • 1984: Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture in a Comedy/Musical - Yentl
  • 1990: Saturn Awards Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Supporting Actor - Alien Nation
  • 1995: Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Drama - Chicago Hope
  • 1995: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series - Chicago Hope
  • 1996: Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - The Larry Sanders Show: "Eight"
  • 1999: Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Chicago Hope: "Curing Cancer"
  • 2003: DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song in a DVD, Premiere Movie - Run Ronnie Run: "How High the Mountain"



Other theater
  • Enemy of the People (Williamstown Theater Festival)
  • Henry IV, Part I
  • The Winter's Tale
  • The Knife
  • Leave It to Beaver is Dead
  • Trelawny of the Wells (1975) – Mr. Arthur Gower
  • Hamlet (1975–76) – Fortinbras, Player King
  • Rebel Woman
  • The Shadow Box (1977) – Mark
  • The Split and Savages
  • Myths and Hymns
  • The Tempest (2008) (Classic Stage Company)
  • Compulsion (by Rinne Groff) (2010) (Yale Repertory Theatre) - Sid Silver
  • Paradise Found (2010) (Menier Chocolate Factory, London, UK) - Eunuch
  • Compulsion (by Rinne Groff) (2010) (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) - Sid Silver
  • Compulsion (by Rinne Groff) (2011) (The Public Theatre) - Sid Silver




Television commercials


Patinkin can also be heard in Adam Guettel's Myths and Hymns, the Leonard Bernstein compilation Leonard Bernstein's New York (1996), Madonna's album I'm Breathless (1990), the studio cast recording of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific (1986), and the concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Follies in Follies in Concert (1985). He sings Sancho Panza to Placido Domingo's Don Quixote on studio recording of Man of La Mancha (1990).


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mandy, Patti-Real Cozy". Philadelphia Inquirer. 2 October. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Meet a guy called Mandy". Jewish Chronicle. 17 May 1996. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  3. ^ "Mandy Patinkin Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Mandy Patinkin Biography". Yahoo! Movies. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  5. ^ Danielle Berrin (31 January 2008). "Sondheim and Yiddish songs are ‘like prayer’ for Patinkin". JewishJournal. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  6. ^ "A Lifetime of Seders". JewishJournal. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  7. ^ "Criminal Minds Stars' Interview on Contract Talks". E! News Online. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Patinkin may be losing his 'Minds'". The Hollywood Reporter. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-06. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Criminal Minds, Mandy Patinkin Confirm Parting of Ways". TVGuide. Retrieved 2008-07-06. [dead link]
  10. ^ Videotaped interview with Monaco Revue
  11. ^ "Criminal Minds Stars' Interview-Contract Talks". E! Online. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Natalie Abrams. "Mandy Patinkin to Guest-Star on Three Rivers". 
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Strauss-Kissed Paradise Found Opens in London; Prince, Stroman, Nelson, Tunick and Fitzhugh Lead the Waltz", May 26, 2010
  14. ^
  15. ^ Pressley, Nelson. "Mandy Patinkin in concert at Strathmore". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6/11/2011. 
  16. ^ Moran, Reed W."Mandy Patinkin saves sight with corneal transplants"USA Today, March 6, 2001
  17. ^ Shipp, Laura."Mandy Patinkin - Actor, Singer, Prostate Cancer Survivor", January/February 2009
  18. ^ Staff "Mandy Patinkin to take to the road", May 22, 2005
  19. ^ Solomont, E.B."Broadway Star Mandy Patinkin Finds His Forte: Yiddish", June 10, 2005
  20. ^ "The Helpful Doo-its Project". Dooits-CReeve. Retrieved 2008-07-06. [dead link]

External links

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