Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ken Howard

Kenneth Joseph "KenHoward, Jr.

March 28, 1944 – March 23, 2016
Ken Howard was born in El Centro, California, the son of Martha Carey (née McDonald) and Kenneth Joseph Howard, Sr., the older of their two sons. His younger brother, the late Don Howard, was also an actor. His approximately 6-foot 6-inch (1.98 m) stature earned him the nickname "Stork" as a high school student.
He grew up in Manhasset, New York. Howard had basketball in his blood well before The White Shadowdebuted. The nickname "The White Shadow" was given to him by the Long Island press in 1961, as Howard was the only Caucasian starter on the Manhasset High School varsity basketball team.
A member of the National Honor Society in high school, Howard turned down several offers of basketball scholarships in favor of a more focused academic education. He was a graduate of Amherst College, where he served as captain of the basketball team. He was also a member of the a cappella singing group, "The Zumbyes." He attended Yale School of Drama but left to make his Broadway debut before completing his master's degree.

Howard began his career on Broadway in Promises, Promises with Jerry Orbach. In 1970, he won a Tony Awardas Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for Child's Play. Howard later starred on Broadway as Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and reprised the role in the 1972 film. His other Broadway appearances included Seesaw in 1973 and The Norman Conquests. Howard portrayed several U.S. presidents in the 1975 Broadway musical1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and appeared as Warren G. Harding in Camping with Henry and Tom in 1995. He appeared in legitimate theater in many cities, most recently as Tip O'Neill in a one-man show According to Tip, at the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, Massachusetts.
On television, Howard appeared as Ken Reeves, a Los Angeles high school basketball coach, in The White Shadow,produced by Bruce Paltrow in 1978. Howard had the starring role in the 1973 TV series Adam's Rib opposite his good friend, and Bruce Paltrow's wife, Blythe Danner (who also played wife Martha to his Thomas Jefferson in the film 1776). He starred inThe Manhunter, an American crime drama that was part of CBS's lineup for the 1974–1975 television season. The series was produced by Quinn Martin and starred Howard as Dave Barret, a 1930s-era private investigator from Idaho. He starred in the TV movie Father Damien in 1980 and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1981 for his performance as the ideal father in the CBS afternoon special The Body Human: Facts for Boys. Howard's admitional credits included "Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels, 1983," the 2000 miniseries Perfect Murder, Perfect Town and the feature film Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story, both co-starring Kris Kristofferson. He played the title character in the 1984 American Playhouse production of Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson, having earlier played Mark Twain on Bonanza. Later, he appeared as Garrett Boydston in Dynasty and its spin-off The Colbys. In the early 1990s, he appeared on the television series Murder, She Wrote with Angela Lansbury, and later in Crossing Jordan as Jill Hennessy's father from 2001 to 2004. In 2007, he appeared as the primary villain in the critically acclaimed series Cane with Jimmy Smits.

Howard guest-starred on numerous television dramas. He was guest villain in Hart to Hart Returns, a 1993 made-for-TV movie starring Stefanie Powers andRobert Wagner. He also appeared in season one of The West Wing as President Bartlett's first choice for U.S. Supreme Court Justice in the episode "The Short List". His other dramatic guest roles included; 'NYPD Blue, The Practice, Boston Legal, Cold Case, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Brothers and Sisters,Law & Order: SVU, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fairly Legal, Crossing Jordan,The Closer and Blue Bloods. He appeared in an episode of The Golden Girls as one of Blanche's many lovers, in The Office as Michael's former boss, and on 30 Rock as Hank Hooper, Jack Donaghy's boss from Kabletown.
Howard made his movie debut in 1970, in Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, opposite Liza Minnelli. Numerous movie roles followed, in both dramatic and comedic roles, including: Oscar with Sylvester Stallone in 1991, Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford in 1994, The Net with Sandra Bullock in 1995 and In Her Shoes in 2005. In 2007, Howard appeared again with Sylvester Stallone in Rambo, and in Michael Clayton as the villain to George Clooney's hero. In 2010, he starred in The Numbers Game with Steven Bauer. He next appeared as Harlan F. Stone in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar.
He gave an acclaimed performance as Phelan Beale in the 2009 HBO film Grey Gardens, playing opposite Jessica Lange, for which he received an Emmy Award.

Howard was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in September 2009 and elected to a second term in September 2011. Howard was the president of SAG-AFTRA (after Screen Actors Guild merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists).
Howard is the author of the 2003 book Act Natural: How to Speak to Any Audience, based on the drama courses he has taught at Harvard University. He is was a popular reader for audiobooks.

Good Night Mr. President

Stay Tuned 

Tony Figueroa
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