Saturday, July 9, 2016

To Absent Friends - John McMartin (UPDATED)

John McMartin

I saw the obituary in the Post-Gazette this morning for actor John McMartin, who died earlier in the week at the age of 86.  It was kind of jarring to see this because I had just seen McMartin on television the other night when I watched the terrific 1976 movie, "All The President's Men".

McMartin was best known a stage actor on Broadway.  He was nominated for Tony Awards on five different occasions.  He also made numerous television appearances on shows such as Murder, She Wrote, Beauty and the Beast, Golden Girls, Cheers, and on and on.  Interestingly, he didn't enjoy doing movie work, so he made relatively few feature films.  

I can remember seeing John McMartin perform in a play in Pittsburgh many years ago, and for the life of me, I cannot recall the name of it.  It was a two character play that traced the life of two people from meeting, falling in love, marrying, having children, surviving an affair, and knowing that they were, in the end, perfect for each other.  It was great show, and it is going to drive me nuts until I remember what the name of that show was.

John McMartin was one of those guys whose name you might not recognize, but you have all seen him a million times over the years.  A solid performer.

RIP John McMartin.

UPDATE (several hours later):  The play that I could not remember seeing in Pittsburgh starring John McMartin was "I Do, I Do", a musical adaptation of a play called "The Four Poster".  When I wrote this memory of Mr. McMartin earlier today, I posted it, as I always do, on both Facebook and Twitter.  Lo and behold, my tweet was seen and responded to by Susan McMartin, the daughter of John McMartin, and she told me that the show was, indeed, "I Do, I Do".  I am honored that Miss McMartin would take time during this period in her life to respond like that, and I extend sincere sympathies to her and her family over their loss.

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