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Philip Bosco, the Broadway veteran and Tony-winning actor also known for his big-screen work in such films as Working Girl and The Savages, died Monday night, his grandson, Luke Bosco, reported. He was 88.
Bosco, who appeared on Broadway in some 50 productions, won his Tony Award in 1989 for his performance as the general manager of a Cleveland opera company in the Ken Ludwig farce Lend Me a Tenor.
He received his first of six Tony nominations for his Broadway debut, Rape of the Belt, in 1960, and the last for his performance as angry Juror No. 3 (Lee J. Cobb in the acclaimed 1957 movie) in a 2004 production of Twelve Angry Men.
Bosco also appeared in 1961’s A Man for All Seasons, 1968’s King Lear, 1972’s The Crucible, 1973’s A Streetcar Named Desire, 1983’s The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (as Queeg), 1994’s An Inspector Calls, 1995’s The Heiress, 1995’s Moon Over Buffalo (opposite Carol Burnett), 1998’s Twelfth Night and 2000’s Copenhagen.
His Broadway curtain call came in George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House in 2006 (after he had received a Tony nomination for playing a different character in 1984).
Writing about his grandfather, Luke Bosco wrote: “You are my hero and a hero to so many other young actors across the generations that strive for greatness not for glory’s sake, but for the love of the art.
“And let’s not forget your irresistible urge to crack a joke in any setting. I never knew a man that could congratulate and taunt his fellow nominees in a single breath. You will be dearly missed.”
He was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1998.
In The Savages (2007), Bosco portrayed the estranged father of Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s characters. And in Mike Nichols’ Working Girl, Bosco was Oren Trask, the owner of Trask Industries who kicks Sigourney Weaver’s Katharine Parker out on her “bony ass” and hires Melanie Griffith as a junior exec at the end of the movie.
More recently, he had a regular role as defense attorney Hollis Nye on the FX-Audience Network series Damages. He also appeared often on Law and Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
His big-screen résumé also included A Lovely Way to Die (1968), The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), Children of a Lesser God (1986), Three Men and a Baby (1987), Blue Steel (1990), True Colors (1991), The First Wives Club (1996), Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Wonder Boys (2000).
Born on Sept. 26, 1930, in Jersey City, New Jersey, Bosco attended Catholic University in Washington and served in the U.S. Army. He got his start at the Arena Stage in D.C., was a member of the repertory company at Lincoln Center for seven years and made his onscreen debut in 1953 playing Sam Houston on the CBS News series You Are There.
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