Hume Cronyn

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Hume Cronyn (1911-2003) talks about his long association in the theater, in television, and in film, often opposite his late wife Jessica Tandy. He recalls his television debut in a 1939 NBC production called "Her Majesty's Voice." He discusses his film association with director Alfred Hitchcock, starting with his screen debut in "Shadow of A Doubt" and later "Lifeboat" and "Under Capricorn." He describes his appearances on live television on such series as Omnibus and Studio One. Cronyn talks about his work with Jessica Tandy on the first network series to be seen in color, The Marriage (1954), based on their radio show. He details his later work in television as well as his long-running Broadway show opposite Jessica Tandy, "The Gin Game," which was filmed and shown on PBS in 1984. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on June 24, 1999 in Fairfield, Connecticut.

"We were on a boat, and a television executive, who was rather corpulent, said to me and Jessica (Tandy), 'I'll ask you one question. If you could, next year, be in the position that Lucy Ball is today, would you do it?' And I looked across at Jessie who was shaking her head 'no.' He said, 'All right, that's it,' and he got up and he dived overboard. Of such small trivial things, are memories made."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Hume Cronyn on meeting and marrying Jessica Tandy and creating the Actor's Laboratory Theater
Hume Cronyn on appearing in the series The Marriage with wife Jessica Tandy
Hume Cronyn on directing live television in the '50s
Hume Cronyn on the Hollywood Blacklist
Hume Cronyn on the craft of acting
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences
On books he read as a child; on deciding he wanted to be an actor; on joining the National Theater

Chapter 2

On his early theatrical roles; on his theater education; on his Broadway debut
On going to Hollywood to appear in films; on working with Alfred Hitchcock on "Shadow of a Doubt"

Chapter 3

On his earliest appearance on television; on writing screenplays; on meeting and marrying Jessica Tandy and creating the Actor's Laboratory Theater
On producing early plays by Tennessee Williams and getting Jessica Tandy the lead in "Streetcar Named Desire"; on directing live television in the '50s

Chapter 4

On appearing on Ominbus; on appearing on the series The Marriage with Jessica Tandy; on the Hollywood Blacklist
On appearing on Studio One; on the craft of acting; on preparing to act on live television 

Chapter 5

On appearing in Moon and Sixpence with Jessica Tandy and Laurence Olivier; on appearing in the made-for-television movie The Gin Game with Jessica Tandy; on what attracts him to a script
On continuing to act in his later years; on how he regards live television and his favorite role; on television news
Shows

Actors Studio

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Hume Cronyn on directing Jessica Tandy in "Portrait of a Madonna" for Actors Studio

Gin Game, The

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in the made-for-television movie The Gin Game with Jessica Tandy

Marriage, The

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in the series The Marriage with wife Jessica Tandy

Moon and Sixpence

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in Moon and Sixpence with Jessica Tandy and Laurence Olivier

Omnibus

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Hume Cronyn on appearing as John Quincy Adams on Ominbus

Studio One

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in Studio One's presentation of "A Member of the Family"
Topics

Anthology Drama

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Hume Cronyn on directing live television in the '50s
Hume Cronyn on directing Jessica Tandy in "Portrait of a Madonna" for Actors Studio
Hume Cronyn on appearing as John Quincy Adams on Omnibus
Hume Cronyn on appearing in Studio One's  presentation of "A Member of the Family"

Comedy-Variety

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in the series The Marriage  with wife Jessica Tandy

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Hume Cronyn on memorable teachers at The American Academy of Dramatic Art

Hollywood Blacklist

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Hume Cronyn on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Hume Cronyn on the Hollywood Blacklist

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Hume Cronyn on directing live television in the '50s
Hume Cronyn on directing Jessica Tandy in "Portrait of a Madonna" for Actors Studio
Hume Cronyn on appearing as John Quincy Adams on Ominbus
Hume Cronyn on appearing in the series The Marriage  with wife Jessica Tandy
Hume Cronyn on appearing in Studio One's  presentation of "A Member of the Family"

Television Industry

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Hume Cronyn on the Hollywood Blacklist
Professions

Actor

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Hume Cronyn on the craft of acting
Hume Cronyn on preparing to act on live television 
Hume Cronyn on what attracts him to a script

Performers

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Hume Cronyn on the craft of acting
Hume Cronyn on preparing to act on live television 
Hume Cronyn on what attracts him to a script
Genres

Comedy Series

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in the series The Marriage  with wife Jessica Tandy

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in Moon and Sixpence  with Jessica Tandy and Laurence Olivier
Hume Cronyn on appearing in the made-for-television movie The Gin Game  with Jessica Tandy
People

George Abbott

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Hume Cronyn on going to Hollywood to appear in films

Horton Foote

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in Studio One's presentation of "A Member of the Family"

Alfred Hitchcock

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Hume Cronyn on going to Hollywood to appear in films
Hume Cronyn on appearing in Alfred Hitchcock's feature "Shadow of a Doubt"

Laurence Olivier

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Hume Cronyn on appearing in Moon and Sixpence  with Jessica Tandy and Laurence Olivier

Jessica Tandy

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Hume Cronyn on meeting and marrying Jessica Tandy and creating the Actor's Laboratory Theater
Hume Cronyn on directing Jessica Tandy in "Portrait of a Madonna" for Actors Studio
Hume Cronyn on producing early Tennessee Williams plays and getting Jessica Tandy the lead in "Streetcar Named Desire" on Broadway
Hume Cronyn on appearing in the series The Marriage  with wife Jessica Tandy
Hume Cronyn on appearing in Moon and Sixpence  with Jessica Tandy and Laurence Olivier
Hume Cronyn on appearing in the made-for-television movie The Gin Game with Jessica Tandy

Sylvester L. "Pat" Weaver

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Hume Cronyn on NBC executive Pat Weaver

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