Len Cariou

September 30, 1939

Leonard Joseph "Len" Cariou(born September 30, 1939) is a Canadian actor , best known for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd in the original cast ofSweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He currently plays the patriarch, Henry Reagan, NYPD Police Commissioner (retired), in the multi-generational television seriesBlue Bloodson CBS .

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 Len Cariou's Early years

Cariou attended Miles MacDonell Collegiate for grades ten and eleven where he directed and starred in the school plays, and he later attended St Paul's College .

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 Len Cariou's Career

at Rainbow Stage in Winnipeg in 1959, and was a founding member of the Manitoba Theatre Centre . He was offered a scholarship at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal but, married with a young child and financial responsibilities, he was forced to turn it down. Instead, he learned his craft by spending two years at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Stratford , Ontario , and returned in 1981 to lead the company as Prospero , Coriolanus , Brutus , and Petruchio . Cariou also became a lead actor at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis in the 1960s, where he played Orlando inAs You Like It, Agamemnon in Tyrone Guthrie's compilation ofThe House of Atreus,Iago , Oberon , and the title roles in Henry V and King Lear. He was also an Associate Director. In 1968, Cariou made his Broadway debut inThe House of Atreus. Two years later he landed his first starring role opposite Lauren Bacall inApplause, a musical adaptation of the filmAll About Eve. It earned him a Tony Award nomination as Best Actor in a Musical and won him the Theatre World Award . In 1973 he garnered his second Tony nod forA Little Night Music; he repeated the role for the 1977 film version opposite Elizabeth Taylor. Six years later he won both the Tony and a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal ofSweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Streetin the Stephen Sondheim musical opposite Angela Lansbury . During these years, Cariou also appeared in a number of benefits, includingA Christmas Carolfor the Riverside Shakespeare Company in New York, playing Scrooge, with Helen Hayes , Raul Julia , and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio , directed by W. Stuart McDowell at the Symphony Space in 1985.His next projects, the Alan Jay Lerner – Charles Strouse musicalDance a Little Closer(1983), Arthur Miller 's sole musical,Up from Paradise(1983),Teddy & Alice(1987),Ziegfeld(1988. He also appeared on Broadway inNightwatch,Cold Storage,The Speed of Darkness, Neil Silmon'sThe Dinner Party(with Henry Winkler and John Ritter ) andProof(with Anne Heche and Neil Patrick Harris ). He directedDon't Call Backon Broadway as well. His off-Broadway appearances includeMaster Class,Papa( Ernest Hemingway one man show) andMountain(Justice William O. Douglas). He appeared as Cap'n Andy in the Broadway national tour of Showboat opposite Cloris Leachman .

Regionally, he has starred in a multitude of productions at theatres throughout North America, including The Kennedy Centre , the Mark Taper Forum , Lincoln Centre , the Long Wharf Theatre and the Old Globe . He has played the title role of Macbeth for Toronto Arts Productions, and Richard Nixon inFrost/Nixonfor Canadian Stage in Toronto. He has appeared multiple times throughout his career at the Manitoba Theatre Centre. He appeared at The Geffen Theatre as Joe Keller in a notable production ofAll My Sons, a role he reprised in 2009 at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, where it was the longest running, highest grossing run of a play in that theatre's history. He also appeared at The Geffen in Neil Simon'sRose and WalshandHeroeswith George Segal .

From 1985 to 1992, Cariou was seen on multiple episodes of the popular television mystery series,Murder She Wroteopposite his good friend and former Sweeney Todd costar Angela Lansbury. Cariou portrayed the recurring character of Michael Hagerty. Hagerty was an Irish international man of mystery who worked as a secret agent for British MI-6 . He would get Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), the title character of the show, involved in mysteries involving international intrigue.

In 1993, Cariou was in the made-for-TV movieMiracle on Interstate 880. He played Buck Helm.

In 1995, Cariou became the first actor to portray Walt Disney in the Annette Funicello biographyA Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Storybased on her book of the same name.

Cariou's film credits includeFlags of Our Fathers,About Schmidt,Thirteen Days,The Four Seasons, the Harold Prince -directed screen adaptation ofA Little Night Musicwith Elizabeth Taylor andSecret Windowin which he starred alongside Johnny Depp who would later go on to playSweeney ToddinSweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the Tim Burton directed musical based on the Broadway show. He played the father in the 2007 film1408, and the nominal lead role inThe Onion Movie, based on the satirical newspaper . On television, Cariou has appeared inThe West Wing,Law & Order,Star Trek: Voyager,The Practice,Ed,The Outer Limits, and multiple episodes ofMurder, She Wrote. He had a continuing role in 2006–2007 as power broker Judd Fitzgerald in the Showtime seriesBrotherhood.

Cariou narrated Major League Baseball 's World Series films from 1992 to 1997. He has recorded a number of books, including several by Michael Connelly , for audiotape release. He also narrated the 1989 Academy Award-winning documentaryThe Johnstown Flood. In 2004, he was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame . In 2009, he portrayed Franklin D. Roosevelt in the HBO movieInto the Storm, earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie .

In 2010, Cariou appeared as Madoff -like Ponzi scheme man Louis Tobin in FX 's dramaDamages, the main antagonist in season three. He currently appears as Henry Reagan, the former NYC police commissioner and patriarch of the current commissioner's family, onBlue Bloods.

On June 23, 2012, Len Cariou was honored by having his name added to the Miles Macdonell Collegiate Alumni of Distinction, for his contribution to theater and arts. His introduction to the theater started with a starring role in the school production ofThe Pirates of Penzance. He holds the Order of Manitoba and has been invested with honorary degrees from the University of Windsor and the University of Winnipeg.

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 Len Cariou's References

  1. Len Cariou Biography (1939-)
  2. http://www.thestar.com/article/510717
  3. Len Cariou Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  4. "Celebrity Reading Of 'A Christmas Carol'", The New York Times, November 23, 1985.
  5. "Stage veterans receive praise at induction". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 

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