Fritz Weaver, the American actor, was born on January 19, 1926, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served in Civilian Public Service as a conscientious objector during World War II, breaking into acting in the early 1950s. He made his Broadway debut in October 1955 in “The Chalk Garden,” which garnered five Tony Award nominations, including one for Weaver as Best Featured Actor in a Play. He also won a 1956 Theatre World Award for his performance.
The first of literally scores of television appearances came in 1957, in “The Playwright and the Stars” broadcast as part of the drama omnibus Studio One in Hollywood (1948). He continued to appear on Broadway, winning a Tony Award for Best Actor in Play his performance as Jermome Malley in Robert Marasco’s “Child’s Play.” Though Weaver has appeared in many movies, it generally was as a supporting actor or in small parts, and the role of Malley was given to James Mason in the 1972 film version (Child’s Play (1972)) of the play.
His most memorable role, arguably, was that of the doomed German Jewish patriarch Dr. Josef Weiss in the watershed TV mini-series Holocaust (1978), for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series. Since 1995, Weaver is known as the narrator of programs on the History Channel.
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