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William Mills Irwin (born April 11, 1950) is an American actor, clown,[1][2] and comedian. He began as a vaudeville-style stage performer and has been noted for his contribution to the renaissance of American circus during the 1970s. He has also made a number of appearances on film and television, and he won a Tony Award
Tony Award
for his role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
on Broadway. He is also known as Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle
on the Sesame Street
Sesame Street
spinoff Elmo's World, has appeared in the Sesame Street
Sesame Street
film short Does Air Move Things?,[3] and regularly appears as a therapist on Law and Order: SVU.[4]

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Creator and writer 2.2 Actor 2.3 Film and television

3 Personal life 4 Awards and honors 5 Filmography 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Irwin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Elizabeth (née Mills), a teacher, and Horace G. Irwin, an aerospace engineer.[5] He graduated from Oberlin College
Oberlin College
in 1974 and attended Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown
Clown
College the following year. In 1975, he helped found the Pickle Family Circus in San Francisco, California.[6] In 1979, Irwin left the company to pursue stage work. Career[edit] Creator and writer[edit] Irwin has created several highly regarded stage shows that incorporate elements of clowning, often in collaboration with composer Doug Skinner. These works included The Regard of Flight (1982), which ran on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in April 1987 for 17 performances.[7] Largely New York (1989), Fool Moon (1993),[8]The Harlequin Studies (2003),[9] and Mr. Fox: A Rumination (2004).[10] Mr. Fox is a production that Irwin has worked on for years, a biography of 19th century clown George Washington Lafayette Fox that also has autobiographical elements. In 2013, he teamed with his occasional partner David Shiner to create and perform in the Off-Broadway "clowning revue-with-music" Old Hats along with actress and musician Nellie McKay.[11][12] Old Hats won the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue.[13] Old Hats was revived in New York City in 2016 with Shiner and Irwin returning and a new third performer, musician Shaina Taub, in between sketches Taub performed original songs with a band.[14] He adapted Molière's play Les Fourberies de Scapin
Les Fourberies de Scapin
as a comedy called Scapin, and has played the title role in several productions. He appeared in the play at the Off-Broadway Roundabout Theatre Company Laura Pels Theatre in January through March 1997, after performing in the play at the Seattle Rep.[15] His adaptation allowed him to interpolate his signature clowning routines into the course of the action. In 1996, Irwin performed with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps
The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps
at the 1996 Summer Olympics, in a "band on the run" sequence where he played Dr. Hubert Peterson of the fictitious Federation of United Marching Associations of America.[16] Actor[edit] Although Irwin is best known for his theatrical clown work, he has also been featured in a number of dramatic plays. Irwin appeared with Steve Martin
Steve Martin
and Robin Williams
Robin Williams
in the Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center
Off-Broadway production of Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot
in 1988, in the role of Lucky.[17] Lucky's only lines consist of a famous 500-word-long monologue, an ironic element for Irwin since much of his clown-based stage work was silent. He directed the 1998 Roundabout Theatre Company production of A Flea in Her Ear. He appeared in 2002 with Sally Field
Sally Field
in the replacement cast of The Goat or Who is Sylvia?[18] In 2005, he starred as George alongside Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
in a revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.[19] He played Vladimir (Didi) in the 2009 Broadway revival of Waiting for Godot,[20] and Mr. McAfee in the Broadway revival of Bye Bye Birdie. In 2011, he appeared in King Lear at the Public Theatre.[21] Film and television[edit] Irwin's first featured film role was in 1980, appearing as Harold Hamgravy in Robert Altman's Popeye starring Robin Williams. He has appeared in over 20 films, mainly in supporting roles. Irwin's principal film roles include playing Eddie Collins
Eddie Collins
in Eight Men Out, which tells the true story of the "Black Sox" gambling scandal of 1919, and My Blue Heaven, a 1990 comedy with Steve Martin
Steve Martin
and Rick Moranis. Irwin tap-danced in a leading role in 1991's Stepping Out with Liza Minnelli, appeared as a mime in the Paul Mazursky
Paul Mazursky
film Scenes from a Mall
Scenes from a Mall
alongside Woody Allen
Woody Allen
and Bette Midler, and played Charlie Sheen's father in Hot Shots!
Hot Shots!
His authentic vaudevillian skills landed him a role in the Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard
film Silent Tongue
Silent Tongue
in 1994, and he appeared in film adaptations of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Laramie Project and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He played an ex-brain surgeon, house salesman in the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete. In 2006, Irwin played the solitary Mr. Leeds in M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water
Lady in the Water
and had a small role in 2007's Across the Universe. He received critical acclaim for his role as Paul, father to Anne Hathaway's character Kym, in the 2008 drama Rachel Getting Married.[6][22] His most notable television roles have been Enrico Ballati, "The Flying Man", on the television series Northern Exposure, Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle
in the Elmo's World
Elmo's World
segment of the PBS
PBS
children's show Sesame Street
Sesame Street
and the "Dick & Jane" serial killer Nate Haskell on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Irwin was featured in the 1988 music video of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin
(along with McFerrin and Robin Williams). Irwin was also featured in HBO's 1997 production Subway Stories. He has also appeared on The Cosby Show, Saturday Night Live, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Law & Order and Lights Out. In 2011, Irwin guest starred in the pilot episode of the CBS television drama A Gifted Man.[23] He starred in the 2013 medical drama TNT television series, Monday Mornings, as Buck Tierney.[24] In 2014, he guest starred in the episode "The One Percent Solution" of CBS' Elementary. Irwin voices the robot TARS in the film Interstellar, and puppeteers the robot in most scenes (those which are not computer-generated). Irwin is featured in the PBS
PBS
series Great Performances, in the episode titled "Bill Irwin, Clown
Clown
Prince", initially broadcast in December 2004.[25] Irwin regularly appears on the NBC
NBC
crime series Law & Order: Special
Special
Victims Unit as therapist, Dr. Peter Lindstrom. Lindstrom normally appears on the show while counseling main character Lieutenant Olivia Benson.[4] Irwin also appeared on the television series Sleepy Hollow playing the character of Atticus Nevins. In 2017, he appeared in the FX superhero TV series Legion. Personal life[edit] Irwin is married to Martha Roth, an "actress-turned-nurse midwife", whom he met while seeking treatment for a stiff neck.[26] They have a son, Santos Patrick Morales Irwin, who was born in 1990.[26] Awards and honors[edit] Irwin was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
Choreographer's Fellowship in 1981 and 1983. In 1984, he was named a Guggenheim Fellow and was the first performance artist to be awarded a 5-year MacArthur Fellowship. For Largely New York, he won a New York Drama Critics Circle
New York Drama Critics Circle
Special Citation in 1988, and an Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award in 1989. This show also received five nominations for Tony Awards.[27] In 1992, he won an Obie Award
Obie Award
for his performance in Texts for Nothing. Together with David Shiner he won a special Tony Award
Tony Award
for Live Theatrical Presentation in 1999 for their show Fool Moon.[28] In 1993, this show already had won a Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" and an Outer Critics Circle "Special Achievement" Award. In 2000, the Jazz Tap Ensemble, Los Angeles received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(NEA) "for a commission of a new work by Bill Irwin."[29] In 2004, the Signature Theatre Company, New York, received a $40,000 NEA grant for "the world premiere production of 'Mr. Fox: A Rumination' by Bill Irwin."[30] In 2005, he won the Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Actor
Actor
in a Play for his appearance as George in the revival of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.[31] Irwin received a 2008 CFCA Award nomination for "Best Supporting Actor" for his role in Rachel Getting Married. In 2010, The New Victory Theater
New Victory Theater
presented Irwin with the first-ever New Victory Arts Award.[32] He was honored for "bringing the arts to kids and kids to the arts." Nathan Lane
Nathan Lane
and Jonathan Demme
Jonathan Demme
spoke at the ceremony. Irwin is also on the board of The New 42nd Street, Inc. Filmography[edit]

Popeye (1980) as Ham Gravy, the Old Boyfriend A New Life (1988) as Eric Eight Men Out
Eight Men Out
(1988) as Eddie Collins My Blue Heaven (1990) as Kirby Scenes from a Mall
Scenes from a Mall
(1991) as Mime Hot Shots!
Hot Shots!
(1991) as Buzz Harley Stepping Out (1991) as Geoffrey Silent Tongue
Silent Tongue
(1993) as Comic Manhattan by Numbers (1993) as Floyd Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) as Unnamed Brother #1 (uncredited) Sesame Street: Get Up and Dance (1997) as Himself Illuminata (1998) as Marco Just the Ticket
Just the Ticket
(1999) as Ray Charles A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1999) as Tom Snout Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) as Lou Lou Who Igby Goes Down
Igby Goes Down
(2002) as Lt. Smith The Truth About Miranda (2004) as Emile The Manchurian Candidate (2004) as Scoutmaster Lady in the Water
Lady in the Water
(2006) as Mr. Leeds Dark Matter (2007) as Hal Silver Across the Universe (2007) as Uncle Teddy Rachel Getting Married
Rachel Getting Married
(2008) as Paul CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008-2011, TV Series) as Nate Haskell Higher Ground (2011) as Pastor Bud Law & Order: Special
Special
Victims Unit (2013-2017, TV Series) as Dr. Peter Lindstrom Interstellar (2014) as TARS (voice and puppetry) and CASE (puppetry) Ricki and the Flash
Ricki and the Flash
(2015) as Single Dad Old Hats (2016) as Himself Legion (2017-present) as Cary Loudermilk

References[edit]

^ Isherwood, Charles (4 March 2013). "Aging Clowns and Brand-New Gags: 'Old Hats,' With Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
and David Shiner". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2013.  ^ Brantley, Ben (8 November 2011). "A Fool, His King and the Madness That Engulfs Them". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2013.  ^ Gussow, Mel (11 May 2008). "How to Deal with Midlife: Keep Dancing". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2013.  ^ a b "Television". thebillirwin.com.  ^ Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
Biography
Biography
(1950-) filmreference.com ^ a b "Irwin Biography" tcm.com, accessed August 18, 2013 ^ " The Regard of Flight on Broadway", playbillvault.com, accessed May 12, 2015. ^ Simonson, Robert; Jones, Kenneth (November 2, 1998). "Irwin and Shiner's 'Fool Moon' Rises on Bway's Atkinson, Nov. 17". Playbill.  ^ Jones, Kenneth (August 7, 2003). "Bill Irwin's 'Harlequin Studies', Dissecting Theatre's Clown, Premieres Sept. 3 Off-Bway". Playbill.  ^ Jones, Kenneth (April 13, 2004). "Be a Clown: Bill Irwin's 'Mr. Fox: A Rumination' Conjures Forgotten American Actor". Playbill.  ^ Isherwood, Charles (March 4, 2013). "Aging Clowns and Brand-New Gags". The New York Times.  ^ Gans, Andrew; Jones, Kenneth (April 2, 2013). " Off-Broadway Run of Acclaimed 'Old Hats', By Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
and David Shiner, Extended Again". Playbill.  ^ Hetrick, Adam; Gans, Andrew (May 10, 2013). "Billy Porter, Andrea Martin, 'Pippin', 'Matilda', 'Vanya and Sonia' Win Drama Desk Awards". Playbill.  ^ Genzlinger, Neil (February 18, 2016). "Review: 'Old Hats,' Mime and Mayhem From Irwin and Shiner". The New York Times.  ^ Viagas, Robert (January 10, 1997). " Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
Scapin Opens Jan. 9 Off-Broadway". Playbill.  ^ DCI Cadets 1996 Olympics Performance ^ Isenberg, Barbara. 'Godot' Leaves Them Waiting for Tickets" Los Angeles Times, November 22, 1988 ^ Ehren, Christine (September 9, 2002). " Sally Field
Sally Field
and Bill Irwin Prepare a New 'Goat' for Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved January 19, 2017.  ^ Simonson, Robert (September 4, 2005). "'Virginia Woolf' Howls Its Last on Broadway Sept. 4". Playbill.  ^ Jones, Kenneth (April 30, 2009). "Irwin and Lane Are Waiting for Godot, Opening April 30". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015.  ^ Hetrick, Adam (October 18, 2011). "'King Lear', With Sam Waterston, Kelli O'Hara, Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
and Frank Wood, Begins at the Public Oct. 18". Playbill.  ^ "Filmography". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2013.  ^ Wallemberg, Christopher (September 17, 2011). "STAGE TO SCREENS: A 2011-12 TV Season Packed With Stage Stars". Playbill.  ^ Ross, Robyn. "TNT Orders David E. Kelley's Medical Drama 'Monday Mornings'" May 2012 ^ "Great Performances. 'Bill Irwin, Clown
Clown
Prince' ". Public Broadcasting Service, 2004, accessed August 19, 2013 ^ a b "Bill Irwin's Biography" bill-irwin.com, accessed July 25, 2014 ^ Largely New York Listing for Tony Awards and Drama Desk" Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 18, 2013 ^ Lefkowitz, David (June 6, 1999). "1999 Tony Winner: Special
Special
Award - 'Fool Moon'". Playbill.  ^ "2000 Grant Awards: Creation & Presentation" Archived August 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. arts.gov, accessed August 18, 2013 ^ "2004 Grant Awards: Creativity" Archived August 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. arts.gov, accessed August 18, 2013 ^ Jones, Kenneth (June 5, 2005). "'Doubt' Is Best Play, 'Spamalot' Best Musical; Butz, Irwin, Clark, Jones, Nichols Win 2005 Tonys". Playbill.  ^ "Philosophy". New Victory Theater. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bill Irwin.

Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
- Official Site Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
on IMDb Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
at the Internet Off-Broadway Database The Regard of Flight from the New York Times
New York Times
(Registration required) (1984) The Harlequin Studies (2003) Archive film of Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
performing Post-Modern Studies in 1983 at Jacob's Pillow "A Clown
Clown
Changes Costume and, Presto: Playwright" - The New York Times

Awards for Bill Irwin

v t e

Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Performance by a Leading Actor
Actor
in a Play

José Ferrer
José Ferrer
/ Fredric March
Fredric March
(1947) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
/ Paul Kelly / Basil Rathbone
Basil Rathbone
(1948) Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
(1949) Sidney Blackmer
Sidney Blackmer
(1950) Claude Rains
Claude Rains
(1951) José Ferrer
José Ferrer
(1952) Tom Ewell
Tom Ewell
(1953) David Wayne
David Wayne
(1954) Alfred Lunt
Alfred Lunt
(1955) Paul Muni
Paul Muni
(1956) Fredric March
Fredric March
(1957) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1958) Jason Robards, Jr. (1959) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1960) Zero Mostel
Zero Mostel
(1961) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1962) Arthur Hill (1963) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1964) Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau
(1965) Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook
(1966) Paul Rogers (1967) Martin Balsam
Martin Balsam
(1968) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
(1969) Fritz Weaver
Fritz Weaver
(1970) Brian Bedford
Brian Bedford
(1971) Cliff Gorman (1972) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(1973) Michael Moriarty (1974) John Kani
John Kani
and Winston Ntshona (1975) John Wood (1976) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(1977) Barnard Hughes
Barnard Hughes
(1978) Tom Conti
Tom Conti
(1979) John Rubinstein
John Rubinstein
(1980) Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
(1981) Roger Rees
Roger Rees
(1982) Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein
(1983) Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons
(1984) Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
(1985) Judd Hirsch
Judd Hirsch
(1986) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
(1987) Ron Silver
Ron Silver
(1988) Philip Bosco (1989) Robert Morse
Robert Morse
(1990) Nigel Hawthorne (1991) Judd Hirsch
Judd Hirsch
(1992) Ron Leibman (1993) Stephen Spinella (1994) Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes
(1995) George Grizzard
George Grizzard
(1996) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(1997) Anthony LaPaglia
Anthony LaPaglia
(1998) Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
(1999) Stephen Dillane
Stephen Dillane
(2000) Richard Easton (2001) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(2002) Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
(2003) Jefferson Mays
Jefferson Mays
(2004) Bill Irwin
Bill Irwin
(2005) Richard Griffiths
Richard Griffiths
(2006) Frank Langella
Frank Langella
(2007) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2008) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(2009) Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
(2010) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2011) James Corden
James Corden
(2012) Tracy Letts
Tracy Letts
(2013) Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston
(2014) Alex Sharp
Alex Sharp
(2015) Frank Langella
Frank Langella
(2016) Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline
(2017)

v t e

Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience

The Norman Conquests (1976) No Man's Land (1977) Miss Margarida's Way (1978) An Evening With Quentin Crisp
Quentin Crisp
(1979) Request Concert (1981) Whistler (1982) La Tragedie de Carmen
Carmen
(1983) The Garden of Earthly Delights (1985) The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe
(1986) Largely New York (1989) Nouvelle Expérience
Nouvelle Expérience
(1991) Tubes (1992) Fool Moon (1993) Stomp (1994) The Waste Land
The Waste Land
(1997) Quidam
Quidam
(1998) Swan Lake (1999) Charlie Victor Romeo (2000) Mnemonic (2001) The Exonerated (2003) Loud Mouth (2004) Slava's Snowshow
Slava's Snowshow
(2005) Christine Jorgensen Reveals
Christine Jorgensen Reveals
(2006) Edward Scissorhands (2007) The 39 Steps (2008) Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words (2009) Love, Loss, and What I Wore
Love, Loss, and What I Wore
(2010) Sleep No More (2011) Gob Squad's Kitchen (You've Never Had It So Good) (2012) Totem (2013) Cirkopolis (2014) Queen of the Night (2015) That Physics Show (2016) The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 24811739 LCCN: no96051040 ISNI: 0000 0001 0797 1801 SUDOC: 149090943 BNF: cb14189234k (data) MusicBrainz: c3708632-8237-4b8a-8068-e70f53f2694d SN

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