A LIFE IN THE THEATRE: Christopher Plummer, From Stratford to "The Sound of Music" to Barrymore

By Mervyn Rothstein
13 Nov 2012

Christopher Plummer
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

His first Broadway show, in 1954, was The Starcross Story, with another theatre giant, Eva Le Gallienne. It closed after one performance. "I thought it was the end of my career. But at least I'd got there. And soon afterward I was working again. I never looked back."

In 1959 he got his first Tony nomination, for J.B., which won a Pulitzer Prize. His long list of stage credits includes The Royal Hunt of the Sun on Broadway, King Lear at Lincoln Center Theater and productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in London and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario. His Stratford connection dates to 1956, when he starred — as Henry V. "And there were many films along the way."

The "Barrymore" movie was "photographed as a stage performance, but we take the camera away to other rooms and other places."

These days, he is "doing many films. And I've just finished doing my new one-man show" — A Word or Two, about the literature that has influenced his life — "which I've written. It opened at Stratford and, thank heaven, was very well received, so I probably will bring it to New York."

How did it feel to finally win an Oscar at 82? "It kind of rejuvenates your career, makes you feel very young."

But, he adds, "I've won all sorts of awards which I'm just as grateful for. Particularly in the theatre."

Read the summer 2012 Playbill.com interview in which Plummer talks about his new solo show A Word or Two.

View highlights from the new film "Barrymore":