Tony Winning Director Joseph Hardy Dies at 95 | Playbill

Obituaries Tony Winning Director Joseph Hardy Dies at 95

In addition to his work as a stage and film director, Mr. Hardy was television producer and occasional performer.

Joseph Hardy

Tony winner Joseph Hardy passed away June 6, at the age of 95. The news was confirmed via Primary Stages' Off-Center Off-Broadway Oral History Project.

Raised on a cattle ranch in New Mexico, Mr. Hardy originally trained as a performer at the Yale School of Drama, where he won a Fulbright to study in Paris before serving in the Korean War. Mr. Hardy served as a television producer following his return, developing two daytime soap operas in the 1960s (Ben Jarrod on NBC and A Time for Us on ABC) in addition to serving as an executive producer on Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, Ryan's Hope, James at 15/16, and General Hospital.

Onstage, however, Mr. Hardy was one of the most popular directors of the 1970s, leading a variety of plays, musicals, and special events to the Broadway boards.

Mr. Hardy's Broadway credits included Johnny No-Trump, Play It Again, Sam, Child's Play, Bob and Ray—The Two and Only, the original Broadway production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Children! Children!, the original Broadway adaptation of Gigi, The Night of the Iguana, Diversions and Delights, and Romantic Comedy.

Twice a Tony nominee, Mr. Hardy took home the top honor for his work on the original Broadway production of Child's Play, which all but swept the 1970 Tony awards, taking home five awards. Mr. Hardy's first nomination had been for his work directing Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam.

Returning to screen work as a director on occasion, Mr. Hardy introduced Lily Tomlin in her first TV special, Lily. His 1974 TV film Great Expectations with Michael York, Sarah Miles, and James Mason was entered into the 1975 Moscow International Film Festival, and Mr. Hardy spent a period of time as an associate artist at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, as well as working with the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

While Mr. Hardy had left Broadway behind by at the end of the 20th century for a life and career in France, he didn't disappear from the New York theatrical realm. Having first cut his teeth in the Off-Broadway market, Mr. Hardy returned to it in 2008, leading Lynn Redgrave in Grace for MCC Theater. Two more final productions were to follow: Redgrave's solo show Nightingale for New York City Center, and The Dance of Death for Red Bull Theater.

Mr. Hardy moved to the Actors Fund Home in 2020, and requested that no service or memorial be held in the event of his passing. He leaves behind his sister, Caroline Rackley, and the "many friends and colleagues who were enriched by his ever-strong opinions, wit, and guidance," per an obituary at

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