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Leonard Frey
(September 4, 1938 - August 24, 1988) U.S.A.

Leonard Frey



Frey was born in Brooklyn, New York. After college, where he studied art with designs on being a painter, he studied acting at New York City's prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse under famed acting coach Sanford Meisner, and decided to pursue a career in theater instead.

In 1968, he received critical acclaim for his performance as a bitter, bitchy, pockmarked gay man who dreads his upcoming birthday in off-Broadway's The Boys in the Band. This landmark play introduced mainstream audiences to the culture of gay men who supported each other, providing friendship, family and, when necessary, reality checks. He, along with the rest of the original cast, appeared in the 1970 film version, directed by William Friedkin, as well.

Frey was nominated for a 1975 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in The National Health. For his role in the film version of Fiddler on the Roof, Frey earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Motel the tailor.

Leonard Frey, and out homosexual, died of Aids-related compliations.


His films include:

  • The Time of Your Life (1969)
  • Beggar on Horseback (1970)
  • The Boys in the Band (1970)
  • Twelfth Night (1972)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner (1980)
  • Tattoo (1981)
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