In the nineties
While I was developing my career in television and film, I still remained very active in theater, and in 1991 won a Tony Award for my role as Uncle Louie in Neil Simon's Broadway hit “Lost in Yonkers.” The play also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as a Drama Desk Award. The company I worked with on this play was incredible, and working with Neil Simon and getting to watch the way he develops a play was an honor.
Little did I know that my dresser for the production knew Al Pacino and had told him to come see the production. He came, and the next week he came again, bringing director Jamie Foley* with him. After seeing me in “Lost In Yonkers” I was cast as the office manager, John Williamson, opposite Pacino and Jack Lemmon in the film version of David Mamet's classic play “Glengarry Glen Ross” (which Lemmon jokingly would call “GeneBarry/GlennClose”). In what would be the last film we would do together, Lemmon played the harried salesman, Shelly “The Machine” Levine, who was never given the “good” leads. Though we would not act together again, Jack Lemmon remained my close friend and mentor all the way up to his passing in June 2001.
I made my debut as producer in 1994 on the film SWIMMING WITH SHARKS in which I also co-starred as the malicious Hollywood executive, Buddy Ackerman. I was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for this role. Shortly thereafter I also starred in Alan J. Pakula's dark suburban drama, CONSENTING ADULTS. Kevin Kline and Rebecca Miller were cast opposite me, and this experience would lead me to several other films I did for Disney, including IRON WILL and THE REF opposite Denis Leary and Judy Davis, directed by the late Ted Demme.
*(Foley would later direct episodes 3 and 4 of Season 1 of “House of Cards”).