Jason Robards Remembered

Essays and Recollections


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About the Book

Jason Robards won consecutive Oscars as best supporting actor for the films All the President’s Men (1977) and Julia (1978) but he is particularly remembered for having created central roles in the later plays of Eugene O’Neill.
This tribute honors Robards in two parts. Part One presents recent interviews of the late actor as well as articles by Arthur and Barbara Gelb which appeared in the New York Times on the occasions of the American premier of Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956) and of the successful production of A Moon for the Misbegotten, with Colleen Dewhurst (1974). Sheila Hickey Garvey writes of the 1956 production of Iceman and gives a brief history of Robards’ work with the Circle in the Square Theatre, the theatre that began the Off Broadway theatrical movement of the 1950s. Stephen A. Black, Michael Manheim and Edward Shaughnessy write of seeing Robards perform in O’Neill plays. The O’Neill bibliographers Madeline Smith and Richard Eaton analyze the effect Robards’ performances have had on subsequent performances and on scholarship about O’Neill’s later plays. Zander Brietzke writes about the problem of performing O’Neill in the post–Robards era.
Part Two contains more personal recollections of Jason Robards. Several of Robards’ theatrical colleagues (Arvin Brown, Zoe Caldwell, Douglas Campbell, Blythe Danner, George Grizzard, the playwright A.R. Gurney, Shirley Knight, Paul Libin, Theodore Mann, Christopher Plummer, Kevin Spacey and Eli Wallach) recall their times with the actor. Wendy Cooper, president of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, writes of Robards’ help to save O’Neill’s Bay Area home, Tao House. Lois McDonald and Sally Thomas Pavetti write of Robards’ visits to Monte Cristo Cottage, O’Neill’s boyhood home in New London, Connecticut. George Beecroft, Richard Allan Davison, and Daniel Larner recall seeing some memorable Robards performances and Margaret and Ralph Ranald recall two meetings with Robards.
Also included are particularly fine obituary and memorial notices by Kevin Spacey, Joe Morgenstern, and Charles Saydah, and a tribute by Jason Robards’ colleagues at The Roundabout Theatre.

About the Author(s)

The Eugene O’Neill Society is a scholarly and professional organization devoted to the study of the life and works of O’Neill. Stephen A. Black is the president of the Eugene O’ Neill Society. He lives in Surrey, Canada.
Independent scholar Zander Brietzke is a former production assistant, stage manager, and assistant director. He lives in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.
Jackson R. Bryer is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Eugene O’Neill Society
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1356-0
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“much more than an account of the actor’s accomplishments”—Pequot Pilot.