Friday, July 15, 2011
BRAD PITT played the role in "Meet Joe Black." Robert Redford did it in an early "Twilight Zone" episode. Now Julian Ovenden, a young Brit with a gorgeous singing voice, is doing it on the New York stage. And he proves that Death can be just as seductive when he's tall, dark and handsome. (Well, O.K., Fredric March proved that in a certain 1934 movie. But he didn't sing.)
CURRENT GIG Playing the Grim Reaper disguised as a handsome Russian prince in the new Roundabout production of "Death Takes a Holiday," now in previews. It's a musical.
BORN AND RAISED Sheffield, England, and London.
ALMA MATER Eton and Oxford.
AVAILABILITY Married since December to the lyric soprano Kate Royal. (They combined the wedding with the christening of their son, Johnny.)
BROADWAY DEBUT "Butley" (2006), playing Nathan Lane's gay ex-lover.
BEST KNOWN HERE FOR The short-lived ABC series "Cashmere Mafia" (2008), in which he played Frances O'Connor's hunky architect husband.
STUFF YOU'D HAVE SEEN HIM IN ONSTAGE IF YOU LIVED IN LONDON "Merrily We Roll Along," "Grand Hotel" and "Annie, Get Your Gun."
FAMOUS RELATIVE His father, Canon John Ovenden, is Queen Elizabeth's chaplain.
WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT AMERICA "I was amazed by the breadth on offer on U.S. TV. There's some of the best writing you'll see anywhere." ("Marguerite's Man," London Evening Standard, May 20, 2008)
"Death Takes a Holiday," by Thomas Meehan, Peter Stone and Maurey Yeston, directed by Doug Hughes, Laura Pels Theater, 111 West 46th Street, (212) 719-1300, roundabouttheatre.org. Opening night: July 21, 2011.
WANT MORE THEATERGOSSIP? Scroll to read about our most recent Gossip Girl, Tyne Daly, now starring in "Master Class." Then search to read about Tony Awards memories, the infamous Commy Awards, stage stars like Cherry Jones and Bobby Steggert, and playwrights like Lynn Nottage.