Robert Prosky

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Robert Prosky
BornRobert Józef Porzuczek
(1930-12-13)December 13, 1930
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 8, 2008(2008-12-08) (aged 77)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Cause of death
Heart Procedure
Resting place
Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia
OccupationActor
Years active1971–2008
Spouse(s)Ida Hove (1960–2008; his death)
ChildrenStefan
John
Andrew
 
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Robert Prosky
BornRobert Józef Porzuczek
(1930-12-13)December 13, 1930
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 8, 2008(2008-12-08) (aged 77)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Cause of death
Heart Procedure
Resting place
Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia
OccupationActor
Years active1971–2008
Spouse(s)Ida Hove (1960–2008; his death)
ChildrenStefan
John
Andrew

Robert Prosky (December 13, 1930 – December 8, 2008) was an American actor.

Life and career[edit]

Prosky, a Polish American,[1] was born Robert Joseph Porzuczek in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia,[2] Pennsylvania, to Helen and Joseph Porzuczek. His father was a grocer and butcher.[3][4][5] He was raised in a working-class neighborhood and studied at the American Theatre Wing, later graduating from Temple University. He performed at Old Academy Players, a small theater in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, adjacent to Manayunk.

Career[edit]

He appeared in Thief, Christine, Hanky Panky, The Natural, Hoffa, Broadcast News, Things Change, The Great Outdoors, Loose Cannons, Rudy, Mrs. Doubtfire, Green Card, and Dead Man Walking. In addition to appearing in movies, Prosky appeared as a regular on the television series Hill Street Blues, Danny and Veronica's Closet. He was considered for the role of Martin Crane in Frasier and later made a guest appearance in the show as a reclusive writer. He played Rebecca Howe's father on Cheers. He also played Coach Hayden Fox's mentor Jake "the Snake" Connolly on a two part 1991 episode of Coach.

He also appeared as Will Darnell, the man who owned the auto repair shop where Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) rebuilds the possessed car "Christine" in the film John Carpenter's Christine based on Stephen King's novel. Prior to his film and television career, he appeared in numerous productions at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., most notably as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Prosky often performed at Arena Stage with over 100 stage credits to his name at that theatre alone. He also originated the role of Shelly Levene in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross. He was also a board member of the Cape May Stage in Cape May, New Jersey.

Family[edit]

In 1960, he married Ida Hove, who survived him, along with three sons, Stefan, John and Andrew Prosky. Andrew and John Prosky are also actors.

Death[edit]

Prosky died on December 8, 2008, five days short of his 78th birthday, from complications following a heart procedure.[6] At the time of his death, he was living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Filmography[edit]

Selected stage credits[edit]

YearTitleRoleLocation/Notes
1971Moonchildren (American premiere)Mr. WillisArena Stage, Washington, D.C./later moved to Broadway in 1972
1975The DybbukRabbi Az ielkeArena Stage, Washington, D.C./with Dianne Wiest
1983A View from the BridgeAlfieriNew York City
1984Glengarry Glen RossShelly LeveneJohn Golden Theatre, New York City/Tony Award Nomination/ Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble
1988A Walk in the WoodsAndrei BotvinnikBooth Theatre, New York City/Tony Award Nomination
1996Camping with Henry and TomThomas EdisonLucille Lortel Theatre, New York City
2002An American DaughterAlan HughesArena Stage, Washington, D.C.
2004DemocracyHerbert WehnerBrooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City
2006Awake and Sing!JacobArena Stage, Washington, D.C.
2008The PriceSolomonWalnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia; Theater J, Washington, DC / A joint production

References[edit]

External links[edit]