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Philip Bosco
Philip Michael Bosco

(1930-09-26)September 26, 1930
Died December 3, 2018(2018-12-03) (aged 88)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1961–2010
Nancy Ann Dunkle
(m. 1957)
Children 7

Philip Michael Bosco (September 26, 1930 – December 3, 2018) was an American actor. He was known for his Tony Award-winning performance as Saunders in the 1989 Broadway production of Lend Me a Tenor, and for his starring role in the 2007 film The Savages. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1988.

Personal life

Bosco was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the son of Margaret Raymond (née Thek), a policewoman, and Philip Lupo Bosco, a carnival worker. His father was of Italian descent and his mother, German. Bosco attended St. Peter's Preparatory School in Jersey City, and later studied drama at Catholic University of America, where he had notable success in the title role of William Shakespeare’s Richard III.

Bosco married a fellow Catholic University student, Nancy Ann Dunkle, on January 2, 1957. They had seven children and 15 grandchildren. Bosco and his wife resided in Haworth, New Jersey.

Bosco died at his home of complications from dementia on December 3, 2018 at the age of 88. His funeral mass was held at Mount Carmel Church in Tenafly, New Jersey, followed by his interment at Brookside Cemetery in Englewood, New Jersey.


Bosco began his career in Broadway theatre. He received a Tony Award nomination in 1960 and spent the next three decades supporting major stars in classic revivals like Cyrano de Bergerac, King Lear, and Twelfth Night.

He appeared in revivals of plays by George Bernard Shaw, including Man and Superman, Saint Joan, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Major Barbara, Heartbreak House (opposite Rex Harrison), and You Never Can Tell, winning Tony nominations for the last three. He also appeared with Shirley Knight in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Come Back, Little Sheba.

Following his Tony-winning performance in the farce Lend Me a Tenor in 1990, Bosco appeared on Broadway in An Inspector Calls (1994), The Heiress (1995), Twelfth Night (1998), Copenhagen (2000), and Twelve Angry Men (2004).

He played Grandpa Potts in the 2005 Broadway production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and played the aged Captain Shotover in a Broadway revival of Heartbreak House in 2006. He retired from the stage in 2009 after appearing in the City Center Encores production of Finian's Rainbow, although he lent his voice to Douglas Carter Beane's 2010 play Mr. and Mrs. Fitch.

Bosco appeared regularly in the Law & Order television franchise, in roles ranging from judges to lawyers to villains. His motion picture credits include Trading Places, Working Girl, Children of a Lesser God, Suspect, Walls of Glass, Straight Talk, Nobody's Fool, Wonder Boys, The Money Pit, Three Men and a Baby, Milk Money, Quick Change, Angie, The First Wives Club, and The Savages.

Bosco narrated Ric Burns' 1991 documentary film Coney Island, and voiced a number of characters for Ken Burns' documentaries for PBS. He portrayed Vincenzo the butler in the 1995 comedy It Takes Two; and Walter Wallace, father of the bride-to-be, in the 1997 romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding, co-starring Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney.

In 1988, Bosco won a Daytime Emmy Award for his appearance in the ABC Afterschool Special "Read Between The Lines". He was a series regular on the FX original series Damages. He narrated Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus by Barbara Bash on the PBS series Reading Rainbow in its sixty-second episode on March 27, 1990.

Bosco was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1998.

Filmography and stage work


Year Title Role Notes
1968 A Lovely Way to Die Fuller
1983 Trading Places Doctor
1984 The Pope of Greenwich Village Paulie's Father
1985 Heaven Help Us Brother Paul
1985 Walls of Glass James Flanagan
1986 The Money Pit Curly
1986 Children of a Lesser God Dr. Curtis Franklin
1987 Suspect Paul Gray
1987 Three Men and a Baby Detective Melkowitz
1988 Another Woman Sam
1988 Working Girl Oren Trask
1989 The Luckiest Man in the World Sam Posner
1989 The Dream Team O'Malley
1990 Blue Steel Frank Turner
1990 Quick Change Bus Driver
1991 True Colors Sen. Frank Steubens
1991 F/X2 Ray Silak
1991 Shadows and Fog Mr. Paulsen
1992 Straight Talk Gene Perlman
1994 Angie Frank
1994 Milk Money Jerry the Pope
1994 Safe Passage Mort
1994 Nobody's Fool Judge Flatt
1995 It Takes Two Vincenzo
1996 The First Wives Club Uncle Carmine Morelli
1996 Surprise! Cabby
1997 My Best Friend's Wedding Walter Wallace
1997 Deconstructing Harry Professor Clark
1997 Critical Care Dr. Hofstader
2000 Wonder Boys Emily's Father
2000 Shaft Walter Wade, Sr.
2000 Brooklyn Sonnet Uncle Chicky
2001 Kate & Leopold Otis
2002 Abandon Professor Jergensen
2005 Hitch Mr. O'Brian
2006 Freedomland Priest
2007 The Savages Lenny Savage


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Finian's Rainbow Senator Billboard Rawkins Encores!
2007 Follies Dmitri Weissman Encores!
2006 Heartbreak House Captain Shotover American Airlines Theatre
2006 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Grandpa Potts Hilton Theatre
2004 Twelve Angry Men Juror No. 3 American Airlines Theatre
Tony Award nomination
Drama Desk Award nomination
2001 Bloomer Girl Horatio Applegate Encores!
2000 Copenhagen Niels Bohr Royale Theatre
1999 Ancestral Voices Eddie's grandfather Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre
1998 Twelfth Night Malvolio Vivian Beaumont Theater
1998 Strike Up the Band Horace J. Fletcher Encores!
1995 Moon Over Buffalo George Hay Martin Beck Theatre
Tony Award nomination
1995 The Heiress Dr. Austin Sloper Cort Theatre
Drama Desk Award nomination
1994 An Inspector Calls Arthur Birling Royale Theatre
1994 Fiorello! Ben Marino Encores!
1990 The Miser Harpagon Circle in the Square Theatre
1989 Lend Me a Tenor Saunders Royale Theatre
Tony Award
Drama Desk Award
1988 The Devil's Disciple General Burgoyne Circle in the Square Theatre
1986 You Never Can Tell Waiter Circle in the Square Theatre
Tony Award nomination
1985 The Loves of Anatol Max Circle in the Square Theatre
1984 Come Back, Little Sheba Doc Roundabout Theatre Company
1983 Ah, Wilderness! Nat Miller Haft Theater
1983 Heartbreak House Alfred "Boss" Mangan Circle in the Square Theatre
Tony Award nomination
1983 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Lt. Com. Philip Francis Queeg Circle in the Square Theatre
1982 Eminent Domain Holmes Bradford Circle in the Square Theatre
1980 The Bacchae Cadmus Circle in the Square Theatre
1980 Major Barbara Andrew Undershaft Circle in the Square Theatre
Drama Desk Award nomination
1979 Whose Life Is It Anyway? Dr. Michael Emerson Trafalgar Theatre (New York)
1978 Man and Superman Mendoza Circle in the Square Theatre
1978 Stages Frank Faye, New Member, Jesse Thibault Belasco Theatre
1977 Saint Joan Richard de Beauchamp Circle in the Square Theatre
1977 The Threepenny Opera Mack the Knife New York Shakespeare Festival and Vivian Beaumont Theater
1976 Henry V Pistol New York Shakespeare Festival
1976 Mrs. Warren's Profession Sir George Crofts Vivian Beaumont Theater
1973 A Streetcar Named Desire Harold Mitchell Vivian Beaumont Theater
1973 The Merchant of Venice Gratiano Vivian Beaumont Theater
1973 The Plough and the Stars Corporal Stoddart Vivian Beaumont Theater
1972 Enemies Mikhail Skrobotov Vivian Beaumont Theater
1972 The Crucible Reverend John Hale Vivian Beaumont Theater
1972 Twelfth Night Antonio Vivian Beaumont Theater
1972 Narrow Road to the Deep North Prime Minister Vivian Beaumont Theater
1971 Antigone Creon Vivian Beaumont Theater
1971 An Enemy of the People Peter Stockmann Vivian Beaumont Theater
1971 Playboy of the Western World Jimmy Farrell Vivian Beaumont Theater
1970 The Good Woman of Setzuan First God Vivian Beaumont Theater
1970 Operation Sidewinder Captain Bovine Vivian Beaumont Theater
1970 Camino Real Baron de Charlus Vivian Beaumont Theater
1969 The Time of Your Life Nick Vivian Beaumont Theater
1969 The Miser Anselme Vivian Beaumont Theater
1969 In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer Curtis Moffat, Jr. Vivian Beaumont Theater
1968 King Lear Earl of Kent Vivian Beaumont Theater
1968 Cyrano de Bergerac Le Comte de Guiche Vivian Beaumont Theater
1968 Tiger at the Gates Hector Vivian Beaumont Theater
1968 Saint Joan Dunois Vivian Beaumont Theater
1967 Galileo performer Vivian Beaumont Theater
1967 The East Wind performer Vivian Beaumont Theater
1967 The Alchemist performer Vivian Beaumont Theater
1966 Richard III performer New York Shakespeare Festival
1961 A Man for All Seasons understudy (The Duke of Norfolk, Attendant to Signor Chapuys, King Henry VIII) ANTA Playhouse
1961 Donnybrook! Will Danaher 46th Street Theatre
1958 Auntie Mame Brian O'Bannion Bus/Truck Tour


Year Title Role Notes
1953 You Are There Sam Houston 2 episodes
1961 DuPont Show of the Month Duke Michael Episode: "The Prisoner of Zenda"
1961 Armstrong Circle Theatre Roy Thornton Episode: "Medicine Man"
1961 Sunday Showcase General Gordon Episode: "Our American Heritage: Gentleman's Decision"
1961 Our American Heritage General Gordon Episode: "Gentleman's Decision"
1963–1965 The Doctors and the Nurses Ralph Maley / Hap Spencer / Parnell Sullivan 3 episodes
1965 The Defenders Dr. Manfredi Episode: "Whipping Boy"
1965 For the People Detective Willard 2 episodes
1965 The Trials of O'Brien Theo Episode: "Charlie's Got All the Luck"
1966 Hawk Nick Ingland Episode: "Game with a Dead End"
1966 NET Playhouse Peter Stockmann Episode: "An Enemy of the People"
1968 N.Y.P.D. Episode: "What's a Nice Girl Like You..."
1971 Great Performances Father Coyne Episode: "Hogan's Goat"
1978 Ryan's Hope Dr. Gillette Episode #1.789
1979 Guiding Light Clarence Baily Unknown episodes
1981 Nurse Dr. Harry Wallenberg Episode: "Equal Opportunity"
1985 American Playhouse Gaetano Altobelli Episode: "Some Men Need Help"
1986 Liberty Boss William Tweed Television film
1986 Rage of Angels: The Story Continues Thomas Colfax Television film
1986–1989 The Equalizer Oscar / Brian 2 episodes
1987 ABC Afterschool Special Grandfather Episode: "Read Between the Lines"
1987 Leg Work Dawson Episode: "All This and a Gold Card Too"
1987 Echoes in the Darkness Judge Garb Television film
1988 Spenser: For Hire David McVane Episode: "Substantial Justice"
1988 Internal Affairs John Wycoff Television film
1989 Murder in Black and White Wycoff Television film
1990 The Civil War Horace Greeley Voice, 9 episodes
1990 Against the Law Judge Webb Episode: "Contempt"
1990–1999 Law & Order Gordon Schell / Lee Jerrold / Mr. Dobbs 5 episodes
1990–2010 American Experience Narrator / various voices 3 episodes
1991 The Return of Eliot Ness Art Malto Television film
1992 Lincoln Frederick Seward Voice-, Television film
1993 Tribeca Harry Arsharsky 7 episodes
1994 Against the Wall Oswald Television film
1994 The Forget-Me-Not Murders Chief Television film
1994 Janek: The Silent Betrayal Chief Wycoff Television film
1995 Young at Heart Patsy Television film
1997 Early Edition Killabrew Episode: "Bat Masterson"
1997 Remember WENN Palermo Racine Episode: "A Star in Stripes Forever"
1997 Liberty! The American Revolution Benjamin Franklin 5 episodes
1998 Cosby Episode: "Enter Lucas"
1998 Soul Man Snake Eye Episode: "Raising Heck"
1998 Carriers Col. John O. Bailey Television film
1998 Twelfth Night, or What You Will Malvolio Television film
1998 Spin City Randall Winston, Sr. Episode: "Gobble the Wonder Turkey Saves the Day"
1999 Bonanno: A Godfather's Story Steve Maggadino Sr. Television film
2000 All My Children Lyle Wedgewood 1 episode
2000 Cupid & Cate Dominic DeAngelo Television film
2001 No Ordinary Baby Dr. Ed Walden Television film
2001–2004 Ed Alan Stevens 2 episodes
2002 Cyberchase Zeus Voice, Episode: "Zeus on the Loose"
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Prof. Winthrop Episode: "Anti-Thesis"
2002–2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Judge Joseph P. Terhune / Davis Langley 6 episodes
2003 Freedom: A History of Us Voice, 7 episodes
2007–2009 Damages Hollis Nye 12 episodes

See also

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