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Tom Hulce
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Hulce in 2006
Thomas Edward Hulce

(1953-12-06) December 6, 1953 (age 70)
Education University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Beloit College
  • Actor
  • producer
Years active 1974–2008, 2023 (actor)
1999–present (theatre director and producer)

Thomas Edward Hulce (/ˈhʊls/; born December 6, 1953) is an American actor and theatre producer. He is best known for his portrayal of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the Academy Award-winning film Amadeus (1984), as well as the roles of Larry "Pinto" Kroger in Animal House (1978), Larry Buckman in Parenthood (1989), and Quasimodo in Disney's animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Awards include an Emmy Award for The Heidi Chronicles, a 2007 Tony Award for Best Musical as a lead producer for Spring Awakening, an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for Amadeus, and four Golden Globe nominations.

Early life

Thomas Edward Hulce was born on December 6, 1953, in Detroit, Michigan (some sources incorrectly cite his birthplace as Whitewater, Wisconsin). The youngest of four children, he was raised in Plymouth, Michigan. His mother, the former Joanna Winkleman, sang briefly with Phil Spitalny's All-Girl Orchestra, and his father, Raymond Albert Hulce, worked for the Ford Motor Company. As a child, he wanted to be a singer, but he switched to acting after his voice changed in his teenage years. He left home at the age of 15 and attended Interlochen Arts Academy and the North Carolina School of the Arts, leaving a year before finishing his BFA. He graduated with a BA from Beloit College in Wisconsin.


Acting career

Hulce debuted as an actor in 1975, playing opposite Anthony Hopkins in Equus on Broadway and in Los Angeles. Throughout the rest of the 1970s and the early 1980s, he worked primarily as a theater actor, taking occasional parts in movies. His first film role was in the James Dean-influenced film September 30, 1955 in 1977. His next movie role was as freshman student Lawrence "Pinto" Kroger in the classic comedy Animal House (1978). In 1983, he played a gunshot victim in the television show St. Elsewhere.

In the early 1980s, Hulce was chosen over intense competition (including David Bowie, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mark Hamill, and Kenneth Branagh) to play the role of Mozart in director Miloš Forman's film version of Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus. In 1985, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, losing to his co-star, F. Murray Abraham. In his acceptance speech, Abraham paid tribute to his co-star, saying, "There's only one thing missing for me tonight, and that is to have Tom Hulce standing by my side."

Tom Hulce and Faye Dunaway
Hulce with Faye Dunaway at the 42nd Golden Globe Awards, January 1985

In 1989, he received his second Best Actor Golden Globe Award nomination for a critically acclaimed performance as an intellectually-challenged garbage-collector in the 1988 movie Dominick and Eugene. He played supporting roles in Parenthood (1989), Fearless (1993) and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994). In 1988, he played the title part in the British–Dutch movie Shadow Man, directed by the Polish director Piotr Andrejew.

In 1990, he was nominated for his first Emmy Award for his performance as the 1960s civil rights activist Michael Schwerner in the 1990 TV-movie Murder in Mississippi. He starred as Joseph Stalin's projectionist in Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky's 1991 film The Inner Circle. In 1996, he won an Emmy Award for his role as a pediatrician in a television-movie version of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles, starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Also that year, he was cast in Disney's animated film adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, providing the speaking and singing voice of the protagonist Quasimodo. Although Hulce largely retired from acting in the mid-1990s, he had bit parts in the movies Stranger Than Fiction (2006) and Jumper (2008).

Hulce remained active in theater throughout his entire acting career. In addition to Equus, he appeared in Broadway productions of A Memory of Two Mondays and A Few Good Men, for which he was a Tony Award nominee in 1990. In the mid-1980s, he appeared in two different productions of playwright Larry Kramer's early AIDS-era drama The Normal Heart. In 1992, he starred in a Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Hamlet. His regional theatre credits include Eastern Standard at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Nothing Sacred at the Mark Taper Forum, both in 1988.

He retired from acting in the mid-1990s to focus on stage directing and producing. In 2023, Hulce made a brief return to acting by reprising the role of Quasimodo in the animated short Once Upon a Studio.

Career as producer

Among Hulce's major projects are the six-hour, two-evening stage adaptation of John Irving's The Cider House Rules; and Talking Heads, a festival of Alan Bennett's one-man plays that won six Obie Awards, a Drama Desk Award, a special Outer Critics Circle Award, and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. He also headed 10 Million Miles, a musical project by Keith Bunin and Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Patty Griffin, that premiered in Spring 2007 at the Atlantic Theater Company.

Hulce was a lead producer of the Broadway hit Spring Awakening, which won eight Tony Awards in 2007, including one for Best Musical. He is also a lead producer of the stage adaptation of the Green Day album American Idiot. The musical had its world premiere in Berkeley, California, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009 and opened on Broadway in April 2010. In 2017 he began work as a producer on the musical Ain't Too Proud, which received 11 Tony Award nominations in 2019. He also produced the 2004 movie A Home at the End of the World, based upon Michael Cunningham's novel.

Personal life

In 2008, Hulce identified as gay in an interview with Seattle Gay News. In the same interview, he took the opportunity to debunk a rumor he married a woman (supposedly an Italian artist named Cecilia Ermini) and had a daughter named Anya with her: "That information – having a wife and child – is false. In the world of the Internet, there are many falsehoods. Anyone can write stuff on Wikipedia and it doesn't have to be true. I'm comfortable among the lists [of openly gay actors] although I stopped acting about 10 years ago."



Year Title Role Notes
1977 September 30, 1955 Hanley
1978 Animal House Lawrence "Pinto" Kroger
1980 Those Lips, Those Eyes Artie Shoemaker
1984 Amadeus Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actor
  • Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
  • Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1986 Echo Park Jonathan
1987 Slam Dance C.C. Drood
1988 Dominick and Eugene Dominick "Nicky" Luciano Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1988 Shadow Man David Rubenstin / The Shadow Man
1989 Parenthood Lawrence "Larry" Buckman
1989 Black Rainbow Gary Wallace
1991 Inner Circle, TheThe Inner Circle Ivan Sanshin
1993 Fearless Steven Brillstein
1994 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Henry Clerval
1995 Wings of Courage Antoine de Saint Exupéry
1996 Hunchback of Notre Dame, TheThe Hunchback of Notre Dame Quasimodo Voice
Nominated — Annie Award for Best Achievement in Voice Acting
2002 Hunchback of Notre Dame II, TheThe Hunchback of Notre Dame II Quasimodo Voice
2004 Home at the End of the World, AA Home at the End of the World N/A Producer
2006 Stranger Than Fiction Dr. Cayly
2008 Jumper Mr. Bowker
2009 Kyle Riabko: The Lead Self Documentary
2018 The Seagull N/A Producer
2022 Spring Awakening: Those You've Known Self Producer
2023 Once Upon a Studio Quasimodo Voice
Short film


Title Year Role Notes
Great Performances 1975 Young Frank Episode: "Forget-Me-Not-Lane"
The American Parade 1976 Brother Episode: "Song of Myself"
The Adams Chronicles 1976 Student Episode: "Chapter X: John Quincy Adams, Congressman"
St. Elsewhere 1983 John Doe #12 / David Stewart 3 episodes
American Playhouse 1986 Daniel Rocket Episode: "Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket, TheThe Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket"
Tall Tales & Legends 1986 Quinn Episode: "John Henry"
Murder in Mississippi 1990 Michael "Mickey" Schwerner Television film
  • Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
  • Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
The Hidden Room 1993 Joe Episode: "Dreams About Water"
Frasier 1995 Keith (voice) Episode: "She's the Boss"
Heidi Chronicles, TheThe Heidi Chronicles 1995 Peter Patrone Television film
  • Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
  • CableACE Award for Best Supporting Actor - Miniseries or Movie
  • Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film


Title Year Role Notes
Equus 1974 Alan Strang
A Memory of Two Mondays / 27 Wagons Full of Cotton 1976 Bert
Twelve Dreams 1981 Sanford Putnam
A Few Good Men 1989 Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel A. Kaffee Nominated — Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play
Nominated — Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Play
Hamlet 1992 Hamlet Nominated — Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
The Cider House Rules 1999 N/A Director
Nominated — Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play
Talking Heads 2003 N/A Producer
Nominated — Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play
Spring Awakening 2006 N/A Producer
Tony Award for Best Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
American Idiot 2010 N/A Producer
Nominated — Tony Award for Best Musical
Nominated — Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever 2011 N/A Producer
Significant Other 2017 N/A Producer
Ain't Too Proud 2019 N/A Producer
Nominated — Tony Award for Best Musical


See also

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