Member Profiles

Austin Pendleton


Austin Pendleton began working with Steppenwolf in 1979, when he directed the Ensemble in Say Goodnight, Gracie, by Ralph Pape.  After that he returned to direct Loose Ends (by Michael Weller), Three Sisters, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Then he was cast opposite Laurie Metcalf in Educating Rita, directed by Jeff Perry, and on the first day of rehearsal for that was asked to join the Ensemble officially.  Since then he has acted and directed at Steppenwolf frequently, and most recently acted on Broadway in the Steppenwolf-originated The Minutes, by Tracy Letts, directed by Anna Shapiro.  He has acted over the years in several Broadway shows (the first being the original production of Fiddler on the Roof, in which he was the first Motel, the Tailor), and many off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows.  He has also directed in these venues, winning a Tony nomination for The Little Foxes (with Elizabeth Taylor) and an Obie Award for Three Sisters (with Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal).  He's appeared in about 300 movies, and on TV in recurring roles in Oz and Homicide.  He has written three plays: Orson's Shadow (which started at Steppenwolf, in the production, directed by David Cromer, that moved to off-Broadway and ran for a little under a year); Uncle Bob (the second production of the play, after its New York premiere); and Booth, which, after its New York premiere played at Writers' Theater in Glencoe.  He was also commissioned by Writers' Theatre to write the libretto for  A Minister's Wife, a musical adapted from Shaw's Candida, with music by Josh Schmidt and lyrics by Jan Tranen, conceived and directed by Michael Halberstam, which then moved to the Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center, in New York.  All these works are published and have been frequently produced around the country, and -- in the case of Orson's Shadow, in London, and in the case of Uncle Bob, in Paris, translated by Jean-Marie Besset.

Watch & Listen

Credits & Awards


Wall Street 2; Picadilly Jim; Dirty Work; Finding Nemo<;>A Beautiful Mind; Queenie in Love; Manna from Heaven; Mr. and Mrs. Bridge; What's Up Doc; Joe the King; The Associate; Trial and Error; Amistad; Sue; The Muppet Movie, My Cousin Vinny; Christmas with the Kranks.


Actor Broadway: The Diary of Anne Frank; Doubles; Hail Strawdyke; Fiddler on the Roof? Actor Off-Broadway: The Sunset Limited; Richard II; Hamlet; Richard III; The Last Sweet Days of Isaac; Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad Actor Regional: King Lear, Waiting for Godot (New Repertory Theatre); The Black Monk (Samuel Beckett Theatre); Love Drunk (Abingdon Theatre). Director Off-Broadway: The Little Foxes; Spoils of War; The Runner Stumbles; Fifty Words; Uncle Vanya; Vieux Carre; Golden Age; Bus Stop frequent directing at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Director Chicago: A Minister's Wife (Writers') Playwright and Actor: Orson's Shadow (Chicago Center for the Performing Arts and Barrow Street Theatre); Booth (Writers' Theater Chicago)


Homicide (NBC); Oz (HBO); The Fourth Floor (HBO); Liberty (PBS).


L.A. Drama Critics Award - Best Writing (Orson's Shadow); Clarence Derwent Award (Hail Strawdyke); Obie Award (The Last Sweet Days of Isaac).

Member Profiles

Austin Pendleton

Austin  Pendleton