John Arthur Lithgow, best known for his portrayal of Arthur Mitchell in the popular television series "
," is an actor, musician, singer, and author. He has a plethora of awards and accolades to his name. He is been awarded 2Tony awards, 5Emmy awards, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards and 4Drama Desk Awards. His contributions to cinema have made him a remarkable star not only on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but also in the American Theatre Hall of Fame.to Lithgow has enthralled audiences with his captivating performances in films like "
," and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." He has also acted in movies like "The Pelican Brief," "Obsession," and "
He has featured in Broadway musicals like "Sweet Smell of Summer," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," and "Twelfth Night." Lithgow was born on October 19, 1945, in Rochester,
, to parents Sarah Jane and Arthur Washington Lithgow III. He graduated with a degree in history and literature from Harvard College. Subsequently, he was appointed to the college’s Board of Overseers. He also served in the Department of Arts and Literature at WBAI; a listener-supported radio station. Lithgow decided to become an actor during his years at Harvard, after participating in a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s "Utopia Limited."
Lithgow’s acting career began with his debut on Broadway in 1973. He had featured in "The Changing Room" by David Storey, and his performance had earned him a Tony and a Drama Desk Award. He went on to act in plays like "My Fat Friend," (opposite
), and "A Memory of Two Mondays" (opposite
). He even got nominated in the Best Actor category for the Tony Award for his phenomenal performance in "Requiem for a Heavyweight," and "M. Butterfly."
He won the same award in 2002 for playing J.J Hunsecker in "The Sweet Smell of Success," and again in 2005 for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Lithgow was responsible for the debut of the elephant character, Nurse Mabel Buntz, in the Carnival of Animals in the NYC Ballet and Houston Ballet in 2004 and 2007 respectively. He starred opposite
in "Mr. and Mrs. Fitch," directed by Douglas Carter Beane, from February 22 to April 10, 2010. He returned to Broadway in the role of Joseph Alsop in David Auburn’s "King Lear" at the Delacorte Theater in February 2014.
Later he was seen playing the part of Tobias in the revival of Edward Abe’s "A Delicate Balance" in the same year. In 1979, Lithgow played the role of Lucas Sergeant in Bob Farse’s "All that Jazz" (a semi-autobiographical movie drawing on the life of Michael Bennett, the director). He was nominated for an Academy Award for the portrayal of Roberta Muldoon and Sam Burns in "The World According to Garp" ,an adaptation of a noveland “Terms of Endearment",a comedy drama respectively. He formed the character of Lizardo, also known as Lord John Whorfin, an Italian physicist whose body is taken over by an evil alien. He played this role in "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension”, a science fiction directed byW.D.Richter. In the movie "Footloose," he played a reverend who is averse to dancing. He also appeared as a paranoid passenger in the reappraisal of the famous episode of "Twilight Zone"- "Nightmare at 20,000 feet" for the silver screen.
He starred opposite
in "Ricochet" (1991) and as a man with split-personality disorder in "Raising Cain" (1992). He has also been the narrator in "Yertle the Turtle and other stories," a Dr. Seuss classic. In 1987, Lithgow featured in the family comedy "Harry and the Hendersons" (which had the legend of Bigfoot as its background). He has lent his voice to the evil Lord Farquaad, who appears in the Shrek movie series.
He is best known as Arthur Mitchell, Dexter’s enemy, and a serial killer, from the television show "Dexter." He has appeared in shows like "3rd Rock," "My Brother's Keeper," and "How I Met Your Mother" (as Jerry, Barney’s father.) Lithgow has authored several books for children, some of which are-"Marsupial Sue," "A Lithgow Palooza- 101 Ways to Entertain and Inspire Your Kids”, which is for the age group ranging from 3-12 years, and "I Got two Hot Dogs." He has also released a children’s album called "Singin’ in the Rain.”