“The MCC theater community mourns the loss of our very dear and distinguished inspirational partner, colleague and dear friend, Bob LuPone, who was fearless and lived with great curiosity, good humour, an boundless passion for connection and a whole lot of heart. We will miss him deeply and forever,” read a statement from the MCC.
LuPone was born on July 29, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York, to Angela Lewis (known as Pat), a homemaker, and Orlando Joseph LuPone, a school principal.
His passion for art started at an early age. In sixth grade at his North Port, Long Island elementary school, he saw his younger sister Patti dance in a colorful hula skirt at a PTA dance concert. When he told his mother how badly he wanted to wear a skirt, she told her that if that was what he wanted he would have to enroll in a dance class, which he did the next year. He began taking tap lessons after school before enrolling at the Martha Graham Studio, where he studied under Antony Tudor, Jose Limone, and Graham from ages 15 to 18.
LuPone was accepted to Juilliard when a friend suggested she audition, an audition in which she improvised. She graduated with a BFA in Dance in 1968.
In 1966, she landed her first job as part of the ensemble of pajama game Starring Liza Minnelli. His Broadway debut would be in Noel Coward’s Sweet Potato in 1968 and would later appear in Minnie’s Boys, The Rothschilds and The Magic Show.
LuPone’s al in. was taken as a chorus line But when one of the actors left the production, he asked to audition for the part of Zach, which he would land. The role inspired LuPone to receive a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. A chorus line opened in public theaters, before being swiftly moved to Broadway. The production was nominated for 12 Tony Awards at the 1976 ceremony.
While teaching an acting class at New York University, one of his students was Bernie Telsey, who together would form the Manhattan Class Company—known today as the MCC Theatre.
LuPone, Telsey and Will Cantler successfully lead MCC for nearly 40 years, producing shows such as frozen, hand to god, school girls; Or African Mean Girls Play and Pulitzer Prize winner wisdom,
While serving as co-artistic director of MCC Theatre, LuPone continued to act in Broadway productions such as a view from the bridge, true westAnd a thousand jokers, He was also at the Chicago premiere of Sam Shepard The Tooth of Crime and appeared on television in shows like the Sopranos, sex and the city, guiding Light And all my Children, For which he received a Daytime Emmy nomination.
LuPone is survived by his wife Virginia, his son Orlando, sister Patti, brother William.