Co-Founder of Circle in the Square and STAR WARS Actor Jason Wingreen Has Died
BroadwayWorld is sad to report that actor Jason Wingreen, 95, died at his home in Los Angeles, California, on Christmas Day, 2015. Best known to the general public as the voice of Boba Fett in the original STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and Harry the bartender in ALL IN THE FAMILY, the Broadway community remembers him best as one of the co-founders of Circle in the Square Theatre in Greenwich Village.
Jason Wingreen (October 9, 1920 - 2 January, 2016) was an American actor primarily of the screen. From the early 1960s Wingreen was a voting member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On Broadway, he played a police inspector in THE GIRL ON THE VIA FLAMINIA and PFC Snowden in FRAGILE FOX, both in 1954.
Born in 1920 in Brooklyn, New York, he grew up in Howard Beach, Queens, attended John Adams High School, and graduated from Brooklyn College in 1941. While at Brooklyn College, he participated in the Varsity Dramatic Society. Wingreen was Jewish. Wingreen originally planned to become a newspaper reporter after writing about high school sports for the Brooklyn Eagle during his high school years.
Wingreen co-founded Circle in the Square alongside Theodore Mann, Jose Quintero, Aileen Cramer, Ed Mann, and Emily Stevens in 1951. It was at the time located on Sheridan Square, then it moved to Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village in 1961, and has since been dubbed a Broadway theatre and moved to 50th Street. The Tony Award-winning FUN HOME is currently running in the theatre.
In 1958, Wingreen had the role of Nichols in the 20th Century Fox production The Bravados.
Wingreen lent his voice to Boba Fett in the original and 1997 theatrical versions of The Empire Strikes Back. His voice was replaced by the voice of Temuera Morrison (who portrayed Jango Fett: the father of the clone bounty hunter and the clone troopers in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones) in the 2004 DVD version of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Wingreen was known for his role as Harry Snowden on the television sitcom All in the Family and its continuation series, Archie Bunker's Place. Prior to this, Wingreen was a regular during the 1960-61 season of The Untouchables, playing Police Captain Dorsett. He performed in "A Stop at Willoughby," "The Midnight Sun," and "The Bard," three episodes of the original Twilight Zone series. He also appeared on the original Star Trek series, making him one of the few people involved with both Star Wars and Star Trek. Wingreen also had a recurring role as Judge Arthur Beaumont in the series Matlock, and has guest-starred in numerous other series, including Mission: Impossible, The Outer Limits, Bonanza, The Rockford Files, and The Fugitive.
In 1979, he was a part of the ensemble cast of the acclaimed TV mini-series Roots: The Next Generations.
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