FLASH FRIDAY: Brian Bedford as Lady Bracknell in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Bedford first arrived in Broadway in 1959 in director John Gielgud's production of Peter Shaffer's FIVE FINGER EXERCISE. He must have enjoyed his ten-month stay in New York because he returned to Broadway 17 more times, not to mention a summer at Central Park's Delacorte, starring in AS YOU LIKE IT.
Bedford was a master of classical comedy, as exemplified by his Tony-winning turn in THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, and a specialist in Moliere, bringing THE MISANTHROPE, TARTUFFE and a pairing of one-acts, THE SCHOOL FOR HUSBANDS and THE IMAGINARY CUCKOLD, to Broadway.
His last New York appearance was a history-making one, as he was the first male on Broadway to play one the English language's most iconic comedy roles, Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. His hilarious performance earned Bedford a seventh Tony Award nomination and the production was filmed on stage for movie theatre release.