Alfred Lunt

1892 - 1977


The actor Alfred Lunt and his wife Lynn Fontanne belonged to the most important acting couples of the American theater.

Alfred Lunt was born as the son of a doctor and not like often misquoted of a farmer. He grew up in Milwaukee and had the intention to study design and architecture. But he soon realised that the theater was his real world.
He became a member with the Carroll Players and was introduced to the acting by director May Rankin.

He made his professional stage debut at the Castle Square theater with the play "The Gingerbread Man".

He concentrated nearly exclusively to the the theater, only seldom he also acted in front of the camera. When Alfred Lunt acted together with Lynn Fontanne for the first time in 1919 they discovered many things in common, three years later they got married.

They had great success at tht theater and since 1928 they only appeared together, never alone.

Alfred Lunt took part in some movies in the silent movie era, so in the productions "Backbone" (23), "The Ragged Edge" (23), "Second Youth" (24), "Sally of the Sawdust" (25) and "Lovers in Quarantine" (25).

In the sound film era he only acted in the movie "The Guardsman" (31), for which he was nominated for the Oscar and many years later in an episode of the TV serial "The United States Steel Hour: The Old Lady Shows Her Medals" (63).

But the huge success he gained on the stage together with his wife. When they joined the Theatre Guild they revolutionized the theater by unusal techniques like overlapping dialogues, turn their backs on the audience and passionate contacts.
To her well-known plays belong "The Doctor's Dilemma" (27), "Elizabeth the Queen" (30), "Amphitryon 38 (38) and "The Pirate" (42).

They negotiated an unsual contract clause and defined that they never play theater in summer. Instead of it they recovered from the bustle in their home "Ten Chimneys" which soon became the center of attraction for artists, for actors as well as writers.

They both continued their career till 1960, her farewell performance already began in 1958 with "The Visit", which lastet two years.

Alfred Lunt was awarded with an Emmy, two Tony awards and for another one he was nominated during his impressive career.

But his greatest role he didn't play on stage but in his real life. His marriage with Lynn Fontanne was a so-called lavender wedding, a marriage between two homosexuel (or bisexual) people in order to give the impression of a heterosexual relationship. That way they impersonated the ideal American couple and the public believed in the fairytale romance between the alleged farmer boy and the petite British beauty. Her marriage laste over 50 years.

The couple was honored by issuing a stamp in 1999.

Other movies with Alfred Lunt:
Serie "Producers' Showcase: The Great Sebastians" (57) Serie "Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Magnificent Yankee" (65)