Robert LuPone died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday, August 27, at the age of 76. He was well recognized for his leadership of the off-Broadway theatrical troupe MCC (Manhattan Class Company). The Associated Press was the first to announce his death when the theater verified it. According to an official announcement from MCC Theater, Robert Francis LuPone died after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Patti LuPone, an acclaimed Broadway actress, his wife Virginia, son Orlando, and twin brother William survive the late actor and creative director.
MCC Theater’s Bennie Will issued a statement after his death. It said:
“Bob was a force, an advocate, complicated in the finest ways, brimming with young zeal, yet profoundly insightful as he gazed into our hearts.” He was our closest companion. It’s difficult to realize we’ll never sit down with him again and say, ‘Let’s speak.’”
All about MCC Theater founder Robert LuPone
The MCC (Manhattan Class Company) Theater was created in 1986 by Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, and William Cantler. However, LuPone has been working as an actor since 1970. LuPone studied theater under famed German-American theatrical actress Uta Hagen after graduating from the world-known Juilliard School as a dancer and actor. According to the Internet Broadway Database, the New York City native made his theatrical debut as a performer in 1968’s Noel Coward’s Sweet Potato.
In 1974, he was also engaged in the production of Stephen Schwartz’s musical The Magic Show. However, his portrayal as Zack in the 1975 musical A Chorus Line won him a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Later in his career, he ventured into TV acting with productions such as 1984’s All My Children, the mid-1990s Loving, and others.
Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Bob LuPone was featured on Law & Order. In four episodes, he portrayed many one-off roles. In The Sopranos, he also played Dr. Bruce Cusamano. LuPone’s last television performance in a five-decade career was on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2019.
Meanwhile, as the MCC Theater’s Co-Artistic Director, LuPone produced plays such as Frozen in 2004 and Reasons to Be Pretty in 2008, both of which got Tony Award nominations for “Best Play.” LuPone was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his supporting performance in All My Children in 1985. LuPone has over 47 acting credits in films and television shows to his name. Meanwhile, he was involved with 17 Broadway ventures, six of which he produced and the rest of which he was a cast member. In addition, Robert LuPone is the cousin of Emmy-winning writer and producer Tom Fontana. He is the brother-in-law of Bob’s sister Patti LuPone’s husband, former camera operator Matt Johnston.
Condolences pour in for the death of Robert LuPone.
Several tweets credited LuPone with co-founding the MCC Theater, while others shared memories of the late Broadway personality and actor’s performances. Some people recalled him from The Sopranos. Similarly, a few others mentioned the late theater artist and director’s warmth and charity.
SpotCo mourns the passing of MCC founding Co-Artistic Director, client and friend, Bob LuPone. We send love and thoughts to Bernie, Will, Blake, and the entire MCC family. pic.twitter.com/QpUed0PXvP
— SpotCo (@SpotNYC) August 28, 2022
Damn, another Sopranos cast member gone,RIP Robert LuPone. pic.twitter.com/mVmNhnwrDe
— 𝕮𝖗𝖞𝖘𝖙𝖆𝖑 𝕻𝖍𝖎𝖑𝖔𝖘𝖔𝖕𝖍𝖊𝖗 (@Crystal_Philoso) August 27, 2022