Oderman, Stuart (Douglas) 1940-

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ODERMAN, Stuart (Douglas) 1940-

PERSONAL: Born February 7, 1940, in Elizabeth, NJ; son of Abraham D. (in sales) and Helen (Greenwald) Oderman; married Janet Sovey (an actor), July 18, 1983. Education: Attended Kean College of New Jersey, 1961; Columbia University, B.A., 1963; State University of New York College at New Paltz, M.A., 1967.

ADDRESSES: Home—243 South Harrison St., Apt. 9H, East Orange, NJ 07018.

CAREER: Silent film pianist, 1959—, including work at Museum of Modern Art, Public Theater, and New School for Social Research, all in New York, NY; Royal British Columbia Museum, Vancouver; Athens Concert Hall, Athens, Greece; and for Public Broadcasting Service television series.


Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 1994.

Lillian Gish, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2000.

Author of five plays produced off-Broadway. Composer for the television series Laurel and Hardy Laughtunes, 1976; composer for a documentary film about Charlie Chaplin, 1965. Contributor of articles, stories, and reviews to periodicals, including Entertaining Yesteryear, Films in Review, and Films of the Golden Age.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Anthology of silent film actor's interviews.

SIDELIGHTS: Stuart Oderman told CA: "I became interested in playing the piano for silent films in 1954, as a fourteen-year-old student cutting high school classes in Newark to attend Wednesday matinees at the theater. When I couldn't get the affordable second balcony seat, I would go to the Museum of Modern Art, where they would show silent films. On one of these occasions, I met Lillian Gish, and she introduced me to the museum's pianist, Arthur Kleiner. He became my teacher, while Miss Gish remained a constant source of encouragement for the next thirty-nine years, until her passing in 1993.

"I have worked with other silent film stars, including Gloria Swanson, Aileen Pringle, and Ann Pennington. I began recording my reminiscences of them when a television director said I would be the last person to hear them 'talk about the old days,' that I would be recording a history of an era that would otherwise be forgotten.

"For nearly forty-two years I have performed all over the United States and in England and Greece. As an active silent film pianist, I am the last of a dying breed."