Whitehead, Paxton 1937–

views updated

Whitehead, Paxton 1937–


Full name, Francis Edward Paxton Whitehead; born October 17, 1937, in East Malling, Kent, England; son of Charles Parkin (a lawyer) and Louise (maiden name, Hunt) Whitehead; married Patricia Gage (an actress), January 2, 1971 (divorced); married Katherine Robertson; children: (second marriage) Sarah, Charles. Education: Trained for the stage at the Webber-Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art. Avocational Interests: Tennis, skiing, cards.

Career: Actor and director. Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, artistic director, 1967–77; Vancouver PlayHouse, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, artistic director, 1971–73; Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, associate artist, beginning 1986.

Member: Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; Players Club.

Awards, Honors: Antoinette Perry Award nomination and Drama Desk Award nomination, both best featured actor in a musical, 1981, for Camelot; Drama Desk Award (with others), outstanding ensemble, 1984, for Noises Off; honorary LL.D., Trent University, 1986; Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nomination, best actor, 1989, for How the Other Half Loves; Norton Award, outstanding actor with a large company, 2004, for What the Butler Saw.


Stage Appearances:

Kentish Colt, The Epilogue, Old Stagers Theatre, Canterbury, England, 1949.

Alphonse, All for Mary, Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, England, 1956.

Francisco, Hamlet, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, England, 1958.

Gallows Humor, Gramercy Arts Theatre, New York City, 1961.

Prosecuting counsel, One Way Pendulum, East Seventy-Fourth Street Theatre, New York City, 1961.

And He Made a Her, Caffe Cino Theatre, New York City, 1961.

Gilbert Dawson-Hill, The Affair, Henry Miller's Theatre, New York City, 1962.

Torvald Helmer, A Doll's House, Theatre Four, New York City, 1963.

Gower, Henry V, American Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, CT, 1963.

King of France, King Lear, American Shakespeare Festival, 1963.

Member of ensemble, Beyond the Fringe (revue), John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1964.

Horner, The Country Wife, Front Street Theatre, Memphis, TN, 1964.

Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady (musical), Front Street Theatre, 1964.

Jack Absolute, The Rivals, Charles Playhouse, Boston, MA, 1964.

Archie Rice, The Entertainer, Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, CT, 1965.

Adolphus Cusins, Major Barbara, Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, OH, 1965.

Randall Underwood, Heartbreak House, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1965.

Christoforou, The Public Eye, Manitoba Theatre Centre, 1965.

Algernon, The Importance of Being Earnest, Manitoba Theatre Centre, 1965.

John Worthing, The Importance of Being Earnest, Canadian Players, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1966.

Lord Summerhays, Misalliance, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 1966.

Magnus, The Apple Cart, Shaw Festival, 1966.

Sergius, Arms and the Man, Shaw Festival, 1967.

Adolphus Cusins, Major Barbara, Shaw Festival, 1967.

Hector Hushabye, Heartbreak House, Shaw Festival, 1968.

Coustilliou, The Chemmy Circle, Shaw Festival, 1968.

Fancourt Babberly, Charley's Aunt, Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, 1968.

Chemin de Fer, Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, 1969.

Rondelay, Hudson West Theatre, New York City, 1969.

Dubedat, The Doctor's Dilemma, Shaw Festival, 1969.

The actor, The Guardsman, Shaw Festival, 1969.

Tempest, Forty Years On, Shaw Festival, 1970.

The Chemmy Circle, Arena Stage, Washington, DC, 1970.

Hector Hushabye, Heartbreak House, Goodman Memorial Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1970.

The emperor, The Brass Butterfly, Chelsea Theatre Center, New York City, 1970.

Reverend Alexander Mill, Candida, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1970.

Charteris, The Philanderer, Shaw Festival, 1971.

Lead roles, Tonight at 8:30, Shaw Festival, 1971.

Valentine, You Never Can Tell, Shaw Festival, 1973.

Savoyard, Fanny's First Play, Shaw Festival, 1973.

Fancourt Babberley, Charley's Aunt, Shaw Festival, 1974.

Canon Throbbing, Habeas Corpus, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1975.

Burgoyne, The Devil's Disciple, Shaw Festival, 1975.

Sergius, Arms and the Man, Shaw Festival, 1976.

Magnus, The Apple Cart, Shaw Festival, 1976.

Adrian, The Millionairess, Shaw Festival, 1976.

Ronnie Gamble, Thark, Shaw Festival, 1977.

Leo, Design for Living, Main Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA, 1978.

Sherlock Holmes, The Crucifer of Blood, Helen Hayes Theatre, New York City, 1978–79.

Henry Carr, Travesties, Manitoba Theatre Centre, 1979.

Title role, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1980.

Ronnie Gamble, Thark, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Philadelphia, PA, 1980.

Malvalio, Twelfth Night, Philadelphia Drama Guild, 1980.

King Pellinore, Camelot (musical), New York State Theatre, New York City, 1980.

Sergeant of police, The Pirates of Penzance (musical), Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, 1981.

Harpagon, The Miser, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, 1982.

Hector Hushabye, Heartbreak House, Theatre Royal, London, 1983.

Anthony Absolute, The Rivals, Old Globe Theatre, 1983.

Frederick "Freddy" Fellowes, Noises Off, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City, 1983–85.

Title role, Richard III, Old Globe Theatre, 1985.

Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, Old Globe Theatre, 1986.

Stanley Gardner, Run for Your Wife!, Virginia Theatre, New York City, 1989.

Martello, Artist Descending a Staircase, Helen Hayes THeatre, New York City, 1989.

Mr. Bardolph, Lettice & Lovage, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1990.

Mathieu, A Little Hotel on the Side, National Actors Theatre, Belasco Theatre, New York City, 1992.

Woman in Mind, Tiffany Theatre, Los Angeles, 1992.

Colonel Pickering, then Professor Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady (musical), Virginia Theatre, 1993–94.

Billy, Sidney, and Dr. McMerlin, London Suite, Union Square Theatre, New York City, 1995.

Springtime for Henry, Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY, 1996.

Richard Willey, Out of Order, Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ, 1997.

Sherlock Holmes, The Mask of Moriarty, Old Globe Theatre, 1997, then Paper Mill Playhouse, 1998.

Narrator, Rocky Horror Show, Tiffany Theater, Hollywood, CA, 1999.

Gal, Rough Crossing, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL, 1999.

Harold, A Bench in the Sun, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, 1999.

Sir Hugo Latymer, A Song at Twilight, Mirage Theater Company, Lucille Lortel Theater, New York City, 2000.

George Hilgay, Shadows of the Evening, Mirage Theater Company, Lucille Lortel Theater, 2000.

George Hilgay and Sir Hugo Latymer, A Suite in Two Keys, Lucille Lortel Theatre, 2000.

A. E. Houseman, The Invention of Love, Court Theatre, Chicago, IL, 2000.

Lord Augustus Lorton, Lady Windermere's Fan (staged reading), Center for the Performing Arts, University of California, Los Angeles, 2001.

Clive Champion-Cheney, The Circle, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Costa Mesa, CA, 2001.

Charlie Baker, Foreigner, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, 2002.

Mr. Spettigue, Where's Charley? (musical), Adams Memorial Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, 2002.

Pantalone, The Harlequin Studies, Signature Theatre Company, Peter Norton Space Theatre, New York City, 2003.

The Voysey Inheritance, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, 2003.

Dr. Rance, What the Butler Saw, Huntington Theatre Company, Boston University Theatre, Boston, MA, 2003.

Ronald, Absurd Person Singular, Manhattan Theatre Club, Biltmore Theatre, New York City, 2005.

Appeared in How the Other Half Loves, Los Angeles; King Lear, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba, Canada; and as Malvolio, Twelfth Night, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA; frequent participant in staged readings.

Major Tours:

Francisco, Hamlet, Royal Shakespeare Company, Soviet cities, 1958.

Lead role, The Grass Is Greener, Royal Shakespeare Company, British cities, 1959.

Freddie, Pygmalion, Royal Shakespeare Company, British cities, 1960.

Beyond the Fringe, British cities, 1963.

The Bed Before Yesterday, British cities, 1976.

Pellinore, Camelot, British cities, 1980–81.

Also toured with the Andrew McMaster Company, British cities, 1957.

Stage Director:

(And producer) And He Made a Her, Caffe Cino Theatre, New York City, 1961.

The Circle, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, 1967.

The Chemmy Circle, Shaw Festival, 1968.

A Flea in Her Ear, Charles Playhouse, Boston, MA, 1969.

Forty Years On, Shaw Festival, 1970.

The Secretary Bird, Main Stage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1970.

The Chemmy Circle, Main Stage, Vancouver, 1971.

The Sorrows of Frederick, Main Stage, Vancouver, 1971.

Misalliance, Shaw Festival, 1972.

Getting Married, Shaw Festival, 1972.

Charley's Aunt, Shaw Festival, 1972.

Widowers' Houses, Shaw Festival, 1973.

Arms and the Man, Main Stage, Vancouver, 1973.

Misalliance, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, then Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, 1982.

The Real Thing, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA, 1986.

Beyond the Fringe, Old Globe Theatre, then Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles, 1986.

Rough Crossing, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL, 1999.

Film Appearances:

Dr. Phillip Barbay, Back to School, Orion, 1986.

Lord Malcolm Billings, Jumping Jack Flash, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1986.

"Center" instructor, Baby Boom, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1987.

Voice of count, Rover Dangerfield, 1991.

Cheshire, Nervous Ticks, 1992.

Judge in Heaven, My Boyfriend's Back (also known as Johnny Zombie), Buena Vista, 1993.

Harvey Wilks, The Adventures of Huck Finn (also known as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), Buena Vista, 1993.

McReady, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, 1995.

British reporter, Rocket Man, Buena Vista, 1997.

Voice of King Salazar, Wakko's Wish (animated; also known as Steven Spielberg Presents "Animaniacs: Wakko's Wish"), 1999.

Uncle Millard, Kate & Leopold, Miramax, 2001.

Television Appearances; Series:

Albert Dudley, the butler, Marblehead Manor, 1987.

Hal Conway, a recurring role, Mad About You, NBC, between 1992 and 1999.

Duke, Simon, The WB, 1995.

Also appeared in The Naked Mind.

Television Appearances; Movies:

McDougall, Riel, 1979.

Smythe, Chips, the War Dog, Disney Channel, 1990.

Father Rosetti, Child of Darkness, Child of Light, USA Network, 1991.

Krigor Paulonovitch and Anton Paulonovitch, Boris and Natasha, Showtime, 1992.

Dr. Tiberius Scott, 12:01, Fox, 1993.

Hurley, Where Are My Children?, ABC, 1994.

Deane, Trick of the Eye (also known as Primal Secrets), CBS, 1994.

Dr. McMerlin, London Suite (also known as Neil Simon's "London Suite"), NBC, 1996.

Basil Rathwood, The Duke (also known as Hubert and Hubert, son altesse canine), Disney Channel, 1999.

Also appeared in The First Night of Pygmalion, CBC.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Patrick Burke, "Hart and Sole," Hart to Hart, ABC, 1982.

Gordon Chumley, "Rich and Hartless," Hart to Hart, ABC, 1982.

William Troubshaw, "Foiled Again," Magnum P.I., CBS, 1982.

Morgan, "Beneath the Surface," The A-Team, NBC, 1986.

Silver Spoons, NBC, 1986.

Derek, "Jerry Jumps Right In," Down and Out in Beverly Hills, 1987.

Dr. Whittaker, "The Right School for Elizabeth," Baby Boom, 1988.

Captain Oliver, "The Grand Old Lady," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1989.

Voice of Sir David Tushingham, Dinosaurs (animated), ABC, 1991.

Fenwick, "The Troubles," Law & Order, NBC, 1991.

Voice of Sir David Tushingham, "The Clip Show," Dinosaurs (animated), 1992.

Voice of judge, "Wilderness Weekend," Dinosaurs (animated), 1992.

Sir Reginald Harrington, "The Fox and the Hound," Almost Home (also known as The Torkelsons: Almost Home), ABC, 1993.

Dr. Whitcomb, "The Therapy Episode," Ellen (also known as These Friends of Mine), ABC, 1995.

Dr. Whitcomb, "The Sleep Clinic," Ellen (also known as These Friends of Mine), ABC, 1995.

Rene, Lush Life, Showtime, 1996.

Cats producer, "Caroline and the Cat Dancer," Caroline in the City (also known as Caroline), NBC, 1996.

Dr. Whitcomb, "The Parent Trap," Ellen (also known as These Friends of Mine), ABC, 1996.

Dr. Christopher Campbell, "A Lilith Thanksgiving," Frasier, NBC, 1996.

Voice of Commander, "The Darkest Fathoms," The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (animated; also known as Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures), TBS, 1996.

Dr. Menard, "World's Greatest Dick," 3rd Rock from the Sun (also known as Life as We Know It and 3rd Rock), 1996.

Vesti, "Romancing the Throne," Early Edition, CBS, 1998.

Mr. Waltham, "The One with Rachel's Crush," Friends, NBC, 1998.

Mr. Waltham, "The One with Joey's Dirty Day," Friends, NBC, 1998.

Bernard Thatch, "Noel," The West Wing, NBC, 2000.

Chancellor Johns, "To Live and Amulet Die," Dead Last, YTV, 2001.

Helford, "Rich Woman, Poor Man," The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 2002.

Bernard Thatch, "A Change Is Gonna Come," The West Wing, NBC, 2004.

Also appeared as Barnes, Brothers.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Lord Darlington, Lady Windermere's Fan, CBC, 1966.

The doctor, The Wit and World of GBS, BBC, 1971.

Lord Dufferin, The National Dream, CBC, 1973.

The Village Wooing, CBC, 1974.

America Picks the All-Time Favorite Movies, ABC, 1988.

Phipps, Tales from the Hollywood Hills: The Old Reliable (also known as The Old Reliable), PBS, 1988.

General Howe, Hale the Hero, Arts and Entertainment, 1992.

Voice of Dr. Henry Davenport, the invisible man, Monster in My Pocket: The Big Scream, ABC, 1992.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Lord Dufferin, The National Dream (also known as Building the Impossible Railway), 1974.

Hector Paradiso, An Inconvenient Woman, ABC, 1991.

Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, LIBERTY! The American Revolution, PBS, 1997.

Television Appearances; Other:

Village Wooing, 1975.

John Emerson, The Alan King Show (pilot), CBS, 1986.

Radio Appearances:

Jeeves, Thank You, Jeeves, Los Angeles Theatre Works, 1998, audio cassette, 2003.

The Doctor's Dilemma, Los Angeles Theatre Works, 2003.

Also performed for broadcast and recording of The Voysey Inheritance, Los Angeles Theatre Works.


Video Games:

Voice of King Richard, Lands of Lore III, 1999.


Plays; with Suzanne Grossman:

The Chemmy Circle (adaptation of work by Georges Feydeau), 1968.

There's One in Every Marriage (adaptation), Royale Theatre, New York City, 1971–1972.

Chemin de Fer (adaptation), Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1973–74.

A Flea in Her Ear (based on work by Feydeau), Los Angeles Music Center, Los Angeles, 1982.

About this article

Whitehead, Paxton 1937–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article