Christopher Plummer — Emmy, Tony and (oldest ever) Oscar winning actor who died today at 91, at his Weston home — was a familiar presence in restaurants like Da Pietro’s, and other local venues.
A Connecticut resident since the 1950s, he was a longtime member of the Westport Country Playhouse’s board of trustees. But his association with the renowned theater goes much further back.
He first appeared on the Westport stage in 1953, in “The Starcross Story.” It starred Eva Le Gallienne, a 55-year Weston resident, and soon became his Broadway debut. Later that summer, he was in “What About Maisie.”
The next year, Plummer returned with “Home is the Hero.”
Plummer was a member of the Playhouse’s board of trustees since 2002. He championed the theater’s 2005 renovation with his words, “It is obvious that we must continue to cherish this gem of a theater, which has not only found its way into our hearts, but surely harbors more history within its walls than almost any other playhouse of its kind on our continent.”
In a Moffly Media interview recently, Plummer said that Playhouse productions during the Lawrence Langner era were tryouts for Broadway. “We always had a very elegant audience, black-tie for opening nights.”
He was a member of the initial Playhouse artistic advisory board. In 2001 he appeared in their 9/11 tribute, :For the Children.”
Plummer joined the Playhouse board of trustees in 2002. He was a key supporter of the theater’s renovation, along with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, saying “It is obvious that we must continue to cherish this gem of a theater, which has not only found its way into our hearts, but surely harbors more history within its walls than almost any other playhouse of its kind on our continent.”
In 2005 he inaugurated the renovated Playhouse with a benefit event: his one-man show, “A Word or Two, Before You Go.”
In 2010 Plummer delivered the Westport Library’s Malloy Lecture in the Arts. Held that year at the Playhouse, his topic was “Remembering Archie (Archibald MacLeish–The Poet and the Man).” Plummer combined MacLeish’s poetry with his personal reminiscences of the poet, and was interviewed by Playhouse artistic advisor Anne Keefe about his own career and memoir “In Spite of Myself.”
Last fall, he appeared in a video tribute to the Playhouse, shown at the Remarkable Theater.
If you have a Christopher Plummer story or memory, click “Comments” below