Born October 24, 1947 is Patti LuPone’s former Julliard boyfriend, Kevin Kline. Yes he might have appeared in over 15 Broadway shows, winning two Tony Awards, and an Oscar (but, we all know what he’s famous for, right?!) Kline was born in St Louis, MO, the son of Margaret and Robert Joseph Kline.His father was a classical music lover and an amateur opera singer who owned and operated The Record Bar, a record store in St. Louis that opened in the early 1940s, and sold toys during the 1960s and 1970s;his father’s family also owned Kline’s Inc., a department store chain. Kevin has described his mother as the “dramatic theatrical character in our family.” Kline’s father was Jewish, from a family that had emigrated from Germany; Kline’s mother was first generation Irish. Kline was raised in his mother’s Catholic religion.
In 1970, Kline was awarded a scholarship to the newly formed Drama Division at the Julliard in New York. In 1972, he joined with fellow Julliard graduates, including Patti Lupone and David Ogden Stiers, and formed the City Center Acting Company (now The Acting Company), under the guidance of John Houseman. The Company traveled across the U.S. performing Shakespearian plays, various classical works, and the musical The Robber Bridegroom, founding one of the most widely recognized acting companies in American repertory theatre. Kline went on to appear on Broadway in other musicals including The Beggars Opera, The Pirates of Penzance, and On The 20th Century. Known mainly for his dramatic credits, other Broadway productions include The Three Sisters, The Time Of Your Life, Loose Ends, Ivanov, Henry IV, and most recently, Cyrano de Bergerac (2007) with Jennifer Garner. He has appeared in over 50 films (including our cult favorite, Soapdish!).
Throughout the 1970s, Kline was involved in a long-term relationship with his Juilliard classmate Patti Lupone. They separated and reconnected many times before finally ending their relationship in 1978. Their relationship is precisely detailed in LuPone’s memoir, Patti LuPone: A Memoir. Kline married actress Phoebe Cates in 1989. The couple live in New York City and they have two children Owen, and Greta. The Kevin Kline Awards honor theatre professionals in St. Louis in a wide array of categories, which include best actor and actress, set design, choreography, and original play. The first awards ceremony took place on March 20, 2006. How fabulous is it to have an award ceremony named after you when you’re still alive?
Kline is best known for creating some of the most subtly brilliant, and hilarious characters we’ve seen on stage, and screen. He makes it look easy, which is the hard part. We celebrate him today, and wish him a wonderful birthday!!
Click below to celebrate the work of actor, Kevin Klein:
Kevin Kline in Joseph Papp’s Pirates of Penzance at that Delacorte theater in Central Park, 1980.
Kevin Kline (with Judy Kaye) in On The 20th Century at the Tony Awards (1978).
Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner in Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway 2006.