Iggie Wolfington

Performer

Also known as: Ignatius Wolfington

Male

Born: November 30, 1919
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Died: September 30, 2004
California

Iggie Wolfington, the portly character actor who snagged a 1958 Tony Award nomination for playing Prof. Harold Hill's pal, Marcellus Washburn, died of natural causes Sept. 30, 2004, in Southern California, according to published reports. He was 84. In Act II of the now-classic musical by Meredith Willson, Mr. Wolfington sang the spirited specialty song, "Shipoopi." In the 1980 Broadway revival of the musical comedy set in 1912, the actor would graduate to the role of Mayor Shinn, the malaprop-dropping leader of a small Iowa town. (David Burns won the Tony in 1958 in the mayor role, besting Mr. Wolfington, whose work singing "Shipoopi" on the original cast album.)

His other Broadway appearances include Marathon '33 (1963), the farce 0One Eye Closed (1954) and the Helen Hayes vehicle Mrs. McThing (1952).

Philadelphia-born Ignatius "Iggie" Wolfington, who graduated West Philadelphia Catholic Boys High School, studied at the Philadelphia School of Theatre 1939-40 and American Theatre Wing 1946-47. During World War II, he served in the infantry of the U.S. Army, reportedly fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded a Purple Heart with oakleaf cluster and Bronze Star, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant.

A long career in theatre, TV and film would follow. Movie credits include "Herbie Rides Again" and "1941."

Mr. Wolfington made his professional debut playing what he called "minor roles" in an Orson Welles-Mercury Theatre tryout of Five Kings in 1939 in Philadelphia. Summer stock and professional productions followed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Toronto and elsewhere before Broadway called. He would appear in regional productions of plays and musicals for decades.

He was praised in his industry for work he did off-Stage, as well. According to Variety, Mr. Wolfington founded the Hollywood branch of the Actor's Fund of America and ran it for 15 years, helping to build the service organization known for supporting showfolk in need. He received the Screen Actors Guild life achievement award and served as emeritus adviser to SAG, AFTRA and Actors' Equity. He was a former Equity council member.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, actress Lynn Wood, and 27 nieces and nephews, according Variety.

Memorial contributions can be sent to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation or to the Actors' Fund of America.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - The Music Man The Music Man
Jun. 5, 1980 - Jun. 22, 1980
Mayor Shinn Performer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Marathon '33 Marathon '33
Dec. 22, 1963 - Feb. 1, 1964
Bozo Bazoo Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Music Man The Music Man
Dec. 19, 1957 - Apr. 15, 1961
Marcellus Washburn Performer
(Original)
 
One Eye Closed
Nov. 24, 1954 - Nov. 25, 1954
Sheriff Meyers Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Mrs. McThing Mrs. McThing
Feb. 20, 1952 - Jan. 10, 1953
Chef Performer
(Original)
 
 

Inside the Playbill (2)

See more Who's Who

Awards


Clarence Derwent Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1952 Most Promising Male Performer Mrs. McThing Winner

Tony Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1958 Featured Actor in a Musical The Music Man Nominee
 
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