Edmund Lyndeck

Performer

Male

Born: October 4, 1925
Bayonne, New Jersey

Died: December 14, 2015

Obituary: Edmund Lyndeck, who originated the role of the evil Judge Turpin in Stephen Sondheim’s operatic tale of revenge, Sweeney Todd, died Dec. 14. He was 90. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Mr. Lyndeck was a college English professor who had acted in regional and stock theatre for more than a decade when he gave a remarkable performance in 1979 in the daring, musical "penny dreadful" Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. With black humor and genuine chills, the show told the story of a Victorian barber who methodically gets his revenge on the officials who shipped him off to jail on trumped-up charges. Chief among these is the nefarious Judge Turpin, who raped Todd’s wife and then took his daughter, Johanna, as a ward. Years later, Turpin is now planning to wed Johanna.

Mr. Lyndeck played the part with an oily self-importance and malevolence and lent his rich baritone to the songs "Pretty Women" (a melodic duet with Todd) and the disturbing "Johanna (Mea Culpa)," in which the Judge tried to control his wicked urges by whipping himself. The latter song was cut from the original production, but heard on the cast recording.

Sweeney Todd was not his Broadway debut. He was the gentle Rev. John Witherspoon, a Congressional delegate, in the original 1969 production of 1776. Later in the run, he took on the roles of Stephen Hopkins and Dr. Lyman Hall. In the national tour of the show, he played the meaty role of John Dickinson.

He also acted in a 1976 Broadway revival of Mrs. Warren’s Profession; Piaf...A Remembrance; the musical A Doll’s Life, based on characters in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; the short-lived musical Merlin; the musical Grand Hotel; and the play Artist Descending a Staircase.

Sondheim used him again in the small role of Cinderella’s Father in the fairy-tale musical Into the Woods. He later assumed the larger role of the Narrator and Mysterious Man.

Edmund Lyndeck was born Oct. 4, 1925, in Bayonne, NJ.

Regionally, he was most active in Pennsylvania. He played Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera every year from 1992 to 2007.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Artist Descending a Staircase Artist Descending a Staircase
Nov. 30, 1989 - Dec. 31, 1989
Martello Standby
(Original)
 
    Donner Standby
(Original)
 
    Beauchamp Standby
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Into the Woods Into the Woods
Nov. 5, 1987 - Sep. 3, 1989
Cinderella's Father Performer
(Original)
Who's Who
    Mysterious Man Standby
(Original)
Who's Who
    Narrator Standby
(Original)
Who's Who
    Mysterious Man Performer
(Replacement)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Merlin Merlin
Feb. 13, 1983 - Aug. 7, 1983
Wizard Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Doll's Life A Doll's Life
Sep. 23, 1982 - Sep. 26, 1982
Eric Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd
Mar. 1, 1979 - Jun. 29, 1980
Judge Turpin Performer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Piaf...A Remembrance Piaf...A Remembrance
Feb. 14, 1977 - Mar. 5, 1977
Louis Leplee Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Mrs. Warren's Profession Mrs. Warren's Profession
Feb. 18, 1976 - Apr. 4, 1976
Mr. Praed Understudy
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - 1776 1776
Mar. 16, 1969 - Feb. 13, 1972
Dr. Lyman Hall Performer
(Replacement)
 
    Charles Thomson Understudy
(Original)
 
    Rev. John Witherspoon Performer
(Original)
 
    Dr. Lyman Hall Understudy
(Original)
 
    Stephen Hopkins Performer
(Replacement)
 
    Stephen Hopkins Understudy
(Original)
 
    Charles Thomson Understudy
(Replacement)
 
    Thomas Jefferson Understudy
(Original)
 
    Stephen Hopkins
Arrived on
Performer
(Replacement)
 
Playbill Cover - Ziegfeld Follies of 1943 Ziegfeld Follies of 1943
Apr. 1, 1943 - Jul. 22, 1944
A Ben Yost's Vi-King Performer
(Original)
 
 

Inside the Playbill (2)

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