Tom Aldredge, an Emmy-winning actor who for five decades was ubiquitous on stage and screen, seen in everything from Sondheim to “The Sopranos,” died on Friday in Tampa, Fla. He was 83.
“I knew at the beginning I was nobody’s leading man,” Aldredge told The New York Times in 1985, when he was 57 and had already been playing senior citizens for some time.
In 1979, on Broadway, he created the role of Norman Thayer Jr., the 80-year-old at the center of Ernest Thompson’s comedy “On Golden Pond” (later played by Henry Fonda in the 1981 film).
His Broadway credits include a revival of “The Little Foxes” with Elizabeth Taylor; and the Stephen Sondheim musicals “Into the Woods” in which he played the Narrator, and “Passion” in which he played Doctor Tambourri.
From the 1950s to the ’80s, Aldredge appeared often with the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Aldredge was nominated for five Tony Awards. He received a Drama Desk Award in 1972 for his portrayal of Ozzie, the father of a blinded Vietnam veteran in David Rabe’s dark comedy “Sticks and Bones.” He won a Daytime Emmy in 1978 as Shakespeare in “Henry Winkler Meets William Shakespeare,” an episode of “The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People.”
His other television credits include recurring roles on “The Sopranos” (as Carmela’s father), “Ryan’s Hope” and “Damages.” He appeared last year in “Boardwalk Empire” as the father of the kingpin Nucky Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi.
Aldredge’s wife, the Tony- and Oscar-winning costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge, died in January.
Photo: Tom Aldredge recording Sondheim’s Into The Woods