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William LeMassena

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William LeMassena

Television actor

New York University

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January 19, 1993, New Suffolk, New York, United States

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William LeMassena (May 23, 1916 – January 19, 1993) was an American stage and television actor who appeared occasionally in films.

LeMassena was a graduate of NYU. His first Broadway job was with the Theatre Guild, appearing in the 1939 production of The Taming of the Shrew, starring the Lunts. "Billy Lem", as he was known by his friends, became a regular part of the Lunt's unofficial rep company of actors, (including Sydney Greenstreet, Thomas Gomaz, and Montgomery Clift.)

In the later part of his career, LeMassena did several seasons of regional work at Meadowbrook Theatre in Rochester, Michigan, and also had a long run in Broadway's Deathtrap.

He appeared as the Heavenly Friend who serves as a guide to Gordon MacRae on his return trip to Earth in the 1956 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. Massena appeared in other roles, however, including a stint towards the end of his life as Ambrose Bingham, on the daytime soap opera As the World Turns. He also appeared throughout the 1960s in several television adaptations of stage plays on the Hallmark Hall of Fame, including a 1960 production of Shakespeare's The Tempest, starring Maurice Evans, Lee Remick, Roddy McDowall, and Richard Burton (LeMassena was Antonio), as well as a 1967 production of Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, starring Geneviève Bujold in her American television debut as Joan of Arc, and featuring LeMassena as Jean d'Estivet.

He also appeared in the first (and so far, the only) television production of the operetta Naughty Marietta, in the role of Rudolfo.

LeMassena was a close friend of actor Montgomery Clift, and reminisced about him on a PBS documentary.


William LeMassena Wikipedia

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