The White Lotus star F Murray Abraham is a long-standing Hollywood icon. He is best known for his magnificent portrayal of Antonio Salieri in the 1984 drama Amadeus. He’s appeared in many different leading and supporting roles throughout his career, from legendary movies to critically acclaimed TV shows.
Abraham owes much of his recent global recognition to his latest project. He played Bert Di Grasso in The White Lotus season 2, a bumbling grandfather with politically incorrect comments. But there’s so much more to him than his latest performance in this HBO hit show. Here are ten facts you didn’t know about F Murray Abraham.
1. F Murray Abraham Won the Academy Award for Best Actor for His Role in Amadeus
Antonio Salieri was the role of a lifetime for Abraham. He truly did a phenomenal job portraying the envious composer and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s secret rival in Milos Forman‘s movie Amadeus. He even won the Academy Award for Best Actor for this role, beating his fellow actor Tom Hulce who was also nominated for his portrayal of Mozart.
2. He Has a Remarkable Portfolio of TV Shows and Movies
Abraham is no stranger to outstanding performances in movies and TV shows. Other than his legendary portrayal of Salieri, Abraham had other significant roles in his career. His greatest work includes movies like All the President’s Men, Scarface, The Name of the Rose, Star Trek: Insurrection, Finding Forrester, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Isle of Dogs, and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. He also appeared in series like Homeland, Mythic Quest, and Moon Knight.
3. F Murray Abraham Often Plays Sinister Villains
One of the most interesting facts about F Murray Abraham is that he tends to often play villains in movies and shows. From playing Antonio Salieri to even doing voice work in How to Train Your Dragon, Abraham often plays the bad guy. One thing’s for sure; he knows how to send chills down your spine thanks to his unique talent for portraying these sinister characters.
4. He Has Syrian-Italian Roots
Just like his White Lotus character, Abraham also has Italian roots. He comes from a family of immigrants, with his father being Syrian and his mother, Italian. He describes himself as both Syrian American and Italian American.
5. He Added “F.” to His Stage Name to Make It More Distinctive
Another fact you probably didn’t know is that F Murray Abraham is actually not his real name. It’s actually only Murray Abraham. However, he decided to add the letter “F.” to his name to make it more unique in the entertainment industry, but also honor his father, Fahrid.
6. F Murray Abraham Graduated From the University of Texas
The actor was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but was raised in El Paso, Texas. After graduating from El Paso High School, he went on to attend Texas Western College, which was later named the University of Texas at El Paso. Then, he attended the University of Texas at Austin and later studied acting at HB Studio in New York City.
7. He Did Commercials and Voice-Over Work Before His Big Break in Acting
Before getting his big break in acting, Abraham did a lot of small and insignificant roles. On top of that, he did a lot of voice work and commercials to earn his income. His most notable voice role was “the leaf” in commercials for Fruit of the Loom underwear.
8. He Was Married to Kate Hannan for 60 Years
Abraham was married to Kate Hannan from 1962 to 2022. Sadly, she passed away after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. The couple had two children and a granddaughter.
9. F Murray Abraham Turned Down Several Iconic Roles
Another interesting fact about F Murray Abraham is that he turned down two iconic movies. During the 1980s, he was offered to appear in the movies Clue and the Poltergeist II: The Other Side. But Abraham declined these roles to pursue other acting opportunities.
10. He Was Honored by the Italian Government in 2004 With the “Premio per Gli Italiani Nel Mondo” Award
In 2004, F Murray Abraham received the prestigious Italian award “Premio per gli Italiani nel Mondo.” This prize is one of Abraham’s greatest accomplishments. It’s intended for Italian emigrants and their descendants who have achieved success and made a name for themselves abroad.
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