Crudup to Receive PlayMaker Award

Tony Award-winning theater and film star Billy Crudup ’90 will receive this year’s PlayMaker Distinguished Achievement Award on Nov. 1 at the 21st annual PlayMakers Ball.

The ball, held at The Carolina Inn, is the annual fundraising gala for PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theatre in residence at UNC. The 2008 theme is “Anything Goes! A Tribute to the Great American Songbook.” A black-tie affair, the ball features the award ceremony followed by dining and dancing to the music of the Peter Duchin Orchestra. Proceeds from the event underwrite production costs and artist salaries for the nonprofit theatre.

Crudup played alongside Robert DeNiro, Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie in The Good Shepherd (2006). He also was in Mission Impossible: III (2006) and Big Fish (2003). He won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor for his role on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia.

At UNC, Crudup’s passion for acting was nurtured by Lab!Theatre, an undergraduate acting company in the dramatic art department. He went on to earn a master’s degree in fine arts from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Crudup earned a Best Actor Award from the Paris Film Festival for his performance in the critically acclaimed movie Jesus’ Son (1999), and he had a major part as a rock guitarist in the Academy Award-winning film Almost Famous (2000) with Frances McDormand and Kate Hudson.

He will portray J. Edgar Hoover in the upcoming film Public Enemies, directed by Michael Mann, and appear as iconic superhero Dr. Manhattan in the film version of the graphic novel Watchmen.

Crudup played the leading role in the 1998 film Without Limits, the story of long-distance runner Steven Prefontaine. For that role, Crudup won the National Board of Review Award for “Breakthrough Performance of the Year.”

He received Tony nominations for “Best Actor” for The Pillowman (2005) and The Elephant Man (2002).

Crudup made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Stoppard’s Arcadia, which won him honors including the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut of an Actor.

Past winners of the PlayMaker Award include actors Louise Fletcher ’57, Jack Palance ’41, Eva Marie Saint, Faye Dunaway and Hume Cronyn; New York Times critic Frank Rich; costume designer William Ivey Long ’69; director Gene Saks; and Broadway composer and lyricist Richard Adler ’43.

For tickets to the ball, contact Lenore Field at (919) 452-8417 or Organizations interested in contributing to the ball should contact Stacy Payne at 962-4846 or

Related coverage is available online:

  • A Good Man Was Easy to Find
    New York Carolina Club presented Crudup with its 2002 Award for Distinctive Contributions to the Arts.
    From the September/October 2002 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to GAA members.
  • Profile of Crudup as he was making first appearance on Broadway, playing the dashing young tutor Septimus Hodge in Tom Stoppard’s hit Arcadia.
    From the July/August 1995 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to GAA members.
  • Oscar Winner Louise Fletcher to Receive PlayMakers Award
    News report from October 2007.