McGuire, Biff Biography

biography of McGuire, Biff

McGuire, William Biff
25 October 1926, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
6' 1"

-   'Jeannie Carson' (qv) (1960 - present)

-   At one time did story lines for TV's _"Mister Peepers" (1952)_ (qv) with 'Wally Cox (I)' (qv), and has written a couple of plays on the sly.

-   Biff and Jeannie performed together for much of their career, including a 15-year stint with the Seattle Repertory Theatre.

-   Nickname of "Biff" evolved while playing football in his early years.

-   In the sailor chorus of the original Broadway version of "South Pacific", he met future singing wife, 'Jeannie Carson' (qv), when both were cast in "Finian's Rainbow" in 1960. They married that same year and toured in 1961's "Camelot" with Biff as "Arthur" and Jeannie as "Guinevere".

-   Became interested in acting during WWII service while stationed in England. Made his debut in the first production of 'William Saroyan' (qv)'s "The Time of Your Life", directed by 'Peter Glenville' (qv).

-   Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play): in 1997 for "The Young Man from Atlanta," and in 2002 for a revival of "Morning's at Seven."

-   He sang and acted the role of Woody in the 1960 Broadway revival of "Finian's Rainbow".

-   (April 2002): Plays "Theodore Swanson" in "Morning's at Seven", a play by 'Paul Osborn (I)' (qv) (Lyceum Theater, New York City, New York, USA).

-   "Dance Me a Song" (1950). Musical revue. Music by 'James Shelton (I)' (qv). Lyrics by 'James Shelton (I)' (qv). Sketches by 'James Kirkwood' (qv), George Oppenheimer, Lee Goodman, 'Vincente Minnelli' (qv), 'Marya Mannes' (qv), Robert Anderson, 'James Shelton (I)' (qv) and 'Wally Cox (I)' (qv). Additional numbers by 'Herman Hupfeld' (qv), 'Albert Hague' (qv), Maurice Valency and Bug Gregg. Scenic Design by 'Jo Mielziner' (qv). Choreographed by 'Robert Sidney' (qv). Directed by 'James Shelton (I)' (qv). Royale Theatre: 20 Jan 1950- 18 Feb 1950 (35 performances). Cast: Tony Albert, Francine Bond, Carmina Cansino, 'Wally Cox (I)' (qv), Cliff Ferre, 'Bob Fosse' (qv), Hope Foye, Marilyn Gennaro, Lee Goodman, June Graham, Babe Hines, Marian Horosko, Jimmy Kirkwood, Heidi Krall, Don Little, Marion Lorne, Dusty McCaffrey, 'Joan McCracken' (qv), 'Biff McGuire' (qv), Scott Merrill, Douglas Moppert, Mary Ann Niles, Tina Prescott, Erik Rhodes, Cynthia Rogers, Alan Ross, Donald Saddler, Bob Scheerer, Silver [a dog], Robert B. Sola, Ann Thomas. Produced by 'Dwight Wiman' (qv). Produced in association with Robert Ross.

-   "South Pacific" (1949). Musical drama. Majestic Theatre: (moved to The Broadway Theatre from 29 Jun 1953 to close) 7 Apr 1949- 16 Jan 1954 (1925 performances). Cast: 'Mary Martin (I)' (qv) (as "Ensign Nellie Forbush"), 'Ezio Pinza' (qv) (as "Emile de Becque"), 'Juanita Hall' (qv), 'Myron McCormick' (qv) (as "Luther Billis"), 'Betta St. John' (qv), 'Harvey Stephens (I)' (qv) (as "Cmdr. William Harbison, U.S.N."), William Tabbert, 'Martin Wolfson' (qv) (as "Captain George Brackett, U.S.N."), Mardi Bayne, Evelyn Colby, Michael De Leon, Noel De Leon, Sandra Deel, Bill Dwyer, Dickinson Eastham, Don Fellows, William Ferguson, Jacqueline Fisher, Jack Fontan, Alan Gilbert, Thomas Gleason, Jim Hawthorne, 'Richard Loo' (qv) (as "Marcel, Henry's Assistant" and "Ensemble"), Roslynd Lowe, 'BarBara Luna' (qv), 'Biff McGuire' (qv), Gloria Meli, Henry Michel, 'Alex Nicol (I)' (qv), Pat Northrop, Mary Ann Reeve, 'Fred Sadoff' (qv), Bernice Saunders, Archie Savage, Helena Schurgot, Richard Silvera, Henry Slate, Eugene Smith, 'Beau Tilden' (qv) (as "Seaman James Hayes"), Musa Williams, Chin Yu. Produced by 'Richard Rodgers (I)' (qv) and 'Oscar Hammerstein II' (qv). Produced in association with 'Leland Hayward' (qv) and 'Joshua Logan (I)' (qv). Replacement actors during the the production's long run included: 'Shirley Jones (I)' (qv), 'Dort Clark (I)' (qv), 'Jack Weston' (qv).

-   (1953) He acted in 'F. Hugh Herbert' (qv)'s play, "The Moon is Blue", at the Duke of York's Theatre in London, England with 'Diana Lynn' (qv) and 'Robert Flemyng' (qv) in the cast.

-   Beggar on Horseback (1970). (Revival). Written by 'Marc Connelly (I)' (qv) and 'George S. Kaufman' (qv). Incidental music by 'Stanley Silverman (I)' (qv) and 'John Lahr' (qv). Musical Director: 'Abba Bogin' (qv). Movement sequences by Marvin Gordon. Directed by John Hirsch. Vivian Beaumont Theatre: 14 May 1970- 27 Jun 1970 (52 performances + 13 previews that began in late Apr 1970). Cast: Luis Avalos (as "Candy Vendor"), José Barrera (as "Person in Neil's Dream"), John Beecher (as "Person in Neil's Dream"), Roger Braun (as "Person in Neil's Dream"), Tommy Breslin (as "Person in Neil's Dream"), Bob Daley (as "A Poet"), Cherry Davis (as "Gladys Cady"), Ralph Drischell (as "Guide"), Dorothy Frank (as "A Flower Girl"), 'Leonard Frey' (qv) (as "Neil McRae"), Ray Fry (as "A Novelist"), Les "Bubba" Gaines (as "Jerry"), Jay Garner (as "Mr. Cady"), Elaine Handel (as "A Flower Girl"), Tresa Hughes (as "Mrs. Cady"), Robert Keesler (as "A Policeman"), Bobby Lee (as "Singer"), Clark Lewis (as "Newsboy"), 'Biff McGuire' (qv) (as "Dr. Albert Rice"), Peter Oliver Norman (as "Person in Neil's Dream"), Art Ostrin (as "Train Vendor"), Michon Peacock (as "A Flower Girl"), Charles Pegues (as "Person in Neil's Dream"), Robert Phalen (as "Homer Cady"), Arthur Sellers (as "Newsboy"), Raymond Singer (as "A Policeman"), Barbara Spiegel (as "Miss Hey"), Vickie Thomas (as "Person in Neil's Dream"), Beryl Towbin (as "Miss You"), Susan Watson (as "Cynthia Mason"), 'Robert Weil (I)' (qv) (as "A Juror"). Produced by Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center (under the direction of Jules Irving).

-   The Egghead (1957). Drama. Written by 'Molly Kazan' (qv). Scenic Design by 'Richard Sylbert' (qv) [earliest Broadway credit]. Directed by 'Hume Cronyn' (qv). Ethel Barrymore Theatre: 9 Oct 1957- 26 Oct 1957 (21 performances). Cast: 'Karl Malden' (qv) (as "Hank Parson"), 'Eduard Franz' (qv) (as "Gottfried Roth"), Phyllis Love (as "Sally Parson"), 'Biff McGuire' (qv) (as "Martin Donahue"), 'Ruth Attaway' (qv) (as "Essie"), Kevin Drohan (as "Jackie Parson"), 'Graham Jarvis (I)' (qv) (as "Finney"), 'Nicholas Pryor (I)' (qv) (as "Roger Parson"), Lloyd Richards (as "Perry Hall"), Richard Robbins (as "Harvey Robbins"), Helen Shields (as "Madeline Robbins"), Marion Sweet (as "Annie Grierson"). Produced by Hope Abelson.

-   (1961). Stage Play: Mary, Mary. Comedy. Written by 'Jean Kerr (I)' (qv). Directed by 'Joseph Anthony (I)' (qv). Helen Hayes Theatre (moved to The Morosco Theatre from 30 Nov 1964- close): 8 Mar 1961- 12 Dec 1964 (1572 performances + 2 previews that began on 6 Mar 1961). Cast: 'Barbara Bel Geddes' (qv) (as "Mary McKellaway"), 'Barry Nelson (I)' (qv) (as "Bob McKellaway"), 'Michael Rennie' (qv) (as "Dirk Winsten"), 'John Cromwell (I)' (qv) (as "Oscar Nelson'), Betsy von Furstenberg' (as "Tiffany Richards"). Replacement actors during Helen Hayes Theatre run: 'Alan Bunce (I)' (qv) (as "Oscar Nelson") [from 13 May 1963- ?], 'Mindy Carson' (qv) (as "Mary McKellaway") [from 16 Mar 1964- ?], 'Wayne Carson' (qv) (as "Bob McKellaway") [from 8 Jun 1964- ?], Michael Evans (as "Dirk Winsten") [from 1 Jul 1963- ?], 'George Grizzard' (qv) (as "Bob McKellaway [from 25 Jun 1962- ?], 'Murray Hamilton (I)' (qv) (as "Bob McKellaway") [from 23 Sep 1963- ?], Katherine Hays (as "Tiffany Richards") [from 17 Sep 1962- ?], Tom Helmore (as "Dirk Winsten") [from 21 Oct 1963- ?], Judy Lewis (as "Tiffany Richards") [from 22 Jun 1964- ?], 'Diana Lynn' (qv) (as "Mary McKellaway") [from 21 Jan 1963- ?], 'Biff McGuire' (qv) (as "Bob McKellaway") [from 1 Jul 1963- ?], Scott McKay (as "Bob McKellaway") [from 2 Apr 1962- ?], 'Julia Meade' (qv) (as "Mary McKellaway") [from 23 Jul 1962- ?], Howard Morton (as "Dirk Winsten") [from 24 May 1964- ?], 'Edward Mulhare' (qv) (as "Dirk Winsten") [from 14 Dec 1961- ?], 'Carrie Nye' (qv) (as "Tiffany Richards") [from 5 Feb 1962- ?], 'Nancy Olson' (qv) (as "Mary McKellaway") [from 5 Feb 1962- ?], 'Tom Poston' (qv) (as "Bob McKellaway") [from 5 Nov 1962- ?], William Prince (as "Bob McKellaway") [from 22 Jun 1964- ?], 'Hiram Sherman' (qv) (as "Oscar Nelson") [from 13 May 1963- ?], Elizabeth St. Clair (as "Tiffany Richards") [from 10 Feb 1964- ?], Howard St. John (as "Oscar Nelson") [from 2 Jul 1962- ?], 'Inger Stevens' (qv) (as "Mary McKellaway") [from 24 Dec 1962- ?] (final Broadway role), 'Clinton Sundberg' (qv) (as "Oscar Nelson") [from 13 May 1963- ? and from 16 Mar 1964- ?], Ellen Weston (as "Tiffany Richards") [from 24 Oct 1962- ?], 'Michael Wilding' (qv) (as "Dirk Winsten") [from 31 Jul 1961- ?]. Replacement cast during Morosco Theatre run: None known. Produced by 'Roger L. Stevens' (qv). Produced in association with Collin Productions Inc. Associate Producer: 'Lyn Austin' (qv). Notes: 1) Filmed by Warner Bros. as _Mary, Mary (1963)_ (qv) with Mr. Nelson, Mr. Sherman and Mr. Rennie reprising their stage roles and directed by 'Mervyn LeRoy' (qv). 2) Film version released during original theatrical run, highly unusual for the time.

-   Don't plan anything. You may end up in another part of the business. But, do's a wonderful business to be in.

-   (April 2002) appearing on Broadway in the revival of "Mornings At Seven" (2002)

-   (August 2004) Appearing in off-Broadway production of 'Horton Foote' (qv)'s "The Day Emily Married".

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