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Loudon Wainwright

Loudon Wainwright

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Also Known As: Loudon Wainwright, Louden Wainwright Iii Died:
Born: September 5, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: musician, actor, singer, songwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

In the early 1970s, spirited singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III was named one of the New Dylans, a moniker he never lived up to in terms of commercial success, though his many albums won him a number of devoted fans. The father of popular contemporary singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright and the son of famed Life Magazine editor Loudon Wainwright, Jr., Wainwright shared his father's way with words, penning lyric-driven songs both topical and deeply personal, marked by his biting wit and incisive point of view. In 1972 he had a novelty hit with the silly "Dead Skunk," a track off of his third album and first Columbia release.Having reached a whole new audience thanks to the success of "Dead Skunk," Wainwright saw his profile rise, leading to a 1974-75 recurring role as a singing surgeon on "M*A*S*H" (CBS). Wainwright proved not only a charismatic and highly watchable presence, he showed that he did indeed have some acting talents to go along with his musical ones. Keeping the focus on his music, Wainwright nevertheless subsequently ended up in the occasional screen role, appearing in Hal Ashby's "The Slugger's Wife" in 1985. That same year he garnered his first Grammy nomination for his album "I'm...

In the early 1970s, spirited singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III was named one of the New Dylans, a moniker he never lived up to in terms of commercial success, though his many albums won him a number of devoted fans. The father of popular contemporary singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright and the son of famed Life Magazine editor Loudon Wainwright, Jr., Wainwright shared his father's way with words, penning lyric-driven songs both topical and deeply personal, marked by his biting wit and incisive point of view. In 1972 he had a novelty hit with the silly "Dead Skunk," a track off of his third album and first Columbia release.

Having reached a whole new audience thanks to the success of "Dead Skunk," Wainwright saw his profile rise, leading to a 1974-75 recurring role as a singing surgeon on "M*A*S*H" (CBS). Wainwright proved not only a charismatic and highly watchable presence, he showed that he did indeed have some acting talents to go along with his musical ones. Keeping the focus on his music, Wainwright nevertheless subsequently ended up in the occasional screen role, appearing in Hal Ashby's "The Slugger's Wife" in 1985. That same year he garnered his first Grammy nomination for his album "I'm Alright." In 1986 the honor was repeated, this time for the album "More Love Songs." Staying just below the radar despite critical praise and a strong cult following, Wainwright was persuaded by his sister Teddy to take a job as a musical commentator for National Public Radio (NPR). His heartfelt and often snarky take on current events for NPR was collected and released in 1999 as the album "Social Studies."

2000 saw Wainwright return to the big screen, his running musical commentary in the film "28 Days" somewhat reminiscent of Jonathan Richman's explanatory chorus throughout "There's Something About Mary" (1999), though it was neither as consistent nor distracting. Gray-haired, bespectacled and decidedly dad-like, Wainwright no longer wore the physical cues of a challenging troubadour, but while he was settling down with a regular role as a sweetly off-kilter father on the college-set Fox sitcom "Undeclared" (cast thanks to producer Judd Apatow's longtime love of his music), his album "The Last Man on Earth" was released, inspiring many critics to deem this sitcom actor's creative voice as vital as it was thirty years prior.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 True Story (2015)
3.
4.
 G-Force (2009)
6.
 Knocked Up (2007)
9.
 The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) Priest
10.
 Elizabethtown (2005)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1967:
Dropped out of Carnegie Mellon and headed to San Francisco
1969:
Signed to Atlantic Records
1970:
Released debut album
1972:
Had a hit with his song "Dead Skunk"
1974:
Appeared on episodes of the CBS series "M*A*S*H" as a singing surgeon
1985:
Featured in Hal Ashby's "The Slugger's Wife"
1985:
Album "I'm Alright" garnered a Grammy nomination
1986:
Second Grammy nomination, "More Love Songs"
:
Was a musical commentator on NPR, writing and performing several original and topical songs, collected on his 1999 release "Social Studies"
2000:
Appeared in the rehab comedy-drama "28 Days"
2001:
Released the album "Last Man on Earth" to critical praise
2001:
Played Hal, the ever-present father of freshman Steven (Jay Baruchel), on the Fox college-set sitcom "Undeclared"
2003:
Cast in Tim Burton's "Big Fish"
2005:
Played the Priest in Judd Apatow's "The 40 Year Old Virgin"
2005:
Played Orlando Bloom's Uncle Dale in Cameron Crowe's drama "Elizabethtown"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St. Andrew's School: Middletown , Delaware - 1961 - 1965
Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania - 1965 - 1967

Notes

"I'm a TV dad! This is what it's all been leading up to. That music thing is for suckers." --Wainwright to the Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2001.

"Undeclared" creator Judd Apatow on casting the singer-songwriter: "I've been listening to him since I was about 11 or 12. As I becamse interested in being a writer and comedian, he was a big influence on me. What I loved is the way he can be really funny and, at the same time, he can be brutal and painful. His music helped me through a lot of difficult times. It was good to see someone laughing through his pain.

"Hiring Loudon was a shortcut for me to having an original character instead of having to think one up. But as I've said to other people, if the only purpose this show serves is introducing a few more people to Loudon's music, then it'll be a success." --quoted in Los Angeles Times , September 25, 2001.

Wainwright on competing with his son, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright: "It's Freudian for him; it comes with the territory. If I compete with anyone, it's with my contemporaries, like Randy Newman or Tom Waits. And I guess one reason I don't listen to more of their music is that I'm jealous. I'm hacked off that they sell more records than I do." --quoted in The New York Times, October 14, 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Kate McGarrigle. Musician. Canadian; with sister Anna, made up the folk duo Kate & Anna McGarrigle; mother of Martha and Rufus; divorced in 1978.
companion:
Suzzy Roche. Musician. Member of the folk trio The Roches; mother of Wainwright's daughter Lucy.
companion:
Ritamarie Kelly. Actor. Mother of Wainwright's daughter Alexandra.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Loudon Wainwright Jr. Columnist, editor. Famed for work for <i>Life Magazine</i>; died in 1988.
mother:
Martha Wainwright. Born c. 1923; died in 1997.
sister:
Teddy Wainwright.
sister:
Sloan Wainwright. Musician. Younger.
son:
Rufus Wainwright. Musician. Born on July 22, 1974; mother, Kate McGarrigle; openly gay.
daughter:
Martha Wainwright. Musician. Born in 1976; mother, Kate McGarrigle.
daughter:
Lucy Wainwright. Mother, Suzzy Roche.
daughter:
Alexandra Wainwright. Mother, Ritamarie Kelly.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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