Sydney Walker, the stage and movie actor, was born on May 5, 1921 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Walker made his Broadway debut as the Archbishop of Canterbury in the famous 1960 production of Jean Anouilh's "Beckett," which starred Laurence Olivier and Anthony Quinn. He subsequently appeared in 22 Broadway productions from 1960 to 1973. As a member of the APA-Phoenix Repertory Company, he was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Lt. Ekdahl in the revival of Henrik Ibsen's "The Wild Duck" in 1967. Later, he was a member of the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center, appearing as the Second God in the 1970 production of Bertolt Brecht's "The Good Woman of Setzuan," as Sir Toby Belch in the 1972 production of "Twelfth Night," and as Shylock in the 1973 production of "The Merchant of Venice." His last play was the 1973 production of "Veronica's Room," in which he was the standby for Arthur Kennedy, whom had replaced Anthony Quinn in "Beckett," Walker's first Broadway production. Walker made his movie debut in the Kirk Douglas movie "A Lovely Way to Die" (1968) and played the doctor in "Love Story" (1970). He made five appearances on the CBS Radio Mystery Theater in 1974. His last film was "Getting Even with Dad" (1994), but his most famous movie role came two years earlier in the film adaptation of "Prelude to a Kiss" (1992), in which he reprised the role of the Old Man he had assayed in the 1988 Berkeley Repertory production of the Craig Lucas play. Walker received the best reviews of the film for his portrait of the Old Man who swaps bodies with a young woman, giving a performance that showed the frightened young woman trapped inside an old man's body while simultaneously channeling a sad, genteel sagacity. The movie was not a commercial or critical success, primarily due to Meg Ryan's poor acting, which failed to intimate that she is the same person as the Old Man. Unfortunately, Sydney Walker was never able to capitalize on this late career succes d'estime. He died in San Francisco, California on September 30, 1994 from cancer.
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