Harvey Fierstein Popular Books

Harvey Fierstein Biography & Facts

Harvey Forbes Fierstein ( FIRE-steen; born June 6, 1954) is an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter, known for his distinctive gravelly voice. He is best known for his theater work in Torch Song Trilogy and Hairspray and film roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, and as the voice of Yao in Mulan and Mulan II. Fierstein won two Tony Awards, Best Actor in a Play and Best Play, for Torch Song Trilogy. He received his third Tony Award, Best Book of a Musical, for the musical La Cage aux Folles and his fourth, the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, a role he revived in its live television event, Hairspray Live! Fierstein also wrote the books for the Tony Award-winning musicals Kinky Boots, Newsies, and Tony Award-nominated, Drama League Award-winner A Catered Affair. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.For his role on the television show Cheers, Fierstein was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Early life and education Harvey Fierstein was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Jacqueline Harriet (née Gilbert), a school librarian, and Irving Fierstein, a handkerchief manufacturer. Fierstein has a brother, Ronald Fierstein. Prior to puberty, Fierstein was a soprano in a professional boys' choir.Fierstein graduated from the High School of Art and Design and received a BFA from the Pratt Institute in 1973. Career As one of the first openly gay celebrities in the United States, Fierstein helped make gay and lesbian life into a viable subject for contemporary drama "with no apologies and no climactic suicides".Fierstein has authored op-eds for The New York Times and the PBS series In the Life. 1970s Fierstein began working in the theater as a founding member of The Gallery Players of Park Slope before being cast in Andy Warhol's only play, Pork. Fierstein's other early roles included "a transvestite in his own Flatbush Tosca...a 300-year-old woman, Lillian Russell, and 26 other parts in Ronald Tavel's My Fetus Lived on Amboy Street". Fierstein also performed his own drag routine in Greenwich Village, including an impersonation of Ethel Merman singing "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun". 1980s Fierstein is best known for the play and film Torch Song Trilogy, which he wrote and starred in both off-Broadway (with a young Matthew Broderick) and on Broadway (with Estelle Getty and Fisher Stevens). The 1982 Broadway production won him two Tony Awards, for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play; two Drama Desk Awards, for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Actor in a Play; and the Theatre World Award. Fierstein is the first openly gay actor to win a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. The film adaptation of Torch Song Trilogy earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Male Lead.Fierstein also wrote the book for La Cage aux Folles (1983), winning another Tony Award, this time for Best Book of a Musical, and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Book. During his Tony Award acceptance speech, Fierstein acknowledged his male lover; according to Entertainment Weekly, this was "not a first", but was "still startling to many viewers".Fierstein narrated the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), for which he won a News & Documentary Emmy Award. Fierstein's playwriting credits include Spookhouse (1984), Safe Sex (1987), and Forget Him (1988).Legs Diamond, his 1988 collaboration with Peter Allen, was a critical and commercial failure, closing after 72 previews and 64 performances, but the songs live on in Peter Allen's biographical musical, The Boy from Oz. Fierstein was praised for his 1990 role as the voice of Karl, Homer Simpson's assistant, in the "Simpson and Delilah" episode of The Simpsons. 1990s Fierstein portrayed Mark Newberger in Cheers, receiving an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1992 for his performance.In 1993, Fierstein co-starred with Mara Wilson, Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, Sally Field, and Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. In 1994, Fierstein became the first openly gay actor to play a principal gay character in a television series when he appeared as fashion designer Dennis Sinclair in the short-lived CBS series Daddy's Girls.Fierstein voiced the role of Yao in Disney's animated feature Mulan, a role he later reprised for the video game Kingdom Hearts II and the direct-to-DVD sequel Mulan II. Fierstein voiced the character of Elmer in the 1999 HBO special based on his children's book The Sissy Duckling, which won the Humanitas Prize for Children's Animation. 2000s Fierstein's Broadway acting credits include playing the mother, Edna Turnblad, in Hairspray (2002), for which he won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He later replaced Alfred Molina as Tevye in the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof. In 2007, Fierstein wrote the book to the musical A Catered Affair; he also starred in the production. After tryouts at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in September 2007, the show opened on Broadway April 17, 2008. It received 12 Drama Desk Award nominations and won the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical.Fierstein returned to the theater when he reprised the role of Tevye, replacing an injured Chaim Topol, in the national tour of Fiddler on the Roof starting in December 2009. 2010s On February 15, 2011, Fierstein replaced Douglas Hodge as Albin/Zaza in the Broadway revival of La Cage aux Folles. The show closed on May 1, 2011, after playing 433 performances and 15 previews.Fierstein wrote the book for the stage musical Newsies, along with Alan Menken (music) and Jack Feldman (lyrics). The musical opened on Broadway in March 2012. Fierstein was nominated for the Tony Award for Book of a Musical.Fierstein wrote the book for a stage musical version of the film Kinky Boots with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. After a fall 2012 run at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago, it opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway in April 2013. The musical was nominated for thirteen 2013 Tony Awards and won six, including best musical.Fierstein's play Casa Valentina was produced on Broadway by the Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The play opened in April 2014. It was directed by Joe Mantello, with a cast that featured Patrick Page, John Cullum, and Mare Winningham.Fierstein wrote the teleplay for the December 3, 2015 NBC TV broadcast of The Wiz Live!, featuring Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em, Queen Latifah as The Wiz, and David Alan Grier as the Lion. The teleplay is an adaptation of The Wiz, which ran on Broadway from October 1974 until January 1979.Fierstein then wrote the teleplay for, and starred in, the 2016 NBC TV broadcast of Hairspray Live! with Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth, and Martin Short.In April 2016, Fierstein, along with his Kinky Boots collaborator Cyndi Lauper, was hon.... Discover the Harvey Fierstein popular books. 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Best Seller Harvey Fierstein Books of 2024

  • I Was Better Last Night synopsis, comments

    I Was Better Last Night

    Harvey Fierstein

    NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER  A poignant and hilarious memoir from the cultural icon, gay rights activist, and fourtime Tony Award–winning actor and playwrig...

  • Torch Song Trilogy synopsis, comments

    Torch Song Trilogy

    Harvey Fierstein

    A new edition of the classic drama portraying gay life in New York in the 1970s and 80swinner of the Tony Award for Best Play, now back on Broadway in a revival hailed by...

  • The Sissy Duckling synopsis, comments

    The Sissy Duckling

    Harvey Fierstein

    Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. Elmer is ...