F. Murray Abraham (born Murray Abraham; October 24, 1939) is an American actor. He became widely known during the 1980s after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1984). He has appeared in many roles, both leading and supporting, in films such as All the President’s Men (1976), Scarface (1983), The Name of the Rose (1986), Last Action Hero (1993), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), Finding Forrester (2000), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). He is also known for his television and theatre work and is now a regular cast member on the award-winning TV series Homeland.
Abraham was born as Murray Abraham on October 24, 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Frederick Abraham, an auto mechanic, and his wife Josephine (née Stello), a housewife. His father was Assyrian and emigrated from Syria during the 1920s famine; his paternal grandfather was a chanter in the Syriac Orthodox Church. His mother, one of 14 children, was Italian American, and the daughter of an immigrant who worked in the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania. Abraham added “F.” to his stage name in honor of his father Frederick. He has stated “Murray Abraham just doesn’t seem to say anything. It just is another name, so I thought I’d frame it”. Abraham was raised in El Paso, Texas, near the Mexican border. He attended Vilas Grammar School, and graduated from El Paso High School in 1958. He was a gang member during his teenage years. He attended Texas Western College (later named University of Texas at El Paso), where he was given the best actor award by Alpha Psi Omega for his portrayal of the Indian Nocona in Comanche Eagle during the 1959–60 season. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, then studied acting under Uta Hagen in New York City. He began his acting career on the stage, debuting in a Los Angeles production of Ray Bradbury’s The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.
Abraham has been married to Kate Hannan since 1962; they have two children, Mick and Jamili, and one grandchild.
In January 2010, Abraham was the on-the-scene hero of a real-life crime scene at the Classic Stage Company in New York City, when he traded blows with a thief in the dressing room area during a public rehearsal.
Faith: “I’ve attended many churches. I grew up as an orthodox Christian and I was an altar boy. I love the Society of Friends, the Quakers. I attended their meetings for almost 15 years. I’m (2008) now attending the First Presbyterian Church of New York because they’re such a generous, terrific church with outreach. They reach out to old people, to homeless, to A.A., to cross-dressers; it’s truly a church of the teachings of Christ. Religion is essential to my life.”