(written from a Production point of view)
F. Murray Abraham (born 24 October 1939; age 76) is the actor who portrayed the villainous Ahdar Ru'afo, a member of the Son'a race, in the 1998 film Star Trek: Insurrection. He is primarily a stage actor, though he has appeared in many films and several television productions. He is perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning role as Antonio Salieri in the 1984 film Amadeus.
Abraham was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in El Paso, Texas, where he spent his teenage years as a member of local gangs. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, after which he studied acting under Uta Hagen in New York City.
Abraham has had a long and distinguished acting career in film, which began with small roles in classics such as They Might Be Giants (1971, with Eugene Roche), Serpico (1973), and All the President's Men (1976, with Stephen Collins, Nicholas Coster, Gene Dynarski, Paul Lambert and Richard Herd). He then had significant roles in such films as The Big Fix (1978, with Fritz Weaver, Nicholas Coster, William Glover, and Jorge Cervera, Jr.) and Scarface (1983, with Harris Yulin and Mark Margolis).
Perhaps Abraham's best-known film work is his Best Leading Actor Academy Award-winning performance as Antonio Salieri in the 1984 film Amadeus. He is one of only three Star Trek performers to have been nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role (the others being Frank Langella and Paul Winfield) and the only one to have won the award. Whoopi Goldberg won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Ghost (1990).
Abraham has acted with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country actor Christian Slater in three films: 1986's The Name of the Rose (with Ron Perlman), 1989's Beyond the Stars (with Olivia d'Abo and Robert Foxworth), and 1991's Mobsters (with Seymour Cassel). In 1990, Abraham made an uncredited appearance in the film The Bonfire of the Vanities. This film featured many other Star Trek alumni: Kim Cattrall, Saul Rubinek, Richard Libertini, and Kirsten Dunst. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actress Terry Farrell also appeared uncredited in the film.
In 1993, Abraham played the villain in the fantasy action film Last Action Hero. He also made a cameo appearance as "Dr. Harold Leecher" (a parody of Dr. Hannibal Lecter) in the comedy National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1. William Shatner co-starred in this latter film, while James Doohan (as Montgomery Scott), Charles Napier, and Whoopi Goldberg made cameo appearances. In 1994, Abrahams appeared in the action thriller Surviving the Game, along with Jeff Corey.
Abraham played gangster Al Capone in two films released in 1995, both of which co-starred Clint Howard: Baby Face Nelson, which also featured Leland Orser and Doug Wert; and Dillinger and Capone, with Jeffrey Combs, Catherine Hicks, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Bert Remsen, and Time Winters. Abraham then starred in Woody Allen's 1995 comedy Mighty Aphrodite. Star Trek: The Next Generation guest actor David Ogden Stiers and Star Trek: Enterprise guest star Peter Weller had supporting roles in this film.
Following roles in such films as the 1997 science fiction thriller Mimic and 1999 science fiction-oriented Muppets from Space, Abraham played literature professor Robert Crawford in the 2000 drama Finding Forrester. April Grace, Matt Malloy, and Michael Nouri also had roles in this film. Abraham's more recent film credits include the 2001 horror thriller Thir13en Ghosts, the 2004 drama The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and the 2008 biographical drama Carnera: The Walking Mountain, the latter of which co-starred Paul Sorvino.
Abraham has worked less frequently in television than in film. He was a regular on the short-lived NBC soap opera How to Survive a Marriage in 1974 and has made guest-appearances on only four episodic television series, including All in the Family, two episodes of Kojak ("A Question of Answers" featuring Richard Herd and "The Godson" directed by Russ Mayberry), and the pilot for A.E.S. Hudson Street (starring Rosanna DeSoto).
His television credits primarily consist of made-for-TV movies, including A Season of Giants (1991, with Steven Berkoff and John Glover), The First Circle (1992, with Robert Joy and Christopher Plummer), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1993, co-starring Francis Guinan, Jeffrey Nordling, Tim Russ, and Carel Struycken), Color Justice (1997, with Bruce Davison and Saul Rubinek). His more recent TV movie credits include 2008's Shark Swarm , featuring Renie Rivas and Rick Scarry and directed by James A. Contner.
Abraham also appeared in several TV mini-series. In 1982, he co-starred in NBC's Marco Polo, in which Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest actor Kenneth Marshall played the title role. This production also featured TOS star Leonard Nimoy and Star Trek movie and TNG veteran David Warner in the cast. Abraham next portrayed President Abraham Lincoln in the 1986 CBS mini-series Dream West, working alongside fellow Star Trek alumni Jeff Allin, Erich Anderson, John Anderson, Lee Bergere, William O. Campbell, James Cromwell, Michael Ensign, Stefan Gierasch, Alice Krige, Matt McCoy, Glenn Morshower, Fritz Weaver, and Noble Willingham. Abraham's Insurrection director and co-star, Jonathan Frakes, had a role in this mini-series, as well. More recently, Abraham starred in the 1996 mini-series Dead Man's Walk, co-starring Keith Carradine.
Abraham has amassed an extensive resume of stage plays. His first professional stage performance was in a Los Angeles production of Ray Bradbury's The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. From 1966 through 1968, he performed in the long-running off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks.
He has performed in many Broadway productions. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-nominated The Man in the Glass Booth in 1968, working with Lawrence Pressman. In June the following year, Abraham acted with Anthony Call in the off-Broadway production, Tonight in Living Color.
In 1975, Abraham co-starred with Stephen Collins in the Broadway farcical comedy The Ritz (Abraham starred in the film adaptation of this film the following year). In 1978, Abraham acted alongside Roy Brocksmith and Wallace Shawn in The Master and Margarita at the Joseph Papp Public Theater.
In 1980, Abraham was nominated by the Drama Desk Awards for his starring role in the Broadway production of Teibele and Her Demon, in which he acted alongside Ron Perlman. He received a second Desk Drama Award nomination in 1992 for his role in an off-Broadway production of David Mamet's A Life in the Theater.
Abraham and Star Trek: The Next Generation regular Brent Spiner performed together in an off-Broadway production of The Seagull in 1980. Abraham and Spiner again worked together on Star Trek: Insurrection eighteen years later.
Abraham performed in many other off-Broadway productions throughout the 1980s, including The Golem in 1984 (with Jordan Lund and Mark Margolis), The Madwoman of Chaillot in 1985 (with Ivar Brogger), and A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1987 (with Erick Avari and Richard Riehle). Both Abraham and Star Trek: Voyager guest actor Dan Butler played the role of Pozzo in the 1988 Lincoln Center Theater production of Waiting for Godot, which starred Robin Williams.
Abraham returned to Broadway in 1994 to portray AIDS-inflicted attorney Roy Cohn in Tony Kushner's epic two-part masterpiece Angels in America, in which he worked with Megan Gallagher. More recent Broadway credits include Triumph of Love in 1997 and Mauritius in 2007. He has also continued expanding his off-Broadway credits, with performances of King Lear (1996), Trumbo: Red White and Blacklisted (2003), and The Merchant of Venice (2007).