Richard Seff, an industry veteran who has been an actor,
playwright and agent, has penned a memoir about his life and work,
"Supporting Player: My Life Upon The Wicked Stage," published through
His brushes with Kander and Ebb, Harold Prince, Chita Rivera, Ethel
Merman, Rex Harrison, Rosalind Russell and many more players from the
Golden Age of Broadway are chronicled in the book, on sale now at
Seff, now a septuagenarian character actor, started out acting and then
played talent agent to major stars and writers for 21 years (1953-1974).
"I thought I'd test the waters on the other side of the footlights," he
writes on his website, www.richardseff.com. "I tested — for 21 years!
Then, at the peak of my agency career, tired of my blue suit and tie, I
exchanged them for the less formal togs of playwright, librettist and
actor once again. I haven't worn a suit since, except in character in a
play or movie."
(The book's title refers to the support he has given as a featured
actor, agent and other production roles — including librettist and
During his silver-haired years, he wrote the Broadway play, Paris Is Out! and the libretto for the award-winning musical Shine!, inspired by Horatio Alger stories (score by Roger Anderson, lyrics by Lee Goldsmith). Both shows are published and licensable.
In recent years, Seff endowed an Actors' Equity-administered award in
his name, recognizing outstanding character/featured performers who
have devoted at least 25 years to their profession (Jayne Houdyshell
and Tom Aldredge are among recipients). The annual award is for work on
New York City stages.
In "Supporting Player," Seff "brings you a star-filled odyssey through
the golden age of Broadway, told from his point of view: that of one of
those supporting players," according to the announcement. "The
entertaining and informative memoir follows Seff's professional life,
as actor, agent, playwright, librettist and production associate. …He
tells of some backstage shenanigans, some of them behind closed doors.
Richard has worked with many stars, and he cites examples of how
stardom is achieved and handled. Discover what goes on backstage, in
the wings, and behind closed doors. Learn about theatre investing in
the Golden Age, when one could buy a piece of a show in the
intermission on opening night."
"Supporting Player" sells for $24.99. It is available exclusively at www.xlibris.com, and goes wide in the coming weeks.
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