American Masters – Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive
Premieres nationwide Monday, October 30 at 9/8c on PBS (check local listings) for Halloween
Actor (Edgar Allan Poe)
Denis O’Hare has established a strong presence in the industry as a skillful, in-demand character actor. Most recently, he starred as Jessie in the NBC series This Is Us, alongside Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore and Sterling K. Brown. Additionally, O’Hare recently re-joined the cast of Ryan Murphy’s award-winning FX horror anthology, American Horror Story: Roanoke for its sixth installment.
O’Hare also appeared in the ABC mini-series When We Rise, where he stars as Jim Foster, an openly gay Democratic Party organizer, alongside Guy Pearce, Rachel Griffiths and Mary-Louise Parker.
Renowned for his work on stage and screen, O’Hare previously starred as Elizabeth Taylor in Ryan Murphy’s award-winning FX horror anthology American Horror Story: Hotel, also starring Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. O’Hare’s performance as Stanley in the fourth season, American Horror Story: Freak Show, garnered him an Emmy nomination for the role.
Also under the direction of Ryan Murphy, O’Hare recently starred in the critically acclaimed HBO telefilm The Normal Heart, alongside Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and Julia Roberts. Adapted from the award-winning play by Larry Kramer, the film chronicles a gay activist who attempts to raise HIV/AIDS awareness during the early 1980s.
O’Hare appeared in the independent feature C.O.G., which premiered as part of the Dramatic Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film, also starring Jonathan Groff, Corey Stoll and Casey Wilson, is directed and adapted by Kyle Patrick Alvarez from the popular David Sedaris short story of the same name. Additionally, O’Hare joined the cast of Dallas Buyers Club, the Academy Award-winning film based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a heterosexual man in the 1980s whose diagnosis of AIDS forced him to smuggle medication into the U.S. Also starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, the Academy-Award-winning film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in November 2013. Furthermore, O’Hare starred in two horror pictures – The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a remake of the 1976 film, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and The Pyramid, directed by Grégory Levasseur.
On television, O’Hare previously appeared in two seasons of the hit HBO series True Blood as Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi. Concurrently, O’Hare was also seen on television in his recurring roles of Larry Harvey in the first season of the FX series American Horror Story, for which he received an Emmy nomination, and Judge Charles Abernathy in the acclaimed CBS series The Good Wife. He also appeared in The Good Wife spinoff The Good Fight. O’Hare later returned to the third season of American Horror Story as Spalding, the faithful butler of Miss Robichaux’s Academy. O’Hare’s additional television credits include roles on The Comedians, Brothers and Sisters, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Miami, Bored to Death, Law & Order and 100 Centre Street.
On screen, O’Hare has appeared in a varied and interesting slate of films. He is currently in production filming Novitiate, a Margaret Betts film, starring Melissa Leo and Dianna Agron. His most recent credits include From Nowhere, directed by Matthew Newton; Army of One with Nicolas Cage and Wendi McLendon-Covey; Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar with Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer; and Kevin MacDonald’s The Eagle, co-starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell. O’Hare’s additional film credits include roles in Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone; The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds; Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity with Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Tom Wilkinson; An Englishman in New York; Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, based on the best-selling short stories by David Foster Wallace; Milk, opposite Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsh; Quarantine; Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, opposite Angelina Jolie; Baby Mama with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; Pretty Bird; Mike Nichols’ Charlie Wilson’s War, opposite Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts; Awake; The Babysitters, opposite John Leguizamo and Cynthia Nixon; Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton, opposite George Clooney and Tilda Swinton; Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot; Michael Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart with Angelina Jolie; Rocket Science; Half Nelson with Ryan Gosling; Stephanie Daley; Derailed, opposite Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston; Heights; Zach Braff’s Garden State; Alejandro González-Iñárritu’s 21 Grams with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn; Sweet and Lowdown; River Red; and St. Patrick’s Day.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, O’Hare was raised in Southfield, Michigan, prior to his graduation from Northwestern University. He spent 12 years as a stage actor in Chicago before moving to New York in 1992. After acting in numerous Regional and Off-Broadway productions, O’Hare made his Broadway debut in 1995 in David Hare’s Racing Demon, directed by the esteemed Richard Eyre. O’Hare soon returned to the Great White Way in the Tony Award-winning revival of Cabaret, directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall, before landing the role of Cusins in George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Most recently, he starred as the Baker, alongside Amy Adams, in the Public Theater’s summer staging of Stephen Sondheim’s beloved musical Into the Woods. O’Hare also recently starred in the Off-Broadway production of An Iliad, a one-man stage retelling of Homer’s famous poem, which he co-authored with Lisa Peterson, for which he earned an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, an Obie Award for Special Citation, a Patrick Lee Theater Bloggers Award for Outstanding Solo Show/Performance, as well as Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations.
His other theatrical credits include Elling with Brendan Fraser and Jennifer Coolidge; Inherit the Wind with Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy; Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, for which his role of Mason Marzac earned him the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie, Lucille Lortel, and Broadway.com Audience Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Play; Assassins, for which he earned a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical; and Sweet Charity, for which he earned a Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, a nomination for the Outer Critics Circle Award, and two Broadway.com Audience Awards.
O’Hare currently resides in New York City.
Writer and Director
Eric Stange is an award-winning independent documentary film producer, director and writer who specializes in cultural and social history. Public television credits include The War That Made America, a dramatized documentary series about the French and Indian War; The Wall and After The Wall – a two-part series about modern Germany; and Murder at Harvard (for American Experience), a historical whodunit that explores the process of historical inquiry through a compelling murder story. He has been a research fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. He is a member of the editorial board of Common-Place, a web journal on early American history, and a visiting fellow with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Jennifer Pearce is a freelance producer whose PBS credits include We Shall Remain: Trail of Tears and The Great Famine, both for American Experience, American Masters – Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, The Most Dangerous Woman in America for NOVA and the four-part series The War That Made America. She enjoys the collaborative process of filmmaking and believes a good documentary can educate, entertain and inspire people to think and feel differently about themselves and the world around us.
American Masters Series Executive Producer
For more than two decades, award-winning filmmaker Michael Kantor has created outstanding arts programs for television. He joined American Masters as the series’ executive producer in April 2014 during its 28th season on PBS, and founded its theatrical imprint American Masters Pictures in January 2016. American Masters Pictures was represented by three films at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival: Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and Richard Linklater – dream is destiny.
Prior to joining American Masters, his PBS documentary series Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle (2013), hosted by Liev Schreiber, was nominated for an Emmy Award. Random House published the companion book. Kantor’s Peabody Award-winning film Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy (2013) aired as part of the Great Performances series on PBS. Narrated by Joel Grey, it included performances by Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, David Hyde Pierce, Marc Shaiman and many other Broadway talents. In 2012, Kantor produced The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater with Michael Tilson Thomas, which aired on PBS and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Kantor served as executive producer of the special Give Me the Banjo, hosted by Steve Martin, and created Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America (2009), the critically acclaimed six-part documentary series hosted by Billy Crystal. His script for episode four, When I’m Bad, I’m Better: The Groundbreakers, co-authored with Laurence Maslon, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. His landmark six-part series Broadway: The American Musical was hosted by Julie Andrews and honored with the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series in 2005. That same year, he created three hours of DVD extras for 20th Century Fox’s 40th anniversary release of The Sound of Music.
Kantor wrote, directed and produced the award-winning profile American Masters: Quincy Jones: In the Pocket. With Stephen Ives, he co-directed Cornerstone: An Interstate Adventure for HBO, and produced The West (executive producer Ken Burns). His 20 years of work in documentaries include projects as varied as EGG: the arts show, Coney Island, The Donner Party, Margaret Sanger and Ric Burns’ New York series. As a writer, Kantor created Lullaby of Broadway: Opening Night on 42nd Street, co-authored the companion books to Broadway (Bulfinch) and Make ’Em Laugh (Grand Central Publishing) and has published numerous essays and articles. He is president of Almo Inc., a company that distributes the American Film Theatre series, which includes Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (starring Katharine Hepburn), Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (Lee Marvin) and Chekhov’s Three Sisters (Laurence Olivier) among its titles. Kantor has served as a Tony nominator and taught documentary filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and lives in Scarsdale, New York.