20 Facts About Alfred Lunt


Alfred David Lunt was an American actor and director, best known for his long stage partnership with his wife, Lynn Fontanne, from the 1920s to 1960, co-starring in Broadway and West End productions.


Alfred Lunt directed some of the couple's productions, and staged plays for other managements.


Alfred Lunt died in 1894, leaving more than $500,000 to his family.


From an early age, Alfred Lunt had a fascination with the theatre.


Alfred Lunt began acting in high school and at Carroll College in Waukesha.


Alfred Lunt's biographer Jared Brown writes that Lunt "rarely attended classes, having found a job as a minor actor and assistant stage manager with the Castle Square Theatre in Boston".


Alfred Lunt made his first professional stage appearance there on October 7,1912, as the Sheriff in The Aviator, and remained as a member of the stock company for two years.


In 1914, Alfred Lunt toured with Margaret Anglin in Beverley's Balance, remaining with her company for eighteen months, appearing in Green Stockings, As You Like It, Iphigenia in Tauris and Medea.


Alfred Lunt then toured with, successively, Lillie Langtry, Laura Hope Crews and Anglin again.


Alfred Lunt then appeared in a summer stock season in Washington, DC, where he met Lynn Fontanne, a rising young English actress.


Alfred Lunt played the title role in Booth Tarkington's comedy Clarence, which ran on Broadway for 300 performances.


In 1928, Alfred Lunt and Fontanne co-starred in what for the Guild was an untypically frothy comedy, Caprice.


Coward recorded that while he was refining his original ideas for the play, "Alfred Lunt had suggested a few stage directions which, if followed faithfully, would undoubtedly have landed all three of us in gaol".


The immense success of Design for Living led Coward to write another play for his friends, but his Point Valaine, in which Alfred Lunt and Fontanne starred in 1934, was a failure.


Besides starring in the piece, Alfred Lunt directed the London production.


Alfred Lunt continued to direct throughout his career, staging not only some of the Lunts' productions but those of other companies.


Alfred Lunt felt she should share the hardships of her family and friends there, and from 1943 to 1945 the Lunts appeared in the West End, and in performances for the troops, including a tour of army camps in France and Germany in 1945.


Alfred Lunt died of cancer in a hospital in Chicago on August 3,1977, aged 84.


In 1947, Alfred Lunt was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Medal for Good Speech on the Stage.


Alfred Lunt received honorary degrees from Carroll College, Dartmouth College, Beloit College, Emerson College, New York University, Yale University, and the University of Wisconsin.