C. John Schuck Jr., 1962
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 1982
A stage, screen and TV actor, John Schuck established his credentials as a Broadway star in the role of Daddy Warbucks in the musical “Annie” in 1979.
A love of theater led him to Denison where he appeared in 50 productions as an undergraduate. In the following two decades, he was never out of work as a professional actor. He played romantic leads, serious dramas, comedies, and musicals as well as “bad-mouth meanies” while getting started in television and film.
He spent his first two post-Denison years doing twenty plays at the Cleveland Playhouse, then went to New York for a season. The next two years were at Baltimore’s Center Stage followed by a summer in “The Fantastiks” in Buffalo.
Drawn to repertory theater, John joined San Francisco’s widely-respected drama group ACT for five years. There Robert Altman spotted him in Jules Feiffer’s “Little Murders” and immediately cast him as Walt Waldowski, the dentist Painless, in Johns’s first feature film, “M*A*S*H.” Other Altman films in which he appeared were “Thieves Like Us,” “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” and “Brewster McCloud.” The film, “Hammersmith is Out,” afforded him his first love scene, played memorably with Elizabeth Taylor. Such respected critics as Pauline Kael likened him to Humphrey Bogart for his performance as the deranged gang member in “Thieves Like Us.”
In 1971, John began his role as Sergeant Enright in the NBC-TV mystery movie series, “McMillan and Wife,” co-starring as Rock Hudson’s overzealous, but highly likable, assistant.
Two more sitcom TV series, “Holmes & Yoyo,” in which he was a robot cop, and “Turnabout,” which cast him as a role-reversed husband, led Schuck to change his direction. He did several stage musicals which led to his Broadway debut July 9, 1979, in “Annie.” He has won wide critical acclaim for the role he played as the crusty old billionaire who falls for the red-haired orphan.