Fred is the latest Wizard of Oz in the Broadway production Wicked, starting June 29th, 2015.
Recently, (winter/spring 2015) he was at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT, playing Joe Tumulty in the world premier of Joe DiPietro's new play The Second Mrs. Wilson, directed by Gordon Edelstein. Previously, (winter 2015) Fred was Constable Joe in the world premere of the new musical Tuck, Everlasting at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, GA. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, with music by Chris Miller, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, book by Claudia Shear; based on the book by Natalie Babbitt.
Just prior to that, he appeared on Broadway and in Chicago (spring 2014/winter 2015) as Father O'Brien in The Last Ship, with music and lyrics by Sting, directed by Joe Mantello, with a book by Brian Yorkey and John Logan.
He played Moonface Martin, Public Enemy No. 13, in the First National Tour of the Roundabout Theater's Tony Award winning production of Anything Goes, directed by Kathleen Marshall, and starring Rachel York as Reno Sweeney (summer 2012/fall 2013).
He was on Broadway as Monsignor O'Hara in Sister Act, which opened April 20th, 2011, and closed August 26, 2012. Sister Act, his fifth Broadway show, was nominated for 5 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
He has also appeared as M. Dindon and M. Renaud in the 2010 Tony Award winning Broadway revival of La Cage aux Folles; Inspector Kemp and the Blind Hermit in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein; starred as Max Bialystock in Mel Brooks’ The Producers, and he was Max Detweiller in the Broadway revival of The Sound of Music. In London, at the Theater Royal, Drury Lane, Fred starred as Max Bialystock in The Producers in 2005-6.
Also in New York, Fred was Panisse, co-starring with George Hearn as Cesar, in the City Center Encores! production of Fanny, and he was Kevin in the Lincoln Center Theater world premiere of Frankel/Korie/Weidman musical Happiness.
Fred was nominated for an LA Ovation Award for his performance as Cogsworth in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and he played Franz Liebkind in the First National Tour of The Producers, receiving a Helen Hayes Award nomination.
At the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, he appeared in The American Clock, Wild Oats, Mrs. California (which moved to the Colony Theater in Beverly Hills for an extended run), and Lisa Loomer’s Expecting Isabel, for which he received another LA Ovation Award nomination. At the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, he was Telyegin in Uncle Vanya, directed by Michael Langham. At The Old Globe Theater in San Diego, he played the role of The Playwright in Enter the Guardsman.
Fred was a member of the Resident Acting Company at the Guthrie Theater, and during his three years there he appeared in the Guthrie’s first musical, Guys and Dolls (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), as well as in Macbeth (The Porter), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom), Goldoni's Summer Vacation Madness, directed by Garland Wright (Paolino), Garland Wright’s Candide (8 roles), Peer Gynt (11 roles), As You Like It (William), Waiting for Godot (Estragon), Room Service (Sascha Smirnov), and A Christmas Carol (Marley's Ghost). At The Repertory Theater of St. Louis, he appeared in Bernstein’s Candide (Pangloss), and was named Best Actor in a Musical that season by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
On television, he was a series regular on Newhart, FM, Life... and Stuff, Woops! and Nine to Five; had recurring roles on Cosby, Night Court and Growing Pains, and has guest-starred often: Will and Grace, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, ER, Seinfeld, Northern Exposure, Touched By An Angel, Hill Street Blues, Murphy Brown; over 150 episodes in all.
Fred has appeared in three movies: Gary Marshall’s Georgia Rule, Harold Ramis’ Stuart Saves His Family, and Patrick Read Johnson’s Spaced Invaders.
He has narrated documentaries for National Geographic, The Learning Channel, PBS, Bravo, Disney and A&E.
Fred grew up in Maplewood and South Orange, NJ, and has lived in Evanston, IL; Rock Island, IL; Minneapolis, MN; and Burbank, CA, before moving to NYC in 2007.
In 1979, he married Cherie Sprosty, an actor he met in 1977 while playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at a dinner theater in Rock Island, IL, called Circa '21: she was Hodel. Cherie is now a Catholic liturgist specializing in conferences and conventions. They have three children. Ben is an editor at Random House in NYC. While living in Seoul, Korea, Ben was deputy editor of the Joongang Daily newspaper and did political commentary on eTBS radio. He has also lived in Tokyo and, when a student, in Kyoto. Daughter Meredith lives in Yangon, Myanmar, where she is the Chief Operating Officer for the International Foundation for Electoral Services. She recently was reassigned there from Jakarta, Indonesia, and she has lived in Burbank, CA, NY, Washington, DC, Cairo, and Phnom Penh. Son Ethan was been a student at Hunter College in NYC studying acting and directing, and is now an actor in NYC. Ethan spent a semester at L'Institut Catholique in Paris studying French language and culture, and has traveled to 13 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. He has lived in Burbank, London, Paris, and currently lives in NYC, and he is soon to start working on a new musical coming to Broadway in the fall of 2014.
Fred is a graduate of Northwestern University, and a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA.
Fred Applegate >