Morris Carnovsky, a native St. Louisan, graduated from Washington University in 1920 and later became a well-known actor. He made his New York debut in 1922 at the Provincetown Playhouse, playing Rob Aaron in The God of Vengeance, and from 1923 to 1930 was a member of the Theatre Guild. Carnovsky was a founding member, with playwright Clifford Odetts, of the Group Theatre, which from 1930 to 1939 shaped the future of American theatre for decades to come. He was also associated with the Actors Laboratory Theatre in California as an actor and director from 1940-1950.
Carnovsky’s Shakespearean career began in 1956 when he appeared with the American Shakespeare Festival company at Stratford, Connecticut, playing the Earl of Salisbury in King John, the Provost in Measure for Measure and Gremino in The Taming of the Shrew. Carnovsky performed the title role in King Lear at Stratford, Connecticut; the Goodman Theatre, Chicago; Schoenberg Hall at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, Florida. His other distinguished Shakespearean portrayals included Shylock in The Merchant of Venice,Claudius in Hamlet,Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and Prospero in The Tempest. Carnovsky’s television credits include the roles of the Rabbi, Presiding Angel and Mr. Katz in The World of Sholom Aleichem and Creon in Medea. His film credits include the role of Anatole France in The Life of Emile Zola.