Introductions: Jeffrey Tambor

On May 23 at Town Hall Seattle, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor spoke about his new memoir, Are You Anybody?, to close our 2016/17 SAL Presents Series. SAL Associate Director introduced the evening, and the night’s conversation was moderated by Seattle entertainment writer Melanie McFarland, who wrote about the experience on Salon.com.

By Rebecca Hoogs, SAL Associate Director

If there were a column called “Celebrities, they’re just like Seattleites”—but of course there wouldn’t be, that’s ridiculous—there would be many pictures of one man, Jeffrey Tambor. He’s pale. He likes the rain. He not only loves to read, he owns a freaking bookstore, people. His first gig was at the Seattle Rep; he lived on Queen Anne where he baked a lot of bread in his downtime. Jeffrey Tambor is, indeed, one of us.

His bread may not have risen, but Jeffrey Tambor has, slowly, to become one of the best actors of his time exactly by being one of us. Maybe you discovered him on Three’s Company or The Ropers or Hill Street Blues or Mad Headroom. Maybe you joined the fan club when he played Hank Kingsley on the Larry Sanders Show. I joined the club after I’d had some minor stomach surgery and decided to recuperate by spending the weekend binging on this show I’d been hearing about, Arrested Development. This was a very bad idea. I couldn’t stop laughing even though it hurt so much.

That exquisite dance between laughter and pain is what Tambor has done so well as Maura Pfefferman on Transparent, now headed into its 4th season. In the role Tambor plays a transgender, divorced, Jewish parent of three. It’s a wonderfully complicated role for which Tambor has won an Emmy and Golden Globe.

One of George Bluth, aka Tambor’s, signature lines from Arrested Development is “no touching!” And yet, over his long career as an actor, and now a writer, he has touched us. We have been moved. We have laughed, cried. Yes touching. Yes. Thank you, Jeffrey.

 

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