Abraham was born in Pittsburgh to Italian and Syrian parents but grew up in El Paso, Texas, where he attended Texas Western (now the University of Texas El Paso). He studied drama at the HB Studios in Greenwich Village in New York City. When he was living in LA’s Cheviot Hills, he met his wife, Kate Hannan, to whom he’s been married 50 years. The father of two, he takes care of his 97-year-old mother and now lives in Manhattan.
His acting career began at age 16 when he appeared in his high school production of James M. Barrie’s Echoes of the War – The Old Lady Shows Her Medals.Â He later won a $100 scholarship, which enabled him to go to college. Abraham said that without the money, he never would have been able to attend.Â “Because of the scholarship, I was given a chance to live my dream,”says Abraham, who has gone back to give commencement speeches.
He credits a teacher with turning his life around and opening up his world to possibilities.Â “Lucia P. Hutchins, my teacher at El Paso High School, is the one who saved my life,”says Abraham, who admits to being more than a handful as a kid. “She’s the one who said, “˜try this,’ meaning acting. I call it providence. I wish she could have been around to see my success. I think she’d be proud.”
Abraham was raised in El Paso, Texas, near the Mexican border. He attended Vilas Grammar School, and graduated from El Paso High School in 1958. He was a gang member during his teenage years. He attended Texas Western College (later named University of Texas at El Paso), where he was given the best actor award by Alpha Psi Omega for his portrayal of the Indian Nocona in Comanche Eagle during the 1959–60 season. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, then studied acting under Uta Hagen in New York City. He began his acting career on the stage, debuting in a Los Angeles production of Ray Bradbury's The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.
F. Murray Abraham - El Paso, Texas
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