In 2015, at age 75, veteran actor F. Murray Abraham earned his first career Emmy Award nomination in Best Drama Guest Actor for his scene-stealing turn as Dar Adal on “Homeland.” This year, Abraham is back in Emmy contention, this time in Best Comedy Guest Actor, with a decidedly lighter performance on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Abraham appeared in one episode, “Fatwa!,” the show’s season finale. In it, Abraham portrays himself, cast as the Ayatollah in Larry David‘s “Fatwa! The Musical” after Larry’s first choice for the role, Mandy Patinkin, is rejected by the musical’s co-producer, Lin-Manuel Miranda. With Larry and Lin constantly clashing over the show, Larry also encounters a chilly reception from Murray, a self-proclaimed “outfit tracker” perplexed by Larry wearing the same pair of pants over two days of rehearsal.
In his review of the episode, Alec Bojalad of Den of Geek wrote, “F. Murray Abraham takes the role as Lin’s second due to Larry writing his outfit-tracking misdeeds into the script. What follows is perfect slapstick comedy. Larry, wearing oversized pants because he couldn’t re-wear an outfit lest Murray track him, fires his gun directly into Lin’s throat rather than into the air.”
Should Abraham indeed garner a nomination, he will mark only the third “Curb Your Enthusiasm” guest star to earn Emmy recognition, following Shelley Berman in 2008 and Michael J. Fox in 2012. No performer to date has won an Emmy for the HBO comedy.
In addition to his Emmy nomination for “Homeland,” Abraham is the recipient of an Oscar and Golden Globe for his chilling portrayal of composer Antonio Salieri in Milos Forman‘s “Amadeus” (1984).
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