Mandy Patinkin was born in Chicago of Russian and Polish descent, the son of Doris 'Doralee' Sinton, a homemaker, and Lester Patinkin, who was the head of the People's Iron & Metal Company and the Scrap Corporation of America. He grew up in a middle class Jewish family and was raised in Conservative Judaism, attending religion school daily from the age of seven to 13 or 14 and singing in synagogue choirs. He attended South Shore High School and Kenwood Academy (1970 graduate). Then he attended the University of Kansas and later the Juilliard School of Drama in New York City, leaving without a degree when he was able to find enough stage work to turn professional.
Some TV commercial and radio appearances, including the CBS Radio Mystery Theater in 1974, were his first jobs, but during the second half of the 1970s, he was closely associated with the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Public Theater, performing in many of the celebrated theater company's productions, on and off Broadway. In his 1980 Broadway debut, Mandy won a Tony Award for his role as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita and was nominated in 1984 for his starring role as George in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George. In 1991 he returned to Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical The Secret Garden. Again he returned to Broadway in 2000 in the New York Shakespeare Festival's The Wild Party, earning another Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. January 2010 marked his stage debut at Yale Rep in the world premiere of Compulsion. Other stage credits include playing Prospero in The Tempest, Falsettos, The Winter's Tale, The Knife, Leave It to Beaver is Dead, Rebel Women, Hamlet, Trelawney of the 'Wells' , The Shadow Box, The Split, Savages, and Henry IV, Part I.
In 1989, Mandy began his concert career at Joseph Papp's Public Theater. This coincided with the release of his first solo album entitled Mandy Patinkin. Since then he has toured extensively across the United States, Canada, London and Australia. In 1990 he released his second solo album entitled Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual. His 1994 recording, Experiment, features songs from nine decades of popular music from Irving Berlin to Alan Menken. In 1998 he debuted with his most personal project, Mamaloshen, a collection of traditional, classic and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish. This recording won the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis (Germany's equivalent of the Grammy Award). In 2001, he released Kidults, a collection of beloved songs, designed - as the title suggests - for the kid in every adult. And, in 2002, he released the live recording of Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim, a figurative journey through Sondheim's music and lyrics. In October 2007, Mandy debuted his newest concert and begin touring the show An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin throughout the US, Australia and New Zealand. He recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of performing his solo concerts with a two-week run of all of his concerts in rep at New York's Public Theater, the very space he began his concert career twenty years prior. He continued the celebration with a two-week run of Mandy Patinkin in Concert in London's West End at the Duke of York's Theatre.
He made his film debut in 1978, playing a small part in The Big Fix. He then moved to bigger jobs, playing parts in movies such as Yentl and Ragtime. Over the next decade he continued to appear in various movies: Dick Tracy, Alien Nation, Men With Guns, Lulu on the Bridge and Elmo in Grouchland (1999) (even getting to sing in the first and last ones).
Patinkin played Iñigo Montoya in Rob Reiner's 1987 The Princess Bride (which Patinkin considers his favorite role), in which he delivers what is possibly the best-remembered line in the film, and one he declared several times: Hello, my name is Iñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Patinkin found his studies a huge asset in this movie, playing the role of the best swordsman in the country; part of his role included proficiency in fencing, at a professional level.
In 1994, he took the role of Dr. Jeffrey Geiger on the medical drama Chicago Hope for which he won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe nomination. However, despite the award and the ratings success of the show, Patinkin left it during the second season, as he was unhappy spending so much time away from his wife. He returned to the show in 1999 at the beginning of the sixth season, but it was later cancelled in 2000.
He got guest star roles in episodes of The Larry Sanders Show, Law & Order, Boston Public, Touched By An Angel and in The Simpsons (episode Lisa's Wedding) as Hugh Parkfield, Lisa's future English groom. More recently, he was seen in the comedy-drama Dead Like Me as Rube Sofer.
In 2005, he debuted in as Jason Gideon, an experienced profiler just coming back to work after a series of nervous breakdowns (the result of six members of his team's deaths, which he feels responsible for), in the crime drama Criminal Minds. Like his departure from Chicago Hope, he left Criminal Minds without warning; Patinkin was absent from the table read of the third season first episode. He released an statement saying that his departure from the show was due to creative differences. Many weeks before, in a videotaped interview carried in the online magazine Monaco Revue, Patinkin told journalists at the Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo that he loathed violence on television and was uncomfortable with certain scenes in the show. He also spoke of having planned to tour the world with a musical and wanting to inject more comedy into the entertainment business.
On 2009, Patinkin was a guest-star on an episode of Three Rivers where he played a patient injured in a car accident who asks his doctors to pull him off life support so his organs can be donated.
Patinkin suffered from keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease, in the mid-1990s. This led to two corneal transplants, his right cornea in 1997 and his left in 1998. He also was diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer in 2004. He celebrated his first year of recovery by doing a 280-mile charity bike ride with his son Isaac, the Arava Institute Hazon Israel Ride: Cycling for Peace, Partnership & Environmental Protection. He subsequently joined the boards of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and Hazon.
Patinkin has been involved in a variety of Jewish causes and cultural activities. He sings in Yiddish, he also wrote introductions for two books on Jewish culture, The Jewish American Family Album, by Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler, and Grandma Doralee Patinkin's Holiday Cookbook: A Jewish Family's Celebrations, by his mother, Doralee Patinkin Rubin. Patinkin contributed too to the children's book Dewey Doo-it Helps Owlie Fly Again: A Musical Storybook inspired by Christopher Reeve prior to his death. The award winning book, published in 2005, benefits the Christopher Reeve Foundation and includes an audio CD with Mandy Patinkin singing and reading the story as well as Dana Reeve and Bernadette Peters singing.
Patinkin supports other many charities including: PAX, Doctors Without Borders, Americans for Peace Now, The September 11th Fund, Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and Gilda's Club.
- Homeland (2011-present) - Saul Berenson
- 22.214.171.124 (2010) - Jago Larofsky
- Three Rivers - The Luckiest Man (2009) TV episode - Victor
- The Princess Bride Game (2008) (VG) (voice) - Iñigo Montoya
- Criminal Minds - 47 episodes (2005-2007) TV episodes - Jason Gideon
- Everyone's Hero (2006) (voice) - Stanley Irving
- Choking Man (2006) - Rick
- Dead Like Me - 29 episodes (2003-2004) TV episodes - Rube Sofer
- NTSB: The Crash of Flight 323 (2004) - Al Cummings
- Frankie and Johnny Are Married (2003) - Mandy Patinkin
- Law & Order - Absentia (2003) TV episode - Levi 'The Griffin' March/Glenn Fordyce
- Piñero (2001) - Joseph Papp
- Boston Public - Chapter Twenty-Two (2001) TV episode - Isaac Rice
- Touched by an Angel - Netherlands (2001) TV episode - Satan
- Chicago Hope - 60 episodes (1994-2000) TV episodes - Dr. Jeffrey Geiger
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999) - Huxley
- Strange Justice (1999) - Kenneth Duberstein
- This Is Odyssey with Mandy Patinkin (1999)
- Hercules - Hercules and the World's First Doctor (1998) TV episode (voice) - Hippocrates
- Lulu on the Bridge (1998) - Philip Kleinman
- Men with Guns (1997) - Andrew
- The Hunchback (1997) - Quasimodo
- Broken Glass (1996) - Dr. Harry Hyman
- Homicide: Life on the Street - A Doll's Eyes (1995) TV episode (unaccredited) - Dr. Jeffrey Geiger
- The Simpsons - Lisa's Wedding (1995) TV episode (voice) - Hugh St. John Alastair Parkfield
- Picket Fences - Rebels with Causes (1994) TV episode - Dr. Jeffrey Geiger
- Squanto: A Warrior's Tale (1994) - Brother Daniel
- Life with Mikey (1993) - Irate Man
- The Music of Chance (1993) - Jim Nashe
- The Doctor (1991) - Dr. Murray Kaplan
- Impromptu (1991) - Alfred De Musset
- True Colors (1991) - John Palmeri
- Dick Tracy (1990) - 88 Keys
- Alien Nation (1988) - Det. Samuel 'George' Francisco
- The House on Carroll Street (1988) - Salwen
- The Princess Bride (1987) - Iñigo Montoya
- Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta (1986) (voice: English version) - Louis
- Sunday in the Park with George (1986) - Georges Seurat/George
- Maxie (1985) - Nick
- Yentl (1983) - Avigdor
- Daniel (1983) - Paul Isaacson
- Ragtime (1981) - Tateh
- Night of the Juggler (1980) - Allesandro the Cabbie
- French Postcards (1979) - Sayyid
- Last Embrace (1979) - First Commuter
- Charleston (1979) - Beaudine Croft
- Taxi - Memories of Cab 804: Part 2 (1978) TV episode - New Father
- The Big Fix (1978) - Pool Man
- That Thing on ABC (1978) - Performer
- Evita (1979) – Che (Tony Award, 1980)
- Sunday in the Park with George (1984) – George (Tony Award Nominee, 1984)
- Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Dress Casual (1989)
- The Secret Garden (1991) – Archibald Craven
- Falsettos (1993) – Marvin (Replacement)
- Sunday in the Park with George (Tenth Anniversary Concert) (1994) – George
- Mandy Patinkin in Concert (1997)
- Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Mamaloshen (1998)
- The Wild Party (2000) – Burrs (Tony Award Nominee, 2000)
- Celebrating Sondheim
- Enemy of the People (Williamstown Theater Festival)
- Henry IV, Part I
- Winter's Tale
- The Knife
- Leave It to Beaver is Dead
- Trelawny of the Wells (1975) – Mr. Arthur Gower
- Hamlet (1975-76) – Fortinbras, Player King
- Rebel Woman
- The Shadow Box (1977) – Mark
- The Split and Savages
- Myths and Hymns
- The Tempest (2008) (Classic Stage Company)
- Great Performances - Broadway's Lost Treasures (2003) TV episode (performer: A New Argentina)
- Run Ronnie Run (2002) (performer: How High the Mountain)
- The 54th Annual Tony Awards (2000) (performer: Queenie Was a Blonde/Wild Party/Welcome to My Party/When It Ends/Wild)
- Liberty Heights (1999) (performer: Oyfn Pripetshik, Belz (Mein Shtelele Belz))
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999) (performer: Make It Mine)
- The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998) (performer: Take Me Out to the Ballgame)
- Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein II (1995) (performer: Bali Ha'i, You've Got to be Carefully Taught)
- The Music of Chance (1993) (performer: Jerusalem)
- The 45th Annual Tony Awards (1991) (performer: The Secret Garden Medley)
- Dick Tracy (1990) (performer: What Can You Lose)
- Sunday in the Park with George (1986) (performer: Color and Light, The Day Off, The Boatman and George, Finishing the Hat, We Do Not Belong Together, Beautiful, Putting It Together, Lesson #8, Move On, Sunday (reprise))
- The 38th Annual Tony Awards (1984) (performer: Sunday)
- The 34th Annual Tony Awards (1980) (performer: A New Argentina)
- For an up-to-date Filmography: imdb.com/Mandy Patinkin
- He is a lover/collector of Lionel model trains and he continues to enjoy playing with them to this day. He considers the concept of hanging on to such classic influential toys from the past very important to pass down to future generations.
- At Juilliard, he was a classmate of Kelsey Grammer. When the producers of the popular sitcom Cheers were auditioning for the role of Dr. Frasier Crane, Patinkin was the one who put Grammer's name forward.