Lawrence Holofcener (born February 23, 1926, Baltimore, Maryland, United States) is an American poet, lyricist, playwright, artist, novelist, actor, director and sculptor. He has dual British and American nationality.
Songwriter and musical writer
As a singer/songwriter he was known as Larry Holofcener. Holofcener attended University of Maryland and the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he met and performed with Jerry Bock. They went on to write songs for Big as Life and Your Show of Shows, starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner. They wrote the Broadway stage scores for Mr. Wonderful and Catch a Star. He joined ASCAP in 1956, his other popular-song compositions include "Without You I'm Nothing", "Raining, It's Raining", "Too Close for Comfort" and "The Story of Alice" which was recorded by the Chad Mitchell Trio. His play Before You Go began on Broadway and has been produced in regional theaters in the United Kingdom, Paris, Sweden, and Mexico City. His musical play I Don't Live There Anymore, written with composer Gerard Kenny, received its American premiere at the 1993 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC.
His acting career began in a nightclub revue in New York at the Upstairs at the Downstairs. His first theater job was in Stop the World – I Want to Get Off on Broadway. Next, in 1964, he played Cornelius in Hello, Dolly!, first with Carol Channing, then Ginger Rogers. His film work includes Mr. Reckler in the 1981 TV Movie Thin Ice starring Kate Jackson, as well as Walking and Talking written and directed by his daughter, screenwriter-director Nicole Holofcener.
He also pursues a literary career. In 1960, he compiled and edited A Practical Dictionary of Rhymes for Crown Publishers. He wrote Day of Change in 1976. Britishisms, his British-English dictionary was first published in 1981.
Lawrence Holofcener's first exhibition was in 1979 at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina. It was followed by many shows, awards and commissions. During his exhibition at AT&T's Education Center in Princeton, New Jersey, Lawrence produced The Box, a piece which was added to their collection.
In 1985 at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Laurence Olivier unveiled Holofcener's portrait, "Faces of Olivier", and ten years later to the day on Bond Street in London, Princess Margaret unveiled his portraits of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. "Allies" has fast become one of London's tourist attractions. Commissions include Queen Victoria for the Isle of Wight's Museum of Island History and Coburg, Germany, as well as a life-size bronze of Thomas Paine at Bordentown, New Jersey.
Other life-size portraits of Thomas Chatterton, William Tyndale and William Penn are in Bristol, England. In 1998, Holofcener embarked on a major series celebrating the contributions made by 20th Century icons, among them Albert Einstein, John F Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, Anne Frank, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, Albert Schweitzer, the Three Tenors and John Lennon.