1776, Alfred Hitchcock, Amadeus, Anthony Perkins, Baron van Swieten, Broadway, Charles Lamont, Checking Out, Dustin Hoffman, Dylan, F. Murray Abraham, Harry Belafonte, Jessica Lange, Jonathan Moore, Jonathon Ascott, Love of Life, Lyman Hall, Marco Dark, New Orleans, New York, Psycho, Ray Wise, Rising Sun, Robocop, Swamp Thing, To Sleep in the Ground, Tootsie, Twin Peaks, Wild Honey
I normally abstain from posting about my family as I adhere to the belief that some things are just too personal for social media. But being that Jonathan’s birthday is here, I felt that the timing was appropriate.
Jonathan Moore was known by his television role as Charles Lamont on the daytime drama Love of Life from 1966-1978. On the big screen he was familiar to audiences as Dr. Lyman Hall (delegate from Georgia) in 1776 and as Baron van Swieten in the 1984 Academy Award-winning film Amadeus. But before all of this, he was an accomplished stage actor on Broadway. His stage credits include such productions as Wild Honey, Amadeus, Checking Out, 1776, and Dylan. He was also my relative (first cousin once removed) on my mother’s side of the family.
He was born John Miller Moore, Jr. in New Orleans, Louisiana. He later took the stage and professional name of Jonathan Moore. He was a decorated soldier in World War II and afterward became an artist in Paris. Soon the acting bug bit and he moved to New York where he joined the prestigious Actors Studio. While focusing on his acting career, he was a roommate with both the famous singer and actor Harry Belafonte and Anthony Perkins who portrayed one of cinema’s most indelible and terrifying characters, Norman Bates, in the Alfred Hitchcock smash horror/thriller/suspense hit Psycho.
I idolized Jonathan as a child and remember watching him on television when staying home on sick days and during summer vacation in kindergarten and elementary school. His visits to Louisiana were thrilling. He was my cousin, but he was also a celebrity whom I had gotten to know from television. He always took the time to play outside with my cousins and I during holidays and family reunions, and he was often the center of attention. On one of his trips, he paid my siblings and I a surprise visit at our school. Some of the teachers and parents recognized him from Love of Life at the time, and I was very proud to tell them that he was my cousin.
He was the celebrity of our family, but he remained refreshingly modest and humble. Jonathan spoke with a rich baritone voice that can be heard in some of his roles on-screen before you even see him in the camera frame. He had a sophisticated air about him that I gravitated toward. He was always cool, classy, and debonair in my eyes, and he always will be.