b. 18 June 1934, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. An actor and singer whose career has spanned some 30 years, Hearn started out playing mainly dramatic roles, despite having vocal training from an early age. After working in regional theatre, he made his Broadway debut in 1966 in the short-lived musical A Time For Singing, which was based on the famous novel How Green Was My Valley. In the early 70s, he played John Dickenson in 1776 on the US tour and on Broadway, and in 1979 was in the cast of Richard Rodgers’ last musical, I Remember Mama. A year later, he and Dorothy Loudon took over the leading roles in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and Hearn subsequently won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Sweeney in a telecast of the show. After struggling with the five-performance ‘Ibsen disaster’, A Doll’s House (1983), Hearn won the Tony Award for Best Actor In A Musical in 1984 for his performance as the flamboyant drag queen Albin, in Jerry Herman’s smash-hit La Cage Aux Folles. In 1985, he played Ben opposite Barbara Cook’s Sally, in two highly acclaimed performances of Follies In Concert at the Lincoln Center, and was in the cast of Jule Styne’s Pieces Of Eight, which folded during its try-out in Canada. He then appeared in New York City Opera productions of Kismet and Casanova, before recreating his role in La Cage Aux Folles for London. After returning to Broadway in the ‘clumsy’ stage adaptation of the legendary film musical Meet Me In St. Louis in 1989, Hearn moved to the west coast for several years. He played the demon barber Sweeney yet again in the 1992 Paper Mill Playhouse revival, and in December 1993 took the role of Max von Mayerling in the Los Angeles premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. After the show opened on Broadway nearly a year later, Hearn won the Tony Award for Featured Actor In A Musical.
Since then, Hearn has featured in several pictures, and made the television movie Annie: A Royal Adventure (1995). His stage appearances have included one as Otto Frank, Anne’s father, in the James Lapine -directed revival of Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s The Diary Of Anne Frank, which played for six months on Broadway in 1997/8.