On the hit series “Homeland,” Mandy Patinkin plays CIA Division Chief Saul Berenson, a father figure with a strong sense of ethics. The role has catapulted Patinkin back into the national spotlight, but it’s only the latest step in a career that has made the 60-year-old performer, who got his start singing in his temple choir in Chicago, into an acting legend.
Patinkin has repeatedly stood up for his ideals. “What is at the core of my Jewishness is forgiveness and passion for ourselves and for others and moving forward in a positive, familial way,” Patinkin said in a 2011 interview with the Forward. In 2005, he walked off the set of “Criminal Minds” because the content was too violent for his taste. “I would die talking before lifting a weapon,” he told Stephen Colbert last December, explaining his opposition to the Iraq war. For a rare moment, the quick-witted comedian was left speechless.
Patinkin’s professional success lends credibility to his decisions. In 1980, he won a Tony Award for his role as Che Guevara in the Broadway musical “Evita,” and in 1995, an Emmy Award for his starring role on “Chicago Hope.” His 1998 album of Yiddish songs, “Mamaloshen,” earned him an Echo Award (the equivalent of a German Grammy). In addition to his acting roles, Patinkin still gives concerts across the world.
In October, Showtime announced that it would renew “Homeland” for a fourth season. Whether on stage or on screen, there’s little doubt that Patinkin will keep bringing the passion for which he’s rightly celebrated.