Frederic Menner Kimball, writer, producer and actor, died at his home in New York City on Oct. 4 after a long struggle with lung cancer. He was 75.
He is best known for his role as confidant to Al Pacino in the film they made and wrote together, “Looking for Richard.”
Kimball grew up in St. Louis and was educated at Phillips Academy Andover, where he was the editor of the student newspaper. At Harvard, he began writing fiction, and edited the Advocate, Harvard’s literary magazine.
While in Boston, he performed with the Poets’ Theater in the company of such notables as Edward Gorey and Archibald MacLeish.
After returning from deployment to Korea with the Psychological Warfare division of the Special Forces in the mid-1950s, Kimball enjoyed a brief stint as general manager for the St. Louis Symphony before settling in New York City.
Kimball pursued a varied career in theater, television and film. In the 1960s, he and his colleague, David Wheeler, formed the Theater Company of Boston, which was home to many young actors, including Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight and Robert De Niro.
Kimball was in the first American production of Jean Genet’s “The Balcony,” directed by Jose Quintero, at the Circle in the Square, in New York. He performed with Pacino in the Broadway production of “Richard III” in 1979.
Kimball was a member of the Actors Studio, and participated in a number of workshop productions there.
His writing includes “The Great Fugue,” a play premiered at the Theater Company of Boston; numerous television scripts, including “Blind Alley,” with David Henry Hwang, starring Cloris Leachman and Pat Morita; and dialogue for a number of Pacino’s movies, including “Author, Author,” “Dick Tracy” and “And Justice for All.”
Kimball’s first novel, “An Indelible Mark,” about growing up in midcentury America, was published in September.
Kimball’s last appearance onstage was in New York, in a production of “Mr. Paradise,” an early play by Tennessee Williams. He was a superb cook, and his culinary expertise brought friends to the table for 40 years.
Among his survivors are wife Ellen Graff, a dancer and writer; a daughter; and a son.
A memorial gathering will be announced.
Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Riverside Park Fund in his name.