Donald Madden (1933 - 1983)

A photo of Donald Madden
Donald Madden
1933 - 1983
November 5, 1933
New York City, N. Y.
January 22, 1983
Central Islip, Suffolk County, New York United States
Other Names
Donald Madden, Donald Richard Madden, Donald Madden, Donald Madden, Donald
Donald Madden was born on November 5, 1933 in New York City, N. Y.. He is the child of Owen Madden and Jane (Halloran) Madden, with sibling Margaret. He died on January 22, 1983 in Central Islip, New York at 49 years of age.
Updated: August 17, 2021
He was a Tony Award nominated Broadway actor. He only appeared in one theatrical film, 1776, but his performance was brilliant! A few of his early television works are still available. Although he has been deceased for over 35 years, he had a distinguished body of work. He will NEVER be forgotten!
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Donald Madden
Most commonly known as
Donald Madden
Full name
Donald Madden, Donald Richard Madden, Donald Madden, Donald Madden, Donald
Other names or aliases
Central Islip, Suffolk County, New York 11722
Last known residence
Donald Madden was born on in New York City, N. Y.
Donald Madden died on in Central Islip, Suffolk County, New York United States
Lung cancer
Cause of death
St. John of God Cemetary 118 Wheeler Rd., in Central Islip, Suffolk County, New York United States 11722
Burial / Funeral

Ethnicity & Lineage


Nationality & Locations



New York City College




Was Donald baptized?


Actor Donald Madden Born November 5, 1933 in New York City, New York, USA Died January 22, 1983 in Central Islip, Suffolk, New York, USA (lung cancer) Mini Bio (1) Donald Madden was born on November 5, 1933 in New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for 1776 (1972), The United States Steel Hour (1953) and Play of the Week (1959). He died on January 22, 1983 in Central Islip, Suffolk, New York. Trivia (6) He was an acclaimed stage actor whose major credits include the title role in Hamlet, Sergius in Arms and The Man and several seasons with the Joseph Papp Shakespeare Festival. Was nominated for Broadway's 1967 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for Peter Shaffer's "Black Comedy". 1776 (1972) was the only theatrically released film he made. He was one of few actors in the film version of 1776 who did not portray his role on Broadway. Donald Madden's solo song in 1776 was cut from the theatrical version and was not restored until the DVD release in 1992. His solo song was not included on the soundtrack album. He played the same character in two versions of "U.S.Steel Hour, The Old Lady Shows Her Medals", 1956 and 1963.

Personal Life

Playing Shakespearean Roles. See Photographs.

Military Service

Army. Two years in ordinance at the Aberdeen, Maryland Proving Ground. Born as Donald Madden in New York City, he attended City College of New York and graduated with a degree in Theater. After serving in the United States Army for two years from July 27, 1951 to July 27, 1953 Donald worked in regional theater, including a tour of Tea and Sympathy opposite Linda Darnell. Born: November 5, 1928, New York Died: January 22, 1983, Central Islip, New York

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Mary Neeley commented
He only did one theatrical film, 1776, but his performance was stunning! Only a few of his television works are still available for viewing. Even so, he will be remembered as a fine, charismatic theatrical, television and film actor. He will never be forgotten!
Jul 23, 2018  ·  Reply
Mary Neeley commented
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAESTRO! You would have been 85 today. R.I.P.
Nov 05, 2018  ·  Reply
Mary Neeley commented
Actor, JOHN CULLUM, who worked with Donald Madden, related his thoughts to me yesterday. "I was in The Shakespearewrights Co in the 1950's and early 60's and remember Donald joining the production. I wondered where he came from and was impressed with his acting ability--his calm confidence in what he was doing. Then he got the part John Dickinson in the film "1776". I was in the stage production and saw John Dickinson played by several actors, but Donald was the best of the lot. He got the pride, power and intelligence of Dickinson and managed to evoke strong sympathy and admiration for the character that was essential to the drama. Donald was at the peak of his talent at that time and his early death came as a shock to the industry and me in particular. I always had a touch of envy when I watched Donald work. But I must admit, he was better in the roles he played than I could have been."
Nov 17, 2018  ·  Reply
I love John Cullum and that is so great. I have seen John do wonders with roles that I hated seeing other actors play. I have a bunch of photos of me with him. He is such a dear person and the finest person you could have found to give such a wonderful testimonial to Donald Madden.
Nov 17, 2018  ·  Reply
Mary Neeley commented
British actress, Claire Bloom, performed extensively with Donald on Broadway. I contacted her today and she graciously had this to say, "Donald was a delicate and instinctive actor of very great talent. One of my happiest memories is the time we spent together performing the Ibsen plays, 'A Doll"s House' and 'Hedda Gabler'. His performances in both plays showed the richness of his intelligence. We had a fine partnership".
Nov 29, 2018  ·  Reply
That is phenomenal considering that she worked with GREAT actors. Are you putting these quotes on his page?
Nov 30, 2018  ·  Reply
Mary Neeley commented
Nothing is forever in the theater. Whatever is, is here, it flairs up, burns bright, then it's gone. You passed away 37 years ago today. Your light, however short, will still shine in our memories. R.I.P.
Jan 22, 2020  ·  Reply
Mary Neeley commented
Playwright, Tennessee Williams, in his autobiography, wrote of Donald Madden, "You see, I was still capable of falling in love in the sixties, and during the rehearsals of In The Bar of a Tokyo Hotel-despite my condition, which was on the verge of mental and physical collapse-I was 'mad about the boy', Madden, but refrained from declaring it as he was involved in my work. My feeling towards Madden has now settled sensibly into a platonic one based upon my very deep regard for him as an actor. I think there's no better actor in The States.
Jul 28, 2020  ·  Reply
Mary Neeley commented
You passed away 38 years ago today but are not forgotten. I will ALWAYS remember you. R.I.P., Maestro.🌹
Jan 22  ·  Reply

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New York Times, Jan. 23, 1983. Page 1001028, national edition with headline: DONALD MADDEN, ACTOR, DEAD AT 49. Newsday, Nassau Ed. Long Island, N. Y. Jan. 23, 1983 page 23 Newsday, Nassau, Ed. Long Island, N.Y. Jan. 24, 1983 page 29 Donald Madden died on Jan. 22, 1983, at the home of his only surviving relative, Christine Brennan. A memorial service was held in Manhattan. He was in repose at the Moloney Funeral Home in Central Islip and he is buried in St. John of God Cemetery, 118 Old Wheeler Rd. Central Islip, Suffolk County New York. He is buried along side George and Susan H. Carvalho. Grave site #3SW-Row 6-Plot 451

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Donald's lifetime.

In 1933, in the year that Donald Madden was born, on December 5th, the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified. The 21st Amendment said "The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed." Alcohol was legal again! It was the only amendment to the Constitution approved for the explicit purpose of repealing a previously existing amendment. South Carolina was the only state to reject the Amendment.

In 1948, Donald was just 15 years old when on May 14th, the State of Israel was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, who became Israel's first Premier, and the U.S. officially recognized Israel. That evening, Egypt launched an air assault on Israel.

In 1960, he was 27 years old when on September 26th, the first televised debate for a Presidential campaign in the United States - Kennedy vs Nixon - was held. Seventy million people watched the debate on TV. The debate pre-empted the very popular Andy Griffith Show.

In 1979, when he was 46 years old, on November 4th, Iranian militant students seized the US embassy in Teheran and held 52 American citizens and diplomats hostage for 444 days. They were released at the end of the inauguration speech of the newly elected Ronald Reagan.

In 1983, in the year of Donald Madden's passing, "crack" cocaine was developed in the Bahamas and spread to the United States. Previously, cocaine had been cut with other substances, diluting it. Crack was 80% pure and therefore was more addictive. It was also cheaper, making it more easily available to low income neighborhoods.

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