By Christopher Plummer
Illustrated. 648 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $29.95
In the spring of 1997, soon after Christopher Plummer opened on Broadway in “Barrymore,” the one-man play based on the life of John Barrymore, I was at a dinner party with Al Hirschfeld, the great artist and caricaturist. Then 93, he had seen most of what had opened — and closed — on Broadway for most of the last century, so his fellow diners eagerly awaited his opinion of Plummer’s portrayal of the legendary actor.
Hirschfeld was right, of course: Plummer won the Tony Award for best actor, and Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote that he “confirms his reputation as the finest classical actor of North America.”