Posted on Jun 30, 2004

Tom Riis Farrell '81

One of Union's own — Tom Riis Farrell '81 — appears in the Stepford Wives in the role of Stan Peters.

The only arts major with a theater
emphasis to graduate from Union College
in 1981, Farrell appears in the film with Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew
Broderick, Christopher Walken, Faith Hill, Glenn Close, Roger Bart and Jon

While at Union,
Tom worked on at least one play every trimester for four years –sometimes two.
His Mountebanks credits include, “Feiffer's People,” “Ten Little Indians,”
“Death of a Salesman,” “The Robber Bridegroom,” “Six Characters in Search of an
Author,” “The Three Sisters,” “The Crucible,” and “Working, the Musical.” After
graduation, he worked as a process server in a New York
City law firm while taking classes with actress Uta
Hagen.  From the group of students he met there, he helped found “The
Barrow Group,” a New-York-City-based repertory company.

Born Thomas H. Farrell, in Oceanside,
Long Island, the youngest of seven children, he was
forced to change his name when he joined the Screen Actors Guild since there
already was a Tom Farrell.

Tom has acted in many plays both
on and off Broadway. He won the Helen Hayes Award and a Joseph Jefferson Award
nomination for his performance in “Dirty Blonde,” which The New York Times
called, “The best new American play of 2000.” His theater credits also
include:  “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” “1776,” “Wrong
Mountain,” “Li'l Abner,” and “View
of The Dome.”

On television he played Uncle
Hogram on Nickelodeon's “The Uncle Hogram Program,” and “Gary” on the CBS
series, “Wish You Were Here,” where in one episode he wore a Union
College sweatshirt. You may have
seen Tom on “NYPD Blue,” “Ed,” “Spin City,”
or as a guest lead several times on “Law & Order.” He appeared in the
television movies, “The Love Letter,” “The Deliverance of Elaine,” and “On
Seventh Avenue.”

The long list of Tom's film
credits includes, “Marie and Bruce,” “Almost Famous,” “Bringing out the Dead,”
“The Out-of-Towners,” “The Devil's Advocate,” “Commandments,” “Kiss of Death,”
“Sleepless in Seattle,” “Scent of a Woman,” “Shadows and Fog,” and the short
film, “Four Simple Rules.”

Tom has kept in touch with Union
over the years, periodically writing letters to update us on his activities. In
one letter from 1990, as he was telling us about his name change and his latest
work with people like Harrison Ford and Mike Nichols, he wrote, “It isn't the
easiest way of making a living, but I'm enjoying myself. And I credit Union,
and especially Prof. Barry K. Smith, for preparing me well for it.”  

He lives in Brooklyn.

For more about Farrell and a link to the film's web site,