Laurence Luckinbill: Celebrating an Iconic Stage and Screen Career

Real Name:Laurence George Luckinbill
Birthday:November 21, 1934
Net WorthN/A
Height:185 cm
Occupation:American Actor, Playwright, Director, Husband of Lucie Arnaz

Laurence Luckinbill stands as a notable figure in the pantheon of American performing arts, with a longstanding career that encompasses acting, writing, and directing. Born on November 21, 1934, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Luckinbill has brought to life a myriad of characters on stage and screen. He’s widely recognized not just for his compelling acting but also for crafting one-man shows about prominent historical figures, showcasing his diverse talents and dedication to his craft.

Not merely confined to theatre, Luckinbill’s contributions to film and television have left a memorable impact, particularly through his roles in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” and “Cocktail.” His Emmy-winning writing reflects his versatility and depth in the industry. His personal life, including a long-standing marriage to Lucie Arnaz, daughter of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, further illuminates Luckinbill’s life behind the scenes.

Key Takeaways

  • Laurence Luckinbill is a seasoned actor, writer, and director with a varied artistic portfolio.
  • He gained prominence with roles in both the theatrical and cinematic realms, notably in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.”
  • Luckinbill’s life, both personal and professional, is marked by creativity, strong family ties, and a lasting legacy in the arts.

Early Life and Education

Laurence Luckinbill’s early years laid a foundation for a life in the arts, taking him from his Arkansas roots to higher education where he nurtured his growing passion for performance.

Childhood in Arkansas

Born on November 21, 1934, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Laurence Luckinbill grew up in a world shaped by family and faith. He was the second child of Laurence Benedict and Agnes (née Nulph) Luckinbill. A sense of community ran deep in his life, with his upbringing in a close-knit Catholic environment in the heartland of the United States.

Academic Pursuits

Luckinbill’s pursuit of education saw him attending local institutions before moving on to broader horizons. After graduating from St. Anne’s High School—a testament to his Catholic upbringing, he began his higher education journey at Fort Smith Junior College from 1951 to 1952. His academic path then led him to the University of Arkansas, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956. But his intellectual appetite didn’t stop there; Luckinbill went on to the Catholic University of America, deepening his arts education and obtaining a Master of Fine Arts. It was this rich educational background that honed his talents and launched a successful career in acting and writing.

Theatrical Career

Laurence Luckinbill’s journey in theater, spanning across Broadway and Off-Broadway, truly reflects his diverse talents as an actor and playwright. His work has touched on powerful figures like Clarence Darrow and Ernest Hemingway, showcasing his ability to bring historical characters to life on stage.

Broadway and Off-Broadway

Luckinbill made notable contributions to the theater world with his performances in both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. His distinguished stage work includes playing in The Boys in the Band, where he took on the role of Hank and earned acclaim for his performance, with the play itself becoming a pivotal LGBT milestone.

One of his memorable Broadway appearances was in the play Poor Murderer which debuted in 1976. This featured him in a lead role that further punctuated his versatility as an actor. Off-Broadway, he received praise for his performance in ‘The Memory Bank’ for which he won the NY Critics Circle Award.

One-Man Shows

Luckinbill didn’t just act in plays; he also crafted them. His one-man shows where he donned the hats of both actor and playwright are a testament to his multifaceted talent and dedication to the craft. In these productions, he often took on the characters of notable historical figures.

Two standout performances by Luckinbill were his portrayals of Clarence Darrow, the famed lawyer, and the acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway. These productions delved into the lives and careers of these influential men, demonstrating Luckinbill’s skill in encapsulating their essence on stage and engaging audiences with their stories.

Film and Television

Laurence Luckinbill has made a significant mark in both film and television with memorable roles that showcase his considerable talent. From the big screen to the small screen, he has portrayed a wide array of characters, leaving a lasting impression on audiences.

Big Screen Roles

Luckinbill’s foray into film includes a notable performance as Sybok in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989). His character, a Vulcan with a rebellious streak, is central to the plot and adds depth to the Star Trek universe. Before reaching for the stars, he appeared in the adaptation of the groundbreaking play “The Boys in the Band” (1970), which was remarkable for its time in portraying the lives of gay men in cinema.

Television Appearances

Television gave Luckinbill a platform for versatility, evidenced by his work on “The Delphi Bureau,” where he took on the lead role. His television journey also includes stints on popular soap operas, reflecting his dynamic range. Besides drama, he showed his compatibility with various genres, such as his guest appearances in several episodes of “Murder, She Wrote.”

His marriage to Lucie Arnaz, an accomplished actress and producer in her own right, fortified Luckinbill’s presence in the entertainment industry, with the couple sharing the screen at times. They’ve been a joint force since 1980, and in between their own careers, they have built a family and supported each other’s professional endeavors.

Personal Life

Laurence Luckinbill’s personal life has been enriched by his family ties and professional collaborations. He has not only found success in his career but also in his role as a husband and father. Luckinbill’s connections, notably with his spouse Lucie Arnaz and her iconic parents, have also left a lasting imprint on his life.


Laurence Luckinbill married Lucie Arnaz on June 22, 1980. Together, they have three children – two sons and a daughter. Marrying Arnaz, he became a part of a celebrated family, as Lucie is the daughter of the legendary comedians and actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Collaborations and Relationships

His marriage to Lucie saw not only the union of two families but also the coming together of creative minds. While Luckinbill has an esteemed career as an actor and playwright, Lucie Arnaz has made her mark as an actress and singer. Their shared passions for the performing arts have allowed them to support and understand each other in their professional journeys.

Later Works and Legacy

In his later career, Laurence Luckinbill has been recognized not only for his acting but also for his impactful contributions behind the scenes in theatre and film, where his roles as a director, writer, and producer have allowed him to share his creative vision and passion for storytelling.

Directorial Endeavors

Luckinbill found a new avenue to express his creativity through directing. He has steered various productions with a keen eye, bringing scripts to life on stage and screen. Whether he was shaping the narrative of a play or guiding actors to delve deeper into their characters, his directorial undertakings have been marked by a thoughtful approach that highlights his experience in the industry.

Writing and Production

Never one to limit himself, Laurence also immersed himself in the world of writing and production. Not content with traditional storytelling, he explored different mediums, from penning plays to producing content. His work often touches on significant historical figures, showcasing his fascination with characters like Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, which allow audiences to connect with the past in a personal and meaningful way. His playwriting has not only entertained but educated, making the lessons of history resonate with the contemporary audience.

Contributions and Influence

Laurence Luckinbill has carved a notable path as an American actor, particularly through his contributions to theatre. His performance in the Broadway play “The Shadow Box” earned him a Tony Award nomination in 1978, showcasing his prowess on stage. The play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony for Best Play that year, added a feather to his cap and solidified his status in the theatre community.

In the realm of education, Luckinbill’s influence extends beyond the stage. He has served as an adjunct professor, sharing his knowledge and passion for the arts at Queensborough Community College. Through teaching, he has nurtured the next generation of performers and creatives.

Luckinbill’s relationship with Catholic University of America, his alma mater, epitomizes the intersection of education and professional practice in his career. His training there undoubtedly laid the groundwork for his impressive contributions to American theater and film.

Beyond academia and the arts, Luckinbill’s work with the U.S. State Department reflects his global influence. By sharing his craft internationally, he has helped to foster cultural exchange and promote American arts on the world stage.

Despite his remarkable career, Laurence Luckinbill remains a genuine and relatable figure. His marriage to actress Lucie Arnaz bridges the golden era of television with contemporary performance. Their collaboration exemplifies Luckinbill’s impact on both the personal and professional spheres.

Overall, whether shining on Broadway, instructing aspiring actors, or engaging with international audiences, Laurence Luckinbill’s contributions and influence in the world of theatre and beyond resonate with authenticity and depth.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.