From his daily workout routine and vocal exercises to family and friendships.
Actor F. Murray Abraham has had a long and storied career that stretches back to 1971, with a stop for the Best Actor Oscar in 1985 for his role as Salieri in Amadeus. And he has no plans to slow down. He recently returned home to Manhattan after filming The Magic Flute in Austria, and he’s resuming his role as C. W. Longbottom in the riotous series Mythic Quest, now in its second season on Apple TV+.
His character is a formerly great science fiction author now working as head writer for a video game company, despite the fact that he knows nothing about video games. He’s a rascal for whom the ’70s and ’80s were a blur, and he still swigs Wild Turkey from the bottle. Abraham loves playing him.
“He insists on playing it completely to the limit no matter how old he is, and I admire people who do that, because he continues to produce, in spite of his carousing. It’s not me. I’m 81. I can’t do that kind of thing and expect to live that long, and to produce,” he says.
F. Murray Abraham’s Daily Care Routine
Instead, Abraham takes care of himself with a daily routine that involves aerobics, stretches, and weight workouts. “I can do it on the road as long as I have some kind of an exercise bike handy, which I insist on,” he explains. “I take stretch bands with me on the plane, so while I’m waiting in the airport lounge I can do all kinds of stretches. They’re portable, so there’s no excuse not to work out.”
He also does vocal exercises to keep his voice limber and then spends 15 minutes on memorization. “My heart is in the theater, so even if I’m not doing a play, I memorize Shakespeare’s sonnets or different poetry that I like. That’s as essential as a physical workout, because when a script comes along, my memory muscle is in good shape.” He recommends it as a great exercise for anyone’s mental acuity. “It keeps you bright and alert,” he assures.
Family and Well-Being
Family is equally important to his well-being. Abraham and his wife, Kate Hannan, just celebrated their 59th anniversary. “Married in Vegas for $16,” he says. He credits their union to good fortune. “And I’m away a lot for work. That was a marriage saver, because we’re so pleased to get back together.” Hannan has multiple sclerosis, so in recent years they’ve spent more time together. “She’s pretty much bed-bound. That takes a lot of care, and that’s cool. It’s one of those unfortunate things that fate has visited upon us. But we’re still having a pretty good time together.”
His friendships are precious to him, too. Abraham played Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1988 as part of a crew of six men playing the “rude mechanicals.”
“Those six guys have remained friends to this day, so that gives you an idea of what friendship means to me. And let’s not leave off this scourge we’ve all suffered through for the last year,” Abraham says. “We’re just lucky we’re all still alive and functioning."
F. Murray Abraham’s Tips For a Daily Exercise Routine
“It’s a fabulous way to start the day because that time is strictly your own. I listen to good music or try to learn lines from a script while I’m on the bike.”
“It’s important to remind yourself of your responsibility to your own body. That’s what people don’t remember: If you honor your body, your body will honor you in return. When I don’t feel like it, that’s when I really have to do it. It reminds me that I am responsible for myself. It’s all self-motivation.”
You can also catch F. Murray Abraham in season 2 of The White Lotus, which premiered October 30 on HBO and is available for streaming on HBO Max.
Updated on 11/17/22
Published on 3/4/22
Photos courtesy of Apple TV+.