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Primetime and film actors Rob Corddry ’93 and Jeffrey Donovan ’91 return to the UMass Amherst campus to honor their theater professor.

Alumni actors with familiar faces returned to campus last fall to reunite with their mentor, Professor Emeritus Ed Golden, who taught theater from 1978 to 2003, and to create a scholarship in his honor.



Corddry is a former correspondent on The Daily Show. He created the Emmy-winning web series Childrens Hospital and now stars in HBO’s Ballers with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

  • “I came to the theater major late. When I saw Jeffrey Donovan perform in The Playboy of the Western World, he blew me away.”

  • “When I played Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I went to University Health Services to get a real cast put on my leg for the part. I was so proud of my dedication. Then Ed Golden saw me and he said, ‘Why don’t you just try acting?’”

  • “I want to do great things I love with people who aren’t jerks.”


Donovan is best known for starring in Burn Notice. He’s now the lead in the new Hulu psychic drama Shut Eye.

  • “Ed Golden simplified acting to one question: ‘What does your character want?’”

  • “When it comes to making a career in the theater, Donovan agrees with Nietzsche: “There is no right way or wrong way; there’s just your way.”

Bill Pullman ’80G, ’08PhD (Hon)

Pullman has had scores of starring roles in film, television, and on the stage, including the movies While You Were Sleeping and Independence Day. Pullman couldn’t attend the celebration for his former professor because he was shooting an interrogation scene for USA Network’s crime drama The Sinner.

  • “Ed Golden set a high bar for Bill and me,” said Tamara Pullman,“and taught us that acting should be taken seriously.”

Tamara (Hurwitz) Pullman ’81 

Pullman was a UMass dance student who also acted in theater department productions.

  • “My favorite advice from Ed Golden was ‘Have a good show and remember: no acting.’”
  • “Bill and I met in a play directed by Ed Golden, Molière Impromptu. Ed cast us as husband and wife, and so we invited him to our wedding.”
  • “We used to dance at The Quonset Hut on Route 9; they played everything from metal to polka.”

Photos by John Solem