At Home With Robert Sean Leonard....


Robert Sean Leonard, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, steps down from the wrap-around porch of his sprawling white Victorian home in suburban New Jersey, and greets his visitor with a big wave, a wide smile and a handshake as if greeting an old friend.

The actor, best known for his role as the singular friend of the title character in TV’s long-running “House,” returned last year to his East Coast roots and to the stage. You can immediately tell Leonard’s enthusiasm of being back on his home turf, of being in a house he long coveted and of having a lifestyle that fits his easy-going personality.

“I grew up just four blocks from here and I used to deliver newspapers on this very street,” he says as he leads his guest into his home. 

On the living room walls are photographs of his rock-and-roll heroes. Tom Petty is the latest addition. On the floor are toys that indicate the presence of his two young daughters, ages 7 and 4. Down in the basement’s rec room, he checks on the laundry before sitting down on a well lived-in couch to talk about his latest stage project — playing King Arthur in a revised version of the musical “Camelot” at the Westport Country Playhouse Oct. 4-30.

At 47, Leonard (his friends call him Bobby) still recalls his break-out role as the troubled youth in the 1989 film, “Dead Poets Society.” Though he’s worked in TV and films, the stage has been his calling. Performing in plays by Shaw, Shakespeare, Stoppard, Williams and O’Neill, Leonard has crafted a sizable career as one of America’s leading classical actors, winning Tony nominations for Broadway’s “Candida” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and winning for “The Invention of Love.”