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Bradley Cooper coming to Broadway in 'The Elephant Man' this fall

FILE - This Dec. 8, 2013 file photo shows actor Bradley Cooper at the premiere of

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FILE - This Dec. 8, 2013 file photo shows actor Bradley Cooper at the premiere of "American Hustle" in New York. Producers said Thursday , Jan 23, 2014, that the “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” star will star in “The Elephant Man” on Broadway this fall. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Bradley Cooper, not too long ago crowned "sexiest man alive" by People magazine, is coming to Broadway in an ugly role.

Producers said Thursday that the "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle" actor will star in "The Elephant Man" this fall. It's about a disfigured man in Victorian London whose own inner goodness forces people to reevaluate their notions of beauty.

It will be directed Scott Ellis and co-star Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola. The stars and director were all in the 2012 Williamstown Theater Festival production of the play. The Broadway revival will be at a Shubert theatre to be announced later.

Cooper was last on Broadway in 2006 opposite Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd in Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain." The last time "The Elephant Man" was on Broadway was in 2002, with Billy Crudup in the starring role.

The play by Bernard Pomerance shows some two dozen snapshots in the life of the grotesque John Merrick, tracing his journey from an abused circus freak to a curiosity of London's high society.

The original "The Elephant Man" was an astounding success during the 1978-79 theatre season, first off and then on Broadway, where such diverse performers as David Bowie and Mark Hamill eventually followed the mesmerizing Philip Anglim in the title role.

Cooper, a veteran of "The Hangover" franchise, is no stranger to the role: He portrayed Merrick as part of his senior thesis at the Actors Studio Drama School in New York.

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