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John Lithgrow adresses Hillary supporters at the Athens Democratic Office on September 17th, 2016 MATT STARKEY|FOR THE POST

John Lithgow sings, stumps for Hillary in Athens

John Lithgow has played a serial killer, a tiny king and a physics professor. But on Saturday, he played a new role — that of a campaign speaker.

Lithgow spoke before a small crowd that had crammed into the local Hillary Clinton campaign office on East State Street. He said it was his first time giving a stump speech.

"I'm the one who was always above the fray, who considered myself merely an actor," Lithgow said. "It was simply too important (of an election) for me to go on thinking this way."

Over the course of his 20 minute speech, he assured the audience that Clinton would continue President Barack Obama's policies. But most of his focus was on Trump's shortcomings as a candidate.

"I lie for a living. I pretend," Lithgow joked. "I'm an actor. But I do it with the intention of entertaining people ... Donald Trump has lied to become the Republican presidential nominee."

Lithgow said the speech given by his friend, Sen. Al Franken, at the Democratic National Convention had convinced him to get involved. Lithgow grew up in Akron and Lakewood, Ohio. When he reached out to the Clinton campaign, he volunteered to go to Ohio.

"I knew it was an essential state," Lithgow said. "And just because I'm from Ohio I felt it was where I could be most effective. And I also wanted to come back because every time I come here, I feel like I'm home."

After the speech, he took a group photo on the front steps of the campaign building with the volunteers and Clinton supporters in attendance. He then took time to talk and take photos with each individual. He also sang a few children's songs.

"I was excited to meet him," Roger Grace, a retired minister and Clinton supporter, said. "He made a great bad guy in 'Cliffhanger.' "

Lithgow made an appearance in Pickerington earlier in the day, and headed to Mansfield after stopping in Athens. According to a news release form the Clinton campaign, Lithgow will also appear at an event Sunday in his hometown of Lakewood.

 Emma Kraus, a student studying political science, took time off from her senior year at Syracuse University to organize volunteers for the Clinton campaign.

"Getting him to come here, I think it shows how important this part of the state is for the election," Kraus said.

Lithgow said finding time to campaign is difficult — he has to be back in Los Angeles by 5:30 Monday morning — but he said he has enjoyed the experience thus far.

"I'm going to try to come back through Ohio again," he said.

@torrantial

lt688112@ohio.edu

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