John Lithgow's Broadway show "Stories by Heart" is "a very personal reminiscence"

John Lithgow returns to Broadway

Before "The Crown," "Dexter" and "3rd Rock from the Sun," John Lithgow first made a name for himself in theater. Now he's returning to the stage in his one-man Broadway show, "Stories by Heart." In it, Lithgow shares deeply personal moments and tales from the same book his stage-producer father read to him while growing up. Those memories still resonate years later.

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John Lithgow CBS News

"It's about storytelling. It's about acting. It's about why we all gathered together to listen to stories and some of us have the urge and the need to tell them," Lithgow said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

Lithgow called it "a very personal reminiscence" and agreed it's a tribute to his father.

"In a sense he's always with me a little bit. I'm sure I'm very much like him. Genetics has something to do with that. He is the reason I'm an actor. I mean, he was a man of the theater. I didn't really want to become an actor. I didn't want to go into the family business," Lithgow said.

His father was much more interested in being a painter, he said, "but eventually applause asserted itself."

Lithgow's storied on-screen career also includes two Oscar-nominated performances in the movies "Terms of Endearment" and "The World According to Garp." He has won six Emmy Awards, most recently for playing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the Netflix series, "The Crown."

But with "Stories by Heart," he's paving a new path.

"This is the first time I've ever written something, created something for myself to perform for other people, tapping on my own experience of life," he said. "And I find that the thing that fascinates me is: What is it? Why do we all want, need, and love stories?"  

Watch the video above to see what he had to say about "The Crown" replacing their actors in the third season.   

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Roundabout Theatre Company