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Obituaries of theatre professionals who have enriched the stage.
Broadway Dancers and Choreographers Recall How Jacques D’Amboise Changed Musical Theatre Dance
By Ruthie Fierberg | 05/03/2021
Chita Rivera, Camille A. Brown, and more share how the choreographer, who passed away May 2 at age 86, impacted Broadway and beyond.
Looking Back at Olympia Dukakis’ Stage Career
By Ryan McPhee, Marc J. Franklin | 05/03/2021
The Oscar winner and theatre veteran died May 1 at the age of 89.
Arthur T. Birsh, Playbill Chairman Emeritus, Has Died at 88
By Andrew Birsh and Andrew Gans | 04/21/2021
Mr. Birsh began working for Playbill in 1961 as manager of the magazine’s printing plant; by 1973 he had become the sole proprietor of the company synonymous with Broadway.
Jim Steinman, Pop-Rock Hitmaker Responsible for
Bat Out of Hell
Dance of the Vampires
, Dies at 73
By Ryan McPhee | 04/20/2021
The composer’s works include songs made famous by Celine Dion, Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, and more.
Tony and Oscar-Winning Costume Designer Anthony Powell Dies at 85
By Talaura Harms | 04/20/2021
The English designer recreated everything from Spanish conquistadors to silent film stars for Hollywood and Broadway.
Tony and Olivier Nominee Paul Ritter Dies at 54
By Andrew Gans | 04/06/2021
Mr. Ritter, known for his work in the U.K. TV series
Friday Night Dinner,
made his Broadway debut in
The Norman Conquests.
Tony Nominee William 'Biff' McGuire Dies at 94
By Talaura Harms | 04/05/2021
The twice-nominated actor's career spanned seven decades with roles on stage and screen.
3-Time Tony-Nominated Playwright Arthur Kopit Dies at 83
By Logan Culwell-Block | 04/05/2021
Best remembered for his Pulitzer finalist plays
, Kopit also penned the book to the 1982 musical
Tony-Winning Lighting Designer Pat Collins Dies at 88
By Dan Meyer | 04/01/2021
The theatre artist worked on dozens of productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in regional and international theatres.
Broadway Alum and Emmy Winner Jessica Walter Dies at 80
By Dan Meyer | 03/25/2021
The star appeared in shows like
Paul Foster, Playwright and La MaMa Co-Founder, Dies at 89
By Dan Meyer | 03/25/2021
Mr. Foster’s works include
Douglas Turner Ward, Tony-Honored Co-Founder of Negro Ensemble Company, Dies at 90
By Ryan McPhee | 02/23/2021
Mr. Ward’s credits spanned directing (including the original production of
A Soldier’s Play
), writing, and performing.
Broadway Producer and General Manager Gary Gunas Dies at 73
By Andrew Gans | 02/23/2021
Mr. Gunas was also featured in the Playbill series
Old Show Queens
with his husband, playwright and record producer Bill Rosenfield.
Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara Pay Tribute to Late Mentor and Teacher Florence Birdwell
By Dan Meyer | 02/16/2021
Ms. Birdwell, a professor of voice at Oklahoma City University, passed away recently.
In the News: Theatre District Restaurateur Joe Allen Dies at 87,
Dear Evan Hansen
Launches 3rd Annual Essay Challenge, More
By Talaura Harms | 02/08/2021
Joe Allen's namesake restaurant, as well as his Orso and Bar Centrale, are among Times Square's most popular hangouts for theatre folk.
Tony and Oscar Winner Christopher Plummer, Captain Von Trapp in
The Sound of Music,
Dies at 91
By Andrew Gans | 02/05/2021
The Canadian-born Shakespearean actor won Tony Awards for his performances in
Tony Winner Hal Holbrook Dies at 95
By Robert Viagas | 02/02/2021
Mark Twain Tonight!
creator was known for his wide-ranging work on stage and screen.
The Theatre Community Remembers the Life and Legacy of Cicely Tyson
By Kerri Kearse, Felicia Fitzpatrick | 01/29/2021
Artists from the stage and screen took to social media to share their memories of the performer, who died January 28 at 96.
Honoring Cicely Tyson With a Look Back at Her Stage Highlights
By Marc J. Franklin | 01/29/2021
The Tony-winning star, known for her distinguished stage and film career, died January 28.
Cicely Tyson, Tony-Winning Star of
The Trip to Bountiful
and More, Is Dead at 96
By Robert Viagas | 01/28/2021
On screen, Ms. Tyson is remembered for acclaimed performances in such works as
Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Roots
How to Get Away With Murder
2-Time Tony-Winning Choreographer Bob Avian Dies at 83
By Andrew Gans | 01/22/2021
Also a director and producer, Mr. Avian co-choreographed the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning
A Chorus Line
with Michael Bennett.
Philip J. Smith, Former Chair and Co-CEO of The Shubert Organization, Dies at 89
By Robert Simonson, Ryan McPhee | 01/15/2021
Mr. Smith announced his retirement in June 2020, following a 63-year career in the theatre industry.
Tony-Winning Broadway Producer Martin Markinson Dies at 89
By Dan Meyer | 01/11/2021
The theatre maker worked on
Torch Song Trilogy
Honeymoon in Vegas
The Gospel at Colonus
Pulitzer Prize Finalist Lee Breuer Dies at 83
By Dan Meyer | 01/05/2021
The innovative theatre director spent most of his time subverting industry constructs.
In Memoriam: A Look at the Theatre Artists We Lost in 2020
By Ryan McPhee | 01/04/2021
Playbill remembers the actors, directors, playwrights, and other familiar faces of the stage who died this year.
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