ObituariesIn Memoriam: A Look at the Theatre Artists We Lost in 2022
Playbill remembers the actors, directors, playwrights, and other familiar faces of the stage who died this year.
December 30, 2022
In a year defined by the phrase "expect the unexpected," the theatre community has mourned luminaries young and old. Playbill commemorates those we've lost in 2022, whose legacies stand as a reminder of the art form's vitality. Click through to read more in the individuals' full Playbill obituaries.
Emmaretta Marks March 15, 1945 - January 4, 2022 Ms. Marks was a fixture of the 1960's rock scene, performing with the likes of The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, in addition to her status as an original member of Hair's Broadway tribe. Read more.
Sidney Poitier February 20, 1927 - January 6, 2022 Legendary actor Sidney Poitier opened doors in the entertainment industry throughout his decades long career, and was the first Black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. Read more.
Marilyn Bergman November 10, 1928 - January 8, 2022 Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy winning lyricist Marilyn Bergman was one of the most successful female lyricists in the history of the American songbook, whose disography included: "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "The Way We Were," "Fifty Percent," and many more. Read more.
Vincent J. Sainato A visual designer and art director, Mr. Sainato's skill for visual marketing was credited as the tipping point for Avenue Q's Best Musical win over Wicked at the 2004 Tony Awards. Read more.
Robert Allan Ackerman June 30, 1944 - January 10, 2022 The Broadway, film, and television director was an auteur of the unexpected throughout the late 20th century. Read more.
Meat Loaf September 27, 1947 - January 20, 2022 The legendary rock and roll showman, and inspiration for the jukebox musical Bat Out of Hell, combined maximalist theatricality and high octane vocals to create an intoxicating performance style. Read more.
Alan Hall The former vice president of Actors' Equity was originally a stage manager, working on 35 Broadway productions and 13 Tony Awards ceremonies. Read more.
David Westphal September 5, 1950 - February 11, 2022 The keeper of the Actors' Equity Legacy Rope also passed away this year after more than 50 years in the union. Read more.
Arthur Giron Playwright Arthur Giron cowrote the Broadway musical Amazing Grace, in addition to more than 20 straight plays. Read more.
Tony Walton October 24, 1934 - March 2, 2022 The beloved set and costume designer was known for his uniquely impactful sense of line and color, winning him three Tony awards, an Oscar, and an Emmy. Read more.
Johnny Brown June 11, 1937 - March 2, 2022 Mr. Brown got his start on the nightclub circuit and Broadway before becoming superintendent Nathan Brookman on Good Times. Read more.
William Hurt March 20, 1950 - March 13, 2022 The versatile actor received an Academy Award for his portrayal of Luis Molina in the film Kiss of the Spider Woman. Read more.
Rae Allen July 23, 1926 - April 6, 2022 Tony winner Rae Allen was one of the last living cast members from the original Broadway production of Damn Yankees, and she also starred in the original production of The Pajama Game.Read more.
Jay Binder March 11, 1951 - April 15, 2022 Jay Binder was a veteran casting director, responsible for nearly 100 Broadway productions over a 40 year career. Read more.
Hollis Resnik A stalwart member of the Chicago theatre scene, Hollis Resnik was considered by many to be the reigning grand diva of the Chicago theatre. Read more.
Robert Morse May 18, 1931 - April 20, 2022 The beloved character actor created the roles of Barnaby Tucker in Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Sterling Cooper in Mad Men. Read more.
Bruce Pomahac July 2, 1948 - April 30, 2022 Mr. Pomahac was the director of music for the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization for more than 20 years. Read more.
Sammy Dallas Bayes July 9, 1939 - May 12, 2022 Mr. Bayes was a longtime collaborator of Jerome Robbins, and a keeper of the legacy of Fiddler on the Roof. Read more.
Ray Liotta December 18, 1954 - May 26, 2022 The Goodfellas star worked as a bartender for the Shubert Organization before finding success on the screen. Read more.
Don Pippin November 25, 1926 - June 9, 2022 The beloved music director and vocal arranger was the last living recipient of the Tony Award for Best Conductor and Musical Director. Read more.
Maureen Arthur April 15, 1934 - June 15, 2022 Ms. Arthur portrayed the sensual secretary Hedy La Rue in the film of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Read more.
James Rado January 23, 1932 - June 21, 2022 Mr. Rado was the last living co-author of the seminal classic Hair, one of the most influential musicals of the 20th century. Read more.
Steve Fickinger As an executive at Disney Theatricals, Steve Fickinger spearheaded education and outreach programs throughout the country. Read more.
Ernest Abuba August 25, 1947 - June 21, 2022 Ernest Abuba was the co-founder of the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, with more than 100 credits throughout his career. Read more.
Marion Combs August 2, 1944 - July 1, 2022 Marion Combs was the development professional behind the Educational Theatre Foundation. Read more.)
Peter Brook March 21, 1925 - July 2, 2022 Director Peter Brook was known for his unorthodox approach to traditional plays throughout his tenure at Startford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his own International Centre for Theatre Research. Read more.
David McDonald January 18, 1959 - July 13, 2022 David McDonald was a member of the original Broadway companies of Side Show and Doctor Zhivago. Read more.
Chase Mishkin January 22, 1937 - July 24, 2022 The Tony and Emmy winning producer experienced a later-in-life renaissance when she began producing following the death of her husband. Read more.
Paul Sorvino April 13, 1939 - July 25, 2022 Tony nominee Paul Sorvino was known for his dance between mafioso types on screen, and law enforcement on stage, in addition to his work as a political lobbyist. Read more.
Mary Alice December 3, 1941 - July 27, 2022 Tony and Drama Desk winning actress Mary Alice originated the role of Rose in August Wilson's Fences, opposite James Earl Jones. Read more.
Darius Barnes A dancer, choreographer, director, and community organizer, Darius Barnes is represented on Broadway this season by Kimberly Akimbo. Read more.
Pat Carroll May 5, 1927 - July 30 2022 Pat Carroll voiced the sea witch Ursula in Disney's The Little Mermaid throughout 18 different productions, including films, television specials, and video games. Read more.
Olivia Newton-John September 26, 1948 - August 8, 2022 The angelic-voiced British-Australian singer rocketed to superstardom in the film adaptation of Grease. Read more.
Darius Campbell-Danesh August 19, 1980 - August 11, 2022 In addition to a successful career on the West End, Darius Campbell-Danesh was a beloved pop musician in the UK. Read more.
Anne Heche May 25, 1969 - August 14, 2022 The Tony-nominated actress was primarily known for her career on screen, starring in Another World, Six Days, Seven Nights, Psycho, and more. Read more.
Clifford S. Tinder October 26, 1955 - August 16, 2022 Clifford S. Tinder was the former senior vice-president of Playbill, the editor-in-chief of Playbills Classic Arts division, and an accomplished jazz musician. Read more.
Scott Barnes May 30, 1954 - August 23, 2022 A MAC Award winning director, Scott Barnes was a founding member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Directors. Read more.
Robert LuPone July 29, 1946 - August 27, 2022 Prior to founding the Off Broadway MCC Theater, Robert LuPone originated the role of Zach in A Chorus Line on Broadway, receiving a Tony nomination. Read more.
Marva Hicks May 5, 1956 - September 16, 2022 Marva Hicks was a respected actress and singer known for her distinctly sultry alto voice and eye catching performance style. Read more.
Jeff Weiss April 30, 1940 - September 18, 2022 A notable member of the Off-Broadway experimental theatre scene throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Jeff Weiss was a playwright and actor. Read more.
Robert Kalfin April 22, 1933 - September 20, 2022 A director and producer, Robert Kalfin was known for his psychological intensity and dramaturgical rigor throughout the Off-Broadway scene. Read more.
Rita Gardner October 23, 1934 - September 24, 2022 Immortalized as the original Luisa in The Fantasticks, Rita Gardner was also an acclaimed teacher. Read more.
Charles Fuller March 5, 1939 - October 3, 2022 Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Charles Fuller passed away prior to the national tour of his heavily awarded A Soldier's Play. Read more.
Mickey Calin November 22, 1935 - October 10, 2022 Mickey Calin was hand selected by choreographer-director Jerome Robbins to originate the role of Jets leader Riff in West Side Story. Read more.
Angela Lansbury October 16, 1925 - October 11, 2022 Legendary star of the stage and the screen, Angela Lansbury passed away at the age of 96, less than a year after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tony Awards. Read more.
Max Woodward June 20, 1946 - October 14, 2022 The longtime vice-president of the Kennedy Center began work at the cultural center the week it opened, and remained a part of its leadership for 45 years. Read more.
Joanna Simon October 20, 1936 - October 19, 2022 Joanna Simon was the eldest of the musical Simon sisters, and a renowned operatic mezzo soprano. Read more.
Lucy Simon May 5, 1940 - October 20, 2022 The Tony nominated composer of The Secret Garden passed away one day after her elder sister. Read more.
Julie Hughes September 7, 1941 - October 21, 2022 Julie Hughes was a prominent casting director, working on nearly 90 different Broadway productions. Read more.
Chet Walker June 1, 1954 - October 21, 2022 The Tony nominated choreographer was one of the leading interpreters of the style of Bob Fosse, leading to his conceiving and choreographing the legendary dance revue Fosse. Read more.
Seymour "Red" Press February 26, 1924 - October 24, 2022 A prolific music coordinator and musician, Seymour Press worked on more than 100 Broadway productions. Read more.
Douglas McGrath Douglas McGrath was a talented Tony nominated writer, who passed during the run of his solo autobiographical show Everything's Fine. Read more.
Aaron Carter December 7, 1987 - November 5, 2022 The troubled child star was one of the last teen idols of the 20th century, appearing onstage in Seussical and The Fantasticks. Read more.
Michael Butler November 26, 1926 - November 7, 2022 Michael Butler left behind a promising career in politics to pursue producing the seminal hit musical Hair in the late 1960s. Read more.
Kevin Conroy November 30, 1955 - November 10, 2022 A classically trained actor, Kevin Conroy reached pop culture immortality as the voice of Batman and Bruce Wayne throughout animated properties of the DC superhero. Read more.
Susan Kikuchi October 4, 1948 - November 14, 2022 Susan Kikuchi was a member of a dance dynasty that inspired and elevated the work of choreographers Martha Graham and Jerome Robbins. Read more.
Michael Feingold May 5, 1945 - November 21, 2022 The esteemed theatre critic was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his work at The Village Voice, in addition to his extensive work as a translator. Read more.
Freddie Roman May 28, 1937 - November 26, 2022 Freddie Roman was an observational stand-up comedian and comedy writer from the Borscht Belt set. Read more.
Quentin Oliver Lee January 28, 1988 - December 1, 2022 A classically trained vocalist, Quentin Oliver Lee was a company member in the 2021 revival of Caroline, Or Change, as well as the touring production of The Phantom of the Opera. Read more.
Ronald Dennis October 2, 1944 - December 17, 2022 A lifelong advocate for AIDS related charities, Ronald Dennis originated the role of Richie in A Chorus Line. Read more.
Sarah Schlesinger The celebrated lyricist and librettist was a key member of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Read more.
Stephanie Bissonnette October 26, 1990 - December 17, 2022 Stephanie Bissonnette was an original cast member of Mean Girls, and a part of the COVID-19 documentary Ensemble. Read more.
Christopher Tucker The preeminent makeup and prosthetics designer was responsible for the character-defining deformity in The Phantom of the Opera. Read more.