Don Gregory, Who Produced Solo Shows, Dies at 80

News   Don Gregory, Who Produced Solo Shows, Dies at 80
 
Don Gregory, a theatre producer whose métier was solo shows starring famous actors, died Nov. 5 in his home in Boca Raton, FL. He was 80.

Don Gregory
Don Gregory

Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, Julie Harris and James Earl Jones were some of the actors that Mr. Gregory built shows around. Fonda starred in Clarence Darrow, a play by David W. Rintels about the famous defense attorney. Fonda toured the nation with it. With Harris, he produced The Belle of Amherst, about poet Emily Dickinson. It played Broadway in 1976. Harris won a Tony Award for her performance and went on to tour widely with the show. Jones starred on Broadway in 1978 in Paul Robeson as the title singer and activist.

In 1995, he brought Buttons on Broadway, which starred the aged comic Red Buttons doing stand-up comedy and reminiscing about his years in show business. In 2003 he produced Nobody Don’t Like Yogi Off-Broadway, a play by Tom Lysaght starring Ben Gazzara as New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra. Last year, he returned to the play The Belle of Amherst, this time starring Joely Richardson.

Mr. Gregory also produced shows with more fulsome casts, including the 1980 revival of Camelot starring Richard Burton; a 1981 revival of My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison; and a 1982 staging of Othello starring James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer.

He was born Donald Ginsberg in The Bronx on Dec. 3, 1934. His father died when he was young. When his mother remarried, they moved to Norwich, CT. Following some time put in at the University of Connecticut, he moved to California to pursue an acting career. At this time, he changed his name.

Mr. Gregory’s first marriage, to Carolyn Fitzpatrick, ended in divorce. He is survived by his son, David; his wife, the former Kaye Romine, whom he married in 1981; a daughter, Stephanie Mitchell; and four grandchildren.

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