Gloria Willis Shenefelt, Actress Who Played Stock and NYC Theatres, Dead at 80

Obituaries   Gloria Willis Shenefelt, Actress Who Played Stock and NYC Theatres, Dead at 80
Gloria Willis Shenefelt, 80, an actress who was seen on stock, regional and New York stages, died of heart failure Oct. 29 at Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol, PA, her family reported.

In her career, she appeared in leading roles at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA, in the 1960s and '70s. She appeared in the Playhouse's Our Town, which traveled to the Sybil Thorndike Theatre in Leatherhead, England.

Mrs. Shenefelt's stock credits also include work for many summers at the Totem Pole Playhouse in Chambersburg, PA, when it was run by Bill Putch and the actress Jean Stapleton.

Mrs. Shenefelt was a teenager when she left her home in rural Florida and moved to New York to seek a career in acting. Off-Broadway, she appeared in The Potting Shed, Her Master's Voice and A Tenth of an Inch Makes the Difference.

Regionally, she appeared at the Cleveland Play House and was one of the first Equity performers there, reportedly prompting the longtime community theatre to begin a union affiliation, in the 1950s.

She also studied with Lee Strasberg in New York. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Arthur B. Shenefelt of Levittown, PA; her son, Michael Shenefelt of New York City; and her grandson Benjamin A. Shenefelt of Ottawa, Canada.

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