Mercury Theatre Actor Norman Thomson is Dead at 84

News   Mercury Theatre Actor Norman Thomson is Dead at 84 Norman Thomson, an actor who was one of the original members of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre in the 1930s, died Feb. 3 in Pasadena, Variety reported.

Norman Thomson, an actor who was one of the original members of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre in the 1930s, died Feb. 3 in Pasadena, Variety reported.

Mr. Thomson was 84. The cause of death was congestive heart failure.

As an actor, he performed in Welles' infamous radio broadcast, "War of the Worlds," and acted with Welles on stage in Julius Caesar and in Mercury touring productions that starred Joseph Cotten.

Mr. Thomson had film roles "The Barbarian and the Geisha," "Terry of the 'Times'" and "I'll Be Seeing You."

He was also entertainment supervisor for the Department of Defense, booking shows into bases in the Far East. He lived in Tokyo for more than 30. As a novelist under the pen name Earl Norman, he had 10 books published, including "Hang Me in Hong Kong."

He is survived by wife Yasuko, three sons and one daughter.

* In late 1999, Mr. Thomson's Mercury Theatre colleagues, John Berry and Sam Leve, also died.

Bronx native Berry (who died Nov. 29, 1999) made his stage debut in 1937 in Welles' legendary production of Julius Caesar. He went on to act in Welles' Native Son and later established himself as a film and theatre director. Leve was also involved in Julius Caesar, designing the production, as well as Welles' production of The Shoemaker's Holiday. Leve (who died Dec. 6, 1999) also designed sets and costumes for a play called Revolt of the Beavers, a piece that figures prominently in Tim Robbins' partly fictionalized film, "Cradle Will Rock," about the Federal Theatre Project.

-- By Kenneth Jones