Off-Broadway Character Actor John Seitz Is Dead at 67

Obituaries   Off-Broadway Character Actor John Seitz Is Dead at 67 John Seitz, the bluff, barrel-chested character actor who spent much of his long stage career in the small black box theatres of lower Manhattan, winning two Obie Awards along way, died in Baltimore on July 4, according to his daughter Becca. He was 67.
John Seitz
John Seitz

Mr. Seitz's large, balding head and comically gruff acting style were familiar to Off-Broadway theatregoers. He was at his best portraying characters with rough edges and little apparent modesty. At Classic Stage Company, he played the solipsistic title character in Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape. In the Signature Theatre Company's 1999 production of Maria Irene Fornes' Mud, he was feebly intellectual and eventually disabled partner of long-suffering Deirdre O'Connell. He created a blustery politician in Mac Wellman's satirical 7 Blowjobs. In a 1994 Broadway revival of Pinter's No Man's Land starring Christopher Plummer and Jason Robards, he was a nearly pre-verbal thug.

The actor won his first Obie Award for another Fornes play, Abingdon Square, in 1988. He won his second in 2001 as part of the ensemble of Talk by Carl Hancock Rux at the Public Theater. In 2002, Mr. Seitz received the inaugural Spencer Cherashore award for lifetime dedication to non-profit theatre.

His Off-Broadway credits also include End Game, Casanova, Machinal, The Merchant of Venice, Fool for Love, Barbarians, and the title role in Don Juan in a Delacorte Theatre production directed by Richard Foreman. His other Broadway appearances were The Merchant, Solomon's Child and Frankenstein. Regionally he appeared at A.C.T., Seattle Rep, Yale Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage and the Guthrie Theatre. He was also a founding member of Actors Theater of Louisville.

John Seitz spent much of his career working on new plays. He spent more than 20 seasons at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, appearing in over 100 plays by playwrights such as August Wilson and Lee Blessing.

His many film credits include small roles in "G.I. Jane," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "JFK," "Citizen Cohn," "A Rage in Harlem," "Presumed Innocent," "Talk Radio" and "Five Corners." Mr. Seitz was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He is survived by two sisters, Lillie Hutto of Spring Hill, Florida and Nora Manning of Louisville, Kentucky; a daughter Becca Seitz of Baltimore, Maryland; and one granddaughter Genevieve Grace Schuh, also of Baltimore.

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