Mr. Cusack was 77. Of his five children, Joan and John are the most famous for their stage, film and TV work, but siblings Ann, Susie and Bill are also actors.
Mr. Cusack's acting credits include "Return to Me," "The Fugitive" and "The Package," as well as "High Fidelity," "Eight Men Out" and "Class," which all featured John Cusack.
The Tribune reported he began his career as an advertising executive at the New York firm McCann-Erickson. In 1966, he became creative director at Post, Keyes and Gardner in Chicago. He started Cusack Productions in 1970, making commercials and documentaries, and by 1980 was acting in films and writing for the stage.
The New York-born artist's playwriting credits include "Punto," "The Last Word of the Bluebird" and "The Night They Shot Harry Lindsey."
Mr. Cusack's "The Committee," a documentary about abortion, won him an Emmy Award in 1971. That same year, Chicago's Body Politic troupe staged The Night They Shot Harry Lindsey. The Tribune reported Mr. Cusack's acting career was an accident. His pal, Byrne Piven, the late Chicago acting and directing guru, needed a genuine New Yorker to be a bell captain for a play, The Man in 605.
The play moved to New York City and director Tony Bill saw it, and cast Mr. Cusack as a school principal in the film, "My Bodyguard," which also featured a young Joan Cusack. Joan would later get two Oscar nominations for her work in movies.
Among Mr. Cusack's writing credits are the 1999 HBO film "The Jack Bull," with son John starred as "an 1890s Wyoming horse trader seeking justice," according to The Trib.
Wife Nancy is among survivors.