William Swetland, Respected Actor Who Made a Career at Long Wharf, Dead at 90

Obituaries   William Swetland, Respected Actor Who Made a Career at Long Wharf, Dead at 90
 
William Swetland Jr., a character actor who distinguished himself for decades in regional theatre and on Broadway, died Oct. 31 in Connecticut, according to The New York Times.

Mr. Swetland, long associated with the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, was 90 years old. His many roles at Long Wharf included John Proctor in the inaugural production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible in 1965. His 75th role at the Long Wharf Theatre was the Rev. Clement Mercer in J.B. Priestley's When We Are Married (1989, directed by Kenneth Frankel). Further roles included Vassily in the American premiere of Brian Friel's Fathers and Sons (1988, based on the novel by Ivan Turgenev; directed by Austin Pendleton); Monsieur Le Duc in the American premiere of Camille (1986-87) by Pam Gems (adapted from the classic by Alexandre Dumas; directed by Ron Daniels); Gardner in Painting Churches (1987) by Tina Howe (directed by David Trainer); and James Jarvis in the Kurt Weill Maxwell Anderson musical, Lost in the Stars (1986), based on the novel, "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton, directed by Arvin Brown. He played Capt. Shotover in Shaw's Heartbreak House at Long Wharf in 1971.

His credits span nearly all branches of the entertainment world, from Broadway to London and from film and television to regional theatre, according to bio from Long Wharf. Mr. Swetland was the first actor to receive the Zeisler Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Resident Theatre.

According to Internet Broadway Database his Broadway credits include Ah, Wilderness! (1975), The National Health (1974), The Changing Room (1973), Solitaire/Double Solitaire (1971), A Call on Kuprin (1961), Who Was That Lady I Saw You With? (1958), Goodbye in the Night (1940), Ring Two (1939), Parnell (1936).

Mr. Swetland was born Kalispell, Montana. he first became interested in acting while attending Oberlin College in Ohio. After college, he worked for the Cleveland Playhouse, one of the nation's oldest regional theatres (in existence long before the term "regional theatre" took hold). He worked in London before World War II, and found work in the new TV industry after the war. He was a cast member on "Edge of Night."

Survivors include sons William, Gregory and Dudley and stepsons Brian and Charles.

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