By Robert Simonson
30 Dec 2013
The star of "Lawrence of Arabia." The Oscar-winning actress of "Suspicion." One of the leading actresses of the 20th-century American stage. An erudite critic who appraised the theatre for a half century. Two of the seminal figures in Chicago theatre history. The choreographer and one of the cast members of the film "The Sound of Music." Three leaders of the early Off-Off-Broadway movement: One a director, one an actress and one an actress-director. And a Sardi's caricaturist.
Respectively, Peter O'Toole; Joan Fontaine; Julie Harris; Bernie Sahlins and Robert Sickinger; Marc Breaux and Eleanor Parker; Ralph Cook, Helen Hanft and Ruth Maleczech; and Donald Bevan were just a few of the many theatre people we lost in 2013. As 2014 breaks, Playbill.com looks back to reflect on the contributions of some of the theatre folk who died in the past calendar year.
Joan Fontaine, 96, who rocketed to fame playing frightened wives in two landmark Hitchcock films of the early 1940s, on Dec. 16 of natural causes at her home in Carmel, CA.
Peter O'Toole, 81, the charismatic, devil-may-care film star of "Lawrence of Arabia" who brought charm, wit and intelligence to the roles he played on the screen, on Dec. 14 at the Wellington Hospital in London, following a long illness.
Jack Merigold, 91, part of Stratford Festival's first stage management team and who stayed with the company for 16 seasons, on Dec. 11 from pancreatic cancer.
Eleanor Parker, 91, a film actress known for her versatility and wide variety of portrayals and whose most famous role was as the Baroness in "The Sound of Music," on Dec. 9 at a medical facility near her home in Palm Springs.
Christopher Evan Welch, 48, a prolific character actor in television and film who performed in a host of plays on the New York stage, on Dec. 2 at a Los Angeles hospital.
Jane Kean, 90, an actress with stage and cabaret credits who was best known for playing Art Carney's wife Trixie in a 1960s revival of the Jackie Gleason sitcom "The Honeymooners," on Nov. 26 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank from injuries suffered during a fall.
Marc Breaux, 89, who, with his wife Dee Dee Wood, delighted 1960s movie audiences with his choreography for the hit Julie Andrews musicals "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins," on Nov. 19 in Mesa, AZ, in an assisted-living facility.
William Dodds, 91, a veteran stage manager with dozens of Broadway credits, on Nov. 1 in his sleep.Continued...