Henry Guettel, Former Director of Theatre Development Fund, Dies at 85

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08 Oct 2013

Henry Guettel, for whom musical theatre was both work and home life, died of pneumonia Oct. 7 in Southampton, NY. He was 85.



From 1982 to 1993, Mr. Guettel was the executive director of Theatre Development Fund, a not-for-profit  performing arts service organization best known for operating the TKTS Booths. But he was equally known for his familial connections within the theatre community. He was married to Mary Rodgers Guettel, the daughter of Richard Rodgers, and the composer of Once Upon a Mattress. The couple had two children together, including Adam Guettel, author of Floyd Collins and The Light in the Piazza.

He is survived by his wife and son, as well as a second son, Alec Guettel; stepchildren Tod Beaty, Kim Beaty, and Nina Beaty; and six grandchildren.

Born in Kansas City, MO, on Jan. 8, 1928, Guettel produced touring versions of The Sound of Music, The Best Man, Camelot and Oliver! He was a stage manager for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep in 1950 and went on to help produce the Broadway show Romulus. He was the general manager of the Music Theatre of Lincoln Center from 1964 through 1967. In that capacity he was the producer of several workshop productions of new musicals at the Forum Theater, now the Mitzi E. Newhouse. 

Prior to taking on his post at TDF, he was senior vice president, east coast productions, of Twentieth Century Fox and vice president, creative affairs, at Columbia Pictures.