George MacPherson, Theatre Executive, Dies at 78

Obituaries   George MacPherson, Theatre Executive, Dies at 78
Veteran theatre executive and general manager George MacPherson died June 3 in Orangeburg, SC. The cause was lung cancer. He was 78.

Mr. MacPherson was an innovator in the world of touring theatrical productions. Working with American Theatre Productions with Tom Mallow, he helped transform the touring market from a set-up where national tours were followed by separate bus and truck companies, into a new model in which first-class road productions performed in all markets.

Mr. MacPherson's career in the theatre had an unlikely start. He began his professional life as a veterinarian in West Virginia. But a brief stint caring for the elephants and tigers in the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus brought him to the edges of show business. From there, he eventually graduated to producing and the managing the national tours of The Secret Garden, Guys and Dolls, The Who's Tommy, Big River and Angels in America.

He received three Helen Hayes Awards for his productions, the National Touring Council Award for Outstanding Service and The Medal of Merit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the Arts in Canada on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of her Accession to the Throne. In 1992 he received The Broadway League's Distinguished Lifetime Service Award.

He also put in time as personal manager for Victor Borge and Harry Belafonte. More recently, he served as president and CEO of Masque Sound.

He is survived by his wife Judith Winter MacPherson; and three children, Duncan of Hartford, CT, Malcolm of Toronto, Canada, and Morag of Bloomfield, NJ. Services will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, June 6, at the Dukes Harley Funeral Home, 3379 Columbia Road, Orangeburg, followed by interment at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Orangeburg. Visitation will be on Friday, June 5, from 5 to 7 PM at Dukes Harley Funeral Home, 3379 Columbia Road, Orangeburg. Family will receive friends at the graveside service. Memorials may be made to Maude Schiffley Chapter of S.P.C.A., PO Box 1584, Orangeburg, SC 29116.

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