|Milo O'Shea as Friar Laurence|
in the 1968 film version of "Romeo and Juliet"
Not only did Peter O'Toole pass away this year, but also Ruth Maleczech of Mabou Mines, Paul Rogers who won a Tony for Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," porn star Harry Reems, and Milo O'Shea, who I interviewed in 1988 when he played Friar Laurence in "Romeo and Juliet" at the Public Theater with Cynthia Nixon and Peter McNichol as the young lovers. (He also played the role in Zefferelli's brilliant 1968 film version.) I saw O'Toole in the 1987 revival of "Pygmalion" and he seemed to be as high as a kite the entire performance, as he did when presenting an Oscar with Sissy Spacek.
Ruth Maleczech, 74, Obie-winning actress, co-artistic director and co-founder of the avant-garde theatrical troupe Mabou Mines where she played King Lear as a Southern matriarch, received Obies for her design for “Vanishing Pictures” (with Julie Archer) and for performances in “Hajj” and “Through the Leaves,” outside of Mabou Mines, she co-directed “The Tempest” with Lee Breuer, her artistic and life partner, for the Public Theater at Central Park’s Delacorte stage, and appeared in “Henry IV,” “Woyzeck,” “First Love,” and “Belle Epoque.”