Theatre and film producer Martin Richards died in November at age 80. His shows on Broadway included Sweeney Todd, The Will Rogers Follies, Grand Hotel and La Cage aux Folles. He cut his teeth producing the original staging of Chicago in 1975 (in 2003, he took home an Oscar for producing the film version). He also produced the Pulitzer-winning Crimes of the Heart in 1981. A noted philanthrophist, Richards was a founding board member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and established the liver and kidney transplant center at NYU Langone Medical Center as well as the New York Center for Children.
Louis Botto, a columnist and editor for Playbill for more than four decades, died in November at age 88. Botto retired from Playbill shortly before his death. He was known for authoring the publication’s “At This Theatre” column looking back on Broadway venues’ histories, which he turned into a book issued in 1984 and updated in 2001 and 2010.
Charles Durning, remembered for his Tony-winning 1990 turn as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’s Big Daddy, died in December at age 89. A film and TV regular, he received supporting-actor Oscar nominations for his work in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and To Be or Not To Be.
The former program director of New York’s New Dramatists, Cliff Goodwin, died in October at age 76. During his time at New Dramatists, Goodwin produced more than 150 workshop stagings of new plays featuring such budding actors as Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, James Earl Jones, Jill Clayburgh, John Travolta, Linda Lavin and Bette Midler. In years prior, Goodwin toured for the National Endowment for the Humanities—teaching, lecturing and conducting new-play development workshops in more than 200 towns for its National Humanities Series.
Stage manager Anne Sullivan died in October at age 81. Among her Broadway and international credits are Kismet, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Annie, The Wiz, Company, Cabaret, Inherit the Wind, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Barefoot in the Park. She also traveled with Martha Graham and Lena Horne. In 1987, she received the Del Hughes Award for lifetime achievement and excellence in the art of stage management.