On October 2, Goodman Theatre honors the life and legacy of one of the American theater’s most accomplished actors, Howard Witt. Witt, whose six-decade theatrical career began and ended at the Goodman, passed away peacefully on June 21 at the age of 85.
The celebration will consist of remarks and artistic presentations by the Witt family, including his three children—Deborah, Robin and Joshua Witt—close friends and artists. A Chicago native, Witt is notably known for his Tony, Drama Desk and Ovation Award nominated portrayal of Charley in Robert Falls’ 1999 revival of Death of a Salesman at Goodman Theatre. Along with his extensive theater credits, he appeared in more than 75 television dramas, series’ and movies, including the title role of Disney’s 1987 horror/comedy cult cinema classic, Mr. Boogedy.
The tribute program takes place on October 2 at Goodman Theatre (170 N. Dearborn); doors open at 6:30pm, followed by remarks, artistic presentations and a post-event reception. The event is free and open to the general public.
“On behalf of Goodman Theatre, we’re honored to host a life celebration for Howard Witt, one of the American theater’s finest actors. Howard’s extraordinary talent and true friendship have been closely intertwined with the arc of my own career as a director, and it has been my great privilege to share the sweet smell of success with him on more than one occasion. Most importantly, he inspired not only his contemporaries, but countless young theater artists as well, to pursue their ambitions with the same rigor and passion for which this quintessential Chicago actor will always be dearly remembered.” - Artistic Director Robert Falls
Witt’s theatrical career began during his time as a student at the Goodman School of Drama (now the Theater School at DePaul University) which launched a long-spanning theatrical career and would later include: his Tony Award nominated performance as Charley in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, directed by Robert Falls (1998/1999); Rebecca Gilman’s Boy Gets Girl (1999/2000) directed by Michael Maggio; Falls’ critically-acclaimed King Lear also starring Stacy Keach (2006/2007); and his final performance in Cándido Tirado's Fish Men, a co-production with Teatro Vista at Goodman Theatre, directed by Edward T. Torres (2011/2012).
In lieu of flowers, the Witt family would like to encourage friends and extended family to donate to the Joseph Slowik Scholarship Fund at DePaul University—Witt’s alma mater—in their father’s name. Donations can be made at alumni.depaul.edu/SlowikScholarship or mailed to the Office of Advancement (1 E. Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604).