Emery Battis, Veteran Shakespeare Actor, Dead at 96

I can’t say I know much about Dr. Battis, but his resume is impressive to say the least and I felt that his contributions to our beloved playwright deserved a little recognition. Dr. Battis died this past weekend due to complications from bladder cancer.

Read the whole obituary to get the full span of this man’s achievements – I’ll list only a few here:

  • He played more than 90 characters in Shakespearean plays and,
    he often noted, had only one onstage kiss in his life.
  • He worked at
    Baltimore’s Centerstage before moving in 1984 to Washington, where he
    appeared in almost 70 productions of the Shakespeare Theatre. He
    received a Helen Hayes Award for his lifetime contributions to
    Washington theater in 2002.
  • Dr. Battis
    acted in all but one of Shakespeare’s 37 plays — the lone exception was
    “Cymbeline” — and gave his final performance as Marcade in a 2006
    production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” in the Bard’s home town of
    Stratford-upon-Avon in England
  • Battis’s
    Falstaff, one critic wrote, “was all that Shakespeare wrote the
    character to be: braggart, glutton, coward, liar, obscene buffoon, yet
    blessed with an indomitable spirit and an ability to laugh at himself.”
  • After a 1967 performance in Ohio, the Cleveland Plain Dealer
    proclaimed Dr. Battis’s interpretation “the best Lear of our

Sounds like we lost one of the good ones. Anybody out there happen to know his work, and can share any stories/experiences?

Flights of angels, Dr. Battis.  RIP.

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