Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In Memoriam: Lee Pelty

Posted By on 12.02.09 at 12:30 PM

A celebration in memory of actor Lee Pelty is planned for Monday December 7, 5 PM, at the Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport. For years the Chicago area's most prominent musical-theater character actor, Pelty died Sunday November 29, of lung cancer. He was 74.

A regular at the now-defunct Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in south-suburban Summit, Pelty (born Peltynovich) was best known for his portrayals of Teyve in Fiddler on the Roof and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. He played Teyve at Candlelight in four separate productions between 1971 and 1990. A tall, imposing man with a rich bass voice, he brought an understated simplicity to roles that other actors often played flamboyantly. He's survived by his wife Barbara and son Adam Pelty, a musical-theater performer and teacher who often appeared in productions with his dad. In the 1990 Candlelight Fiddler, Adam played one of the dancing Cossacks who make life miserable for Teyve and his fellow Jews.

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