Martha Lavey, Chicago Theater Celebrity, Dies at 60

The Chicago Theater scene has been shot with the tragic news of the death of a Chicago theater legend, Martha Lavey. She died in hospice at Illinois Masonic Hospital after suffering her second major stroke. She was an actress and the Artistic Director at Steppenwolf Theater for 20 years and became an icon in Chicago.

Hedy Weiss, writer for the Chicago Sun Times, stated that she saw Lavey perform for the first time in 1987 in the play, “Aunt Dan and Lemon.” She stated that “The exquisitely beautiful Lavey, with her flawless, hypnotic diction and dreamy grace, captures the girl’s ghostly quality — turning her into a kind of cracked porcelain doll.”

Steppenwolf released a statement in memory of Lavey, explaining that services will be held in Virginia where her family is, but the Chicago Theater community will hold a memorial service at Steppenwolf, with times and a date TBD.

Jamie Massimilian

Jamie Massimilian, who has been coached by Martha Lavey, explains the emptiness she feels now that Lavey is gone. “She had such a great heart and really looked out for the younger Chicago actors to give them a guide to success in the industry. She was such an amazing actress and had such passion for every performance. She will be missed.”

Martha Lavey is the first to leave the Steppenwolf ensemble through death. She will never be forgotten. We will miss you, Martha.


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