Chicago's Teyva Lee Pelty Dies at 74

Chicago's Teyva Lee Pelty Dies at 74

Chicago thespian Lee Pelty, known for his numerous portrayals of Tevye the Milkman in "Fiddler on the Roof," died on Sunday of lung cancer.  He was 74.  Pelty was last seen in Fiddler in February 2007 at Theatre at the Center in Munster.

Additional Chicago credits include leads in "Man of La Mancha," "Zorba," "Mack and Mabel," "South Pacific," "My Fair Lady," "Arsenic and Old Lace" with actress Margaret O'Brien, "Barefoot in the Park" with actress Lee Meriwether, "1776" and "Phantom of the Opera." In addition to the Theatre at the Center in Munster, Pelty was a favorite at Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre and Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbook, Ill., and previously worked for the former Drury Lane Theatre in Evergreen Park, Ill. and Candlelight Playhouse in Summit, Ill. 

Fiddler at Theatre at the Center marked Pelty's reunion with director William Pullinsi, his long-time artistic collaborator at Candlelight, where Pelty had performed in numerous productions of "Fiddler" in 1971 (winning a Jeff Award), 1977, 1980 and 1990.

A 1957 graduate of Purdue University, Pelty was also a member of Panama's Olympic team from 1952 to 1960 and served as the P.A. announcer for the Chicago Cubs in 1982 and 1983. He has appeared on the Bob Hope and Ed Sullivan television shows. 

Pelty's son, Adam Pelty, is also an actor who has appeared on Broadway in The Scarlett Pimpernel, Steel Pier, Titanic, and Cyrano: The Musical. 

In addition to Adam, survivors include his wife Barbara, and grandson Noah. A celebration of Mr. Pelty's life is planned for 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Mercury Theater at 3745 N. Southport Ave.

 

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