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BWW Tribute: THE PASSING OF DOROTHY SILVER, GRANDE DAME OF CLEVELAND THEATRE

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Good night sweet Dorothy, and, “may the flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

BWW Tribute: THE PASSING OF DOROTHY SILVER, GRANDE DAME OF CLEVELAND THEATRE

Dorothy Silver, the "grande dame" of Cleveland theatre, noted for her talent, charm, grace and compassion, once said of herself, "I've been letting myself grow old for years. I'm very confident in my age. Also, it helps me be competitive in getting many stage and film roles, since so many older actresses try to take years off their age."

Silver's passing on Saturday, July 17 was explained by her son Paul in an email. "Last week while on a trip to visit our cousins in Woodstock, NY, Dorothy suffered a major stroke and was hospitalized in Kingston, NY. Three days ago, she entered hospice care and passed away early today at the age of 92."

The Cleveland theater scene will never be the same. Nor will be the hearts of those of us who loved and respected "our" Dorothy!

Silver was noted for her leadership at the Jewish Community Center and Karamu, and performances on stage at venues such as Cleveland Play House, Ensemble Theatre, Dobama, Cleveland State University, Beck Center, Great Lakes Theater and Actors Summit.

Silver once estimated she had been in roughly 280 plays since she started acting in 1949. She also appeared in films, including for Love & Other Drugs, Old Fashioned and The Shawshank Redemption.

She was the winner of numerous acting and directing awards from Cleveland Critics Circle, Times Tributes, Broadwayworld, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and The Scene.

She did not know how to give anything but an awe-inspiring performance. She could bring an audience to tears or laughter with ease. Her often slow cadence was interrupted with thoughtful pauses, quirky facial changes and just the right vocal emphasis to make the line or lines fully achieve their meaning.

Mrs. Silver's passing helps bring to a close a phase of local theatre which was highlighted by the likes of her late beloved husband and fellow actor/director, Reuben Silver, Lee Zinner, Rhoda Koret, Don and Marilyn Bianchi, David Frazier, Providence Hollander, and Lucia Colombi. They helped establish CLE as a center of meaningful and high-quality theater.

Dorothy, no matter the setting or her mood, always greeted her friends with an impish smile, eyes twinkling and a firm clasp of the hand.

In an interview she was asked: "What's making you laugh?" Her answer: "Life makes me laugh because it's funny. It's odd. Unexpected things happen."

My wife and I loved Dorothy. We revered her talent as well as her vivid presence. Her passing has left a void in our lives.

Good night sweet Dorothy, and may the flights of angels sing thee to rest.
I know your departure has provoked a sea of tears.


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