|Birth: ||Aug. 27, 1925|
|Death: ||May 14, 2009|
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Susan Crobaugh Willis, 83, died Thursday, May 14, 2009, in New York City.
On August 27, 1925, she was born in Seneca County, OH, to Burton and Mildred (Pontius) Crobaugh. Her parents were the owners and operators of Crobaugh Hardware in downtown Tiffin, OH, until the mid 1970's.
Susan married Kirk Willis, and they later divorced.
Surviving is a cousin, Albert J. Allman of Tiffin, OH, and many distant relatives.
A brother, Burton F. Crobaugh, preceded her in death.
Susan was an actress and worked extensively on Broadway in roles ranging from the classical Medea to the classic Miss Mazeppa (opposite Ethel Merman) in "Gypsy." She appeared alongside Sir Alec Guinness in "Dylan," assumed the role of Fraulein Schneider (from Lotte Lenya) in the original production of the Tony-winning musical, "Cabaret," and her Broadway credits include Stephen Sondheim's "Follies," "Oliver" with Patti LuPone, and "Take Me Along," which marked her debut on the Great White Way.
Much of Susan's career was situated in the theater, including the off-Broadway Mirror Repertory stagings of "Children of the Sun" and "The Madwoman of Chaillot." Her National Touring Co. roles included a 350-city stint of "Fiddler on the Roof" (playing opposite five Tevyes), as well as performances in "Mame," "Picnic," "Blithe Spirit," "Desk Set," "Zorba" and "The Merchant of Venice."
She essayed 23 of Shakespeare's characters over the years, beginning with her portrayal of Portia in "The Merchant of Venice" at the Barter Theatre in Virginia. Her regional and summer stock credits included Stella in "Light Up the Sky," as well as productions with the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, the San Diego Shakespeare Festival, the Old Globe Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse, where she won a fellowship and began her professional career after graduating from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh.
Susan's motion picture roles included Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River" opposite Sean Penn, "The Majestic" with Jim Carey, "What About Bob?" with Bill Murray, Meryl Streep's "She Devil," plus as the head teacher in "The Faculty." She also appeared in Paul Newman's "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds," "Ropewalk" and "Petty Crimes."
On television, she played Helga Voynitzeva (Demetri's maid - who in fact was his mother - thrown off a parapet in Budapest by Ericka Kane) for three years on the popular daytime serial "All My Children," and made guest appearances on "Law & Order," "Third Watch," "Law & Order: SVU," the Fox-TV series, "Million Dollar Mysteries" and HBO's "Sex in the City," where she played Cynthia Nixon's elderly neighbor.
She crowned her lengthy career by creating a unique cabaret act with pianist Rod Derefinko, called "My First 50 Years in the Theatre," in which she performed songs by Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and Noel Coward.
When not touring, she served as council member of the Episcopal Actors Guild and, with the late Elizabeth Council, toured the nation with "Plays for Living." She was in the process of doing developmental reading of two plays, "Duse Died in Pittsburgh" and "The Roadway to Heaven."
A Memorial Service was held at 11 a.m., Friday, July 10, 2009, at Old Trinity Episcopal Church in Tiffin, with the Rev. John Reinheimer officiating. Interment was in Greenlawn Cemetery.
Arrangements were under the direction of Engle-Shook Funeral Home, Tiffin.
Burton Naylor Crobaugh (1892 - 1962)
Mildred Pontius Crobaugh (1889 - 1975)
Wilbur Kirk Willis (1906 - 1966)
Burton Frederick Crobaugh (1923 - 1939)*
Susan Crobaugh Willis (1925 - 2009)
Plot: Section 66
Created by: Anonymous
Record added: May 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37142145