Phyllis Frelich - Archive

Deaf West Hosts Memorial for Phyllis Frelich at the Mark Taper Forum

October 21, 2014 in Community Events



By BWW News Desk

October 20
Deaf West Theatre hosts a memorial to celebrate the life and career of Tony Award-winning actress and deaf activist Phyllis Frelich tonight, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Mark Taper Forum. Ms. Frelich, who was deaf, passed away from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) in April. She was 70.

“Phyllis was a beloved figure within the deaf community, and it felt appropriate that we host a service,” said Deaf West Theatre artistic director David J. Kurs. “She starred in our inaugural production of The Gin Game in 1990 and figured in our productions numerous times over the years. In addition to her many starring roles, she directed, taught acting, and was for many years an activist for equal access for all deaf performers.”

Ms. Frelich is perhaps best remembered for her groundbreaking role as a deaf woman in a relationship with a hearing man in Children of a Lesser God by Mark Medoff. Inspired by Ms. Frelich’s real-life marriage to scenic designer Robert Steinberg, the play received the 1980 Tony Award for Best Play, and Ms. Frelich and co-star John Rubinsteincaptured Tonys for Best Actress and Best Actor respectively.

Phyllis Frelich, Tony Award-winning deaf actress, dies at 70

April 14, 2014 in Community News


This 2004 photo shows actress Phyllis Frelich in New York. Frelich, a Tony Award-winning deaf actress who starred in the Broadway version of ‘Children of a Lesser God,’ died Thursday at age 70.


Frelich was the inspiration for ‘Children of a Lesser God’ and won a Tony in 1980 for her Broadway portrayal of Sarah Norman, the deaf

woman at the heart of the play.

Phyllis Frelich, a Tony Award-winning deaf actress who starred in the Broadway version of “Children of a Lesser God,” has died. She was 70.

Frelich died Thursday at their home in Temple City, Calif., her husband, Robert Steinberg, said.

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