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CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
Telephone: 212-764-1122
Email: EShevitz@broadway.org


Broadway Dims Lights Jun 30th In Memory of John Willis, Former Editor In Chief of Theatre World and Producer of the Theatre World Awards
June 29, 2010

The Broadway community mourns the loss of John Willis, the former editor in chief of both Theatre World and its companion series Screen World and longtime producer of the Theatre World Awards. He died last week at age 93 from complications from lung cancer. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday, June 30, at exactly 8:00pm for one minute.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, commented, “ John Willis was THE archivist for Broadway for half a century, and "father" to hundreds of Theatre World Award winners. He was a true gentleman who tirelessly supported and encouraged the theatre industry worldwide by nurturing new talent.”

Theatre World , founded in 1945, covers the complete statistical and photographic Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and regional theatre seasons, major theatrical awards, obituaries, and the longest Broadway and Off-Broadway runs, among other categories. The Theatre World Awards, first given out during the 1945-46 season, hold the distinction of being the first to recognize an Outstanding Debut in a Broadway or Off-Broadway Role.

On behalf of Theatre World , Mr. Willis received a 2001 Tony Award ® for “Excellence in the Theatre” and the 2003 Broadway Theatre Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, in addition to having received a Drama Desk Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, and the National Board of Review William K. Everson Award. He served on the nominating committees for the Tony Awards, the New York University Hall of Fame, and the national board of the University of Tennessee Clarence Brown Theatre. In 2007, he was honored by his alma mater, Milligan College, when they dedicated the John Willis Wing of the new Gregory Center for Liberal Arts.