A founder of UCLA's department of theater arts

Walden P. Boyle, a founder of UCLA’s department of theater arts, died Tuesday Oct. 15 of surgery complications in L.A. He was 94.

Winside, Neb., native earned his bachelor’s degree at the U. of Oregon and his master’s and doctoral degrees at Cornell. He taught at the U. of Oregon before eventually joining UCLA in the early 1940s as a lecturer in the English department, where drama studies was housed until 1947.

Boyle and one other directed all the plays, built scenery and lighted the stage. He directed the new department’s first production, served various terms as department chairman and developed the its program in which theater majors write, direct and act one-act plays. He took emeritus status in 1976.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Hazel; two children; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be 4 p.m. Thursday Oct. 31 at the UCLA Faculty Center.

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