Charles Hollerith dies at 84

Was producer, secretary of Actors Fund

Charles Hollerith Jr., producer and former secretary of the Actors Fund, died May 27 in Manhattan from complications of emphysema. He was 84.

Born in Jackson, Mich., Hollerith served in the Navy for several years prior to graduating from Williams College in 1950.

After a brief career in banking in Jackson, he moved to New York City to fulfill his desire to work in the theater.

Hollerith’s New York productions include “The Rape of the Belt,” “The Amorous Flea,” “How’s the World Treating You,” “A Breeze From the Gulf,” “Nightclub Cantata” and “Hotel for Criminals.” He was also responsible for bringing “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” to the London stage in the early 1960s.

Also in the early ’60s, Hollerith brought his love of the theater to Northern Michigan. He was the producer (with Ruth Bailey) of the Cherry County Playhouse in Traverse City, Mich. This summer stock theater brought a wide variety of plays and name actors to the region.

Perhaps his most important contribution to the theater was his work as a member of the board for the Actors Fund of America. He served as secretary for 31 years raising money to assure a home and an appropriate retirement for others with theater careers.

Hollerith was married three times, the last time to actress Hope Lange, who died in 2003.

He is survived by a daughter and a son; two stepchildren; and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church for the Heavenly Rest, 2 East 90th Street on Thursday, June 2, at 3:30 p.m.

Donations may be made to the Actors Fund or the Little Traverse Conservancy in Harbor Springs, Mich.

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