Our good friend and founding Theatre West member John Carter passed away recently. We mourn his loss.
CARTER–John, an actor whose diversity in his profession was filled with numerous roles on stage and screen passed away from pneumonia on May 23 at the young age of 87. John was born in Center Ridge, Arkansas. He and his family moved to Missouri where he grew up and attended college. After graduation he moved to New York to pursue his dream of becoming an actor and married Barbara Williams, an actor as well. John started out as a chorus boy and moved quickly up to appearing in “No Strings, “110 in the Shade” Take Me Along” and many other roles. John had a beautiful voice and brought to each character a defined presence. After divorcing Barbara he moved to Los Angeles and became very busy in the world of television and film. He became a member of Theater West where he would meet his future wife Kendall Fewel a match made in heaven. While at Theater West he appeared in “The Price” and began directing. He directed Betty Garrett in her one woman show which was a jewel of a show. His roles in television at this time were “Winds of War” “Roots” and “Dallas” to name a few. Some of his films included the “Hoax”, “Badlands” and “Joe Kidd”. After marrying Kendall they moved to New York where John continued and thrived in the theater. He appeared in three Edward Albee plays Off Broadway and Edward Albee’s On Broadway revival of “A Delicate Balance” featuring Rosemary Harris, George Grizzard and Elaine Stritch which won a Tony. Other Broadway roles were in “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Festin”. John was unique and touched the lives of all those who knew him. Handsome, talented, giving, honest in ever sense and such a gentle man. John is predeceased by his brother Rogers and his son Dan. He is survived by his brother Conlan, half brother, Jeff, three beautiful godchildren Kevin, Emily and Michael and his beloved Kendall. “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you”.
Memories of John
So sorry to hear of John’s passing. He was a funny, gracious, talented man. He had a distinguished career in film, TV and theatre. John did such wonderful acting and directing work for many years at Theatre West. He also co-produced my show AT THE CODFISH BALL at the theater.I was so grateful for his intelligent guidance with that project. A lovely man who will be missed! ~ Kres Mersky
I first became aware of John at Theatre West when he directed Betty Garrett’s one-woman show and I was new to LA, working in the office assisting former Managing Director Doug Marney. I approached him and asked if he would be willing to direct a one-woman show I was planning to do at The Gardenia. Not sure if it was because I had cornered him, or because of his southern gentleman good manners, but he said yes. He also coached me, in the theatre west office, on a scene I had to prepare for a big movie audition. I got the job, albeit a different role, and it became my first Hollywood screen credit, the film “In The Line of Fire”. I kept in sporadic touch with him once he and his wife Kendall moved to New York. The last time I saw him was about 11 or 12 years ago, when I attended a play he was doing in New York. We had a bite afterwards and reminisced about old times at Theatre West. And then, like so many professional friendships made before the advent of social media, we lost touch. I am so saddened by his loss, and send my deepest condolences to Kendall, his family, and the Theatre West community who knew and loved him. ~ Mary VanArsdel