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Cornish Mourns the Passing of Clayton Corzatte

Cornish Mourns the Passing of Clayton Corzatte

: Courtesy of Cornish College of the Arts.

Key faculty member, former acting program head and major figure on the Seattle theater scene, the life and work of Clayton Corzatte are remembered.

UPDATE: Clayton Remembered in the Seattle Times.

Cornish College of the Arts mourns the passing of Clayton Corzatte, long-time professor of acting. For 12 years, he and his wife, Susan, headed the program, contributing significantly to the development of theater at the college.

In 2009, Cornish conferred honorary degrees on Clayton (above) and Susan Corzatte in recognition of their immense contributions to the college and to the city. In 2000, Clayton and Susan Corzatte were also honored with the Gregory Falls Sustained Achievement Award.

Clayton was also a revered member of Seattle’s acting community, with roles at local theaters too numerous to name. He was a member of Intiman’s first repertory company with a host of familiar names in Seattle theater:  Megan Cole, Ted D’Arms, John Gilbert, Patricia Healy, Richard Riehle, Peter Silbert, Meg Hilton, Barry Mulholland, and Jean Smart. He was prominent in productions at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and ACT.

In all, Clayton played more than 200 roles in a career that spanned nearly 60 years. Highlights in his national resume include a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Charles Surface in The School for Scandal and an Obie for his work as Constantine in Chekov’s The Seagull with Nancy Marchand and Rosemary Harris. Other notable roles included Firs in The Cherry Orchard with Uta Hagen, Mosca in Volpone, George in Of Mice and Men and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bert Lahr. Clayton also played with Katherine Hepburn in Twelfth Night and with Eva La Gallienne in Ibsen’s Ghosts. He acted in the inaugural season of the Guthrie and in several seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Clayton was seen onscreen in many films, shorts and television movies and series, including Cinderalla Liberty and The Prodigal and in the series Northern Exposure and Wiseguy.

Clayton Corzatte is survived by his wife and partner of many, many years, Susan, and their children. As news of Clayton’s death passed through the community, many former students have shared their feelings on the web through Facebook and other social media.


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