Title: Beloved Chicago Actor Mike Nussbaum Passes Away at Age 99
Mike Nussbaum, the oldest professional actor in America, has sadly passed away at the remarkable age of 99. Recognized as a dynamic and influential figure in Chicago theater for decades, Nussbaum was held in high regard by both his peers and the audience.
Throughout his accomplished career, Nussbaum displayed an unwavering passion for the stage. Even until his final week, he continued to participate in dramatic readings and projects, leaving an indelible mark on the world of theater. One of his closest collaborators was B.J. Jones, the artistic director of Northlight Theatre in Skokie. The pair recently worked together on a playlet entitled “Pilot’s Lounge,” written by acclaimed playwright David Mamet as a tribute to Nussbaum’s lasting contributions.
Nussbaum’s incomparable theatrical journey included originating significant roles in mammoth Mamet productions such as “American Buffalo” and “Glengarry Glen Ross.” However, his talents extended beyond the stage. During World War II, Nussbaum valiantly served in the armed forces and was responsible for cabling the news of the Nazi surrender in Paris.
Renowned for his sense of humor and his propensity for shining the spotlight on others, Nussbaum had an illustrious career beginning in the 1960s as a member of the Hull House company. Later, he earned his Equity card, which propelled him to Broadway and touring performances alongside esteemed actors like Alec Baldwin. While he did venture into films such as “Men in Black” and “Field of Dreams,” Nussbaum’s heart always belonged to the Chicago stage.
Nussbaum’s impressive credits spanned decades, with flawless performances well into his 90s. His exceptional talents were further exemplified by his photographic memory, allowing him to portray iconic personalities like Albert Einstein in Northlight Theatre’s production of “Relativity.”
Considered one of Chicago’s greatest actors, Nussbaum not only left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry but also served as an influential mentor to countless aspiring actors. Many of his protégées went on to revolutionize American theater, movies, and television.
Survived by his loving wife, children, and grandchildren, Nussbaum leaves behind a remarkable legacy. Plans for a memorial service to honor and celebrate his extraordinary life are currently in progress.
Mike Nussbaum’s passing marks the loss of a true legend in the world of theater, leaving a void that will be felt by the entire artistic community.
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