Theatre director Michael Rudman died on Thursday, March 30, at the age of 84. His death was confirmed by The Soho Agency – a talent firm that represented him, in a statement they posted on Twitter.
“We are deeply saddened at the passing of our client, brilliant theatre director and writer Michael Rudman,” the statement said.
“He will be greatly missed but his contribution to the theatre industry will not be forgotten. RIP Michael.”
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Rudman was married twice and both his marriages ended in divorce. His first marriage was with Veronica Bennett from 1963 to 1981. He later married Felicity Kendal in 1983.
Although Kendal and Rudman divorced in 1991, they got back together seven years later in 1998. Together, they have a son – Jacob Rudman.
Two years ago, while the Covid-19 pandemic was raging, Rudman caught the disease and went down badly. He spent several days in the Intensive Care Unit before finally battling his way out into normal life.
“I think I can speak for a lot of people about the fear being huge, and the frustration being a real hardship,” Kendal had said then.
“That feeling that you don’t know what state your loved one is in, and knowing you still can’t go and see them – it’s not like anything you’ve experienced before. It was just such a scary time. Michael is in his eighties.”
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Rudman, the son of an oil millionaire from Texas, was in a great position to continue his family lineage of business, but he decided to tread the less-trodden path and stepped into theatre instead. He graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio and went on to study at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.
His idol was Arthur Miller, and he directed Miller’s masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, in three significant productions. The first one was at the Nottingham Playhouse, where Rudman served as an assistant in the late 1960s.
The second production was at the National in 1979, with Warren Mitchell playing Willy Loman, who also introduced Rudman to Tottenham Hotspur, a football club he remained a fan of for the rest of his life.
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Lastly, he directed the play on Broadway in 1984, featuring Dustin Hoffman as Willy and a newcomer, John Malkovich, as Biff.
Per reports, his net worth was $5 million.