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Marilyn Beck, well-known actress with Heights Players, dies at 80

Marilyn Beck, a longtime Brooklyn Heights resident and a perennial actress with the Heights Players, died at Long Island College Hospital last Saturday at the age of 80.

According to the Brooklyn Heights Blog, Beck came to New York from Indiana and spent many years working as a public school teacher. She studied acting at the HB Studio, and also studied African dance and ballet, according to the blog.

Over the years, the Brooklyn Heights Press reviewed many of her productions.

In 2006, when she played a supporting role in the Heights Players’ production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” she was already referred to as an “old-timer" with the troupe.

Later that same year, Beth Aplin, reviewing a production of Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” for the Heights Press, said, “Marilyn Beck as Mrs. Shinn nearly steals the show with her antics as head of the ladies’ dance committee.”

In February 2009, she was in the cast of the Heights Players’ rendition of Peter Shaffer’s “Amadeus,” although not in a major role. In May of that year, Heights Press reviewer Mary Frost noted that she played the role of landlady Mrs. O’Brien in the classic musical “Show Boat.”

Last year, in a production of Noel Coward’s “Waiting in the Wings,”  Beck was apparently not content to be in the wings — she took center stage. Heights Press reviewer Nino Pantano wrote, “Marilyn Beck, in a large, flamboyant hat, sparkled with a heel-kicking entrance as the newest tenant [in a nursing home for retired actresses], Topsy Baskerville.”

She also had several professional credits, according to the Brooklyn Heights Blog, including parts in “Going in Style” (1979) and “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), as well as a 2003 episode of “Chappelle’s Show.”

Beck was a voting member of the Heights Players, which was an independent nonprofit entity. She lived on Remsen Street.

July 2, 2012 - 5:30pm


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