Robert Clayton Black

Bob passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Colorado Springs, after a valiant struggle with multiple myeloma.

He was born July 6, 1947, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Kathryn Ann Neill Black and the late Eugene Robert Black. He graduated from Denton, Texas High School in 1965, and enjoyed statewide recognition as one of the state's leading acting and interpretative talents. He received a B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969, where he studied with the renowned Shakespearean actor, director, and teacher, B. Iden Payne. His performance skills won him roles for several summer seasons at the famed Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

Bob enjoyed a rich, fulfilling, and expansive career in the theater. Immediately following UT Austin, he toured with the USO in North Africa and Europe, and then entered into a long and rewarding tenure as an actor in residence with the pioneering Trinity Square Repertory Company in Providence, RI. He made seasonal appearances at the Great Lakes Shakespeare festival, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and the Dallas Theatre Center, among other venues. While at Trinity, Bob played leading roles in the critically acclaimed PBS productions Brother to Dragons and Feasting with Panthers, directed by the innovative director, Adrian Hall. He starred again as Tom Jones in a dramatization of that early novel. After moving to New York, he was cast as the young Ernest Hemingway (to whom he bore a striking stage resemblance) along with Geraldine Page and Kenneth Haigh in the New York premiere of Tennessee Williams's last play, Clothes for a Summer Hotel. In Los Angeles, he appeared in Under Milk Wood, and in Greater Tuna in Santa Barbara.

Throughout his career, Bob enriched the lives of many with his talent, commitment, and dedication to the dramatic arts. Bob's family and friends, however, will remember him also as a multi-talented musician who understood that performance and artistic expression know no boundaries. A pianist, guitarist, composer, and singer, he enhanced the theatre, his church choir, and audiences across the country.

A dedicated runner, Bob was particularly proud of the medals he earned after completing several marathons, primarily in Los Angeles.

Bob is survived by his mother Kathryn Ann N. Black of Colorado Springs and two brothers: Bill (Mindie) of Philadelphia and Casey (Lone) of South Dakota. He also leaves nephews Niels Black (Madeline) of St. Louis and Matias Black (Mary) of Minneapolis; niece Kathrine Black, also of Minneapolis; and niece Lisa Matson (Michael) and two grand-nieces, Rebecca and Elizabeth Matson, all of Exton, Pennsylvania.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to share his love and his dedication to art and life or benefit from his service to his fellow man will always revere him and keep him close to our hearts.

We will celebrate Bob's life at a gathering in the family home near Cuchara this summer on the occasion of his 67th birthday.

Memorial contributions to Bob's life can be sent to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the International Multiple Myeloma Foundation, or Trinity Square Repertory Company.

Published in The Gazette on Mar. 30, 2014