CLIFFORD GOODWIN

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GOODWIN CLIFFORD GOODWIN 1936 - 2012 CLIFF GOODWIN was born April 21, 1936, in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1945, the family (including Cliff's sister and three brothers) moved to the Washington, DC area. Cliff displayed artistic skills from an early age and enjoyed creating his own cartoons and amusing his siblings with his drawings. But it was in speaking and acting that he found his true calling. Throughout a checkered high school career he was uninterested in academic subjects but would spend hours memorizing a speech for an upcoming oratorical contest or working on the intricacies of a debate topic. These oratorical skills morphed into his discovery of acting which he pursued in both high school and college. He spent the rest of his life in the theater - he was one of those fortunate people who knew exactly what he wanted to do and proceeded to follow his muse. Returning to the D.C. area after graduating from St. Martin's College in Washington State, he began his career in the film documentary unit of ABC-TV News. As a staff writer-producer, he received an Emmy nomination for programming in public affairs. Moving to New York, he resumed his pursuit of an acting career and for several years played major roles on such daytime TV staples as Guiding Light, As the World Turns, and The Edge of Night. In the late sixties, Goodwin developed an interest in new American playwrights (long before this was a popular movement) and became the Program Director for the noted New Dramatists, Inc. in New York. There, over a six-year period, he produced workshop stagings of over 150 new American plays. Turning to directing, Goodwin staged the New York premieres of Carole Thompson's Carrie, Clifford Mason's Midnight Special, Aldo Giunta's The Partnership; and the revivals of Stephen Tesich's The Carpenters, Eric Bentley's Brecht on Brecht, and Warren Kliewer's The Berserkers. He was also active in regional theatre, directing Merchant of Venice in Pennsylvania, Jean Anouilh's The Lark in Georgia, Sophocles' Antigone in California, and others. Subsequently, he toured small-town America for the National Endowment for the Humanities' National Humanities Series. In four years he taught, lectured, and conducted workshops in over 200 towns in 44 states, attempting to encourage the development of new American plays. Goodwin was an artist-in-residence at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., among them, Stanford University, American University, The University of Alabama, The University of West Florida, Gettysburg College, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In recent years Goodwin conducted private classes in Shakespearean acting and audition techniques while serving as a script consultant to New York City's Circle Repertory Company, The Pilgrim Project, and Primary Stages. He also freelanced as a musical consultant; music from his collection has been heard in many New York theatres, most notably in the Broadway production of Lost in Yonkers. He lived most of his adult life in his beloved Greenwich Village. For the last year he struggled with acute leukemia, finally succumbing to it on October 8, 2012. He is survived by his son, Michael Goodwin of New York; his sister, Patricia G. Norry; his twin brother Frederick K. Goodwin, MD; his brother Robert Goodwin, all of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and his brother James Goodwin, MD of Galveston, Texas, as well as many adoring nieces and nephews. In the late 1990s, Goodwin created and administered an unofficial fund for struggling actors; this fund is closed but donations in his name can be made to The Actors' Fund. A memorial service will be held at the New Dramatists in Manhattan on Friday, January 25, 2012, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Please email Goodwinmemorialservice@gmail.com for details.

Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 19, 2012