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Pirie Tutchings

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Tutchings, Pirie
Theatre and television actor and director Pirie MacDonald Tutchings died in New Milford Connecticut on April 19, 2013. He was 81. Cause of his death was the long term effects of Parkinson's Disease. Educated at the Deerfield Academy, Harvard University and the London Academy of dramatic arts, MacDonald, as he was known professionally, following a stint in the armed forces made his Broadway debut in the original production of Under Milk Wood in 1957. Over the next eight years he was cast in six more Broadway productions including Henry IV (parts 1 and 2) in 1960; Big Fish, Little Fish (1961); and as Howard Wagner in the 1975 production of Death of a Salesman.
His work as a television and film actor began in 1976 when he appeared as James Forrest in the mini-series The Adams Chronicles. Other work included roles in the films Network (1976), Masquerade (1988) and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989), as well as an episode of "Law and Order "(1991). From 1965 to 1968 he was associate director of the Seattle Repertory Company and in New York, he was a long time member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He also worked regularly at leading regional theatres around the country. In 1990 while rehearsing a play in Dallas, Texas, MacDonald survived a gun shot wound to the head in a mugging that killed a fellow actor, but his career was severely curtailed by his injury. Nevertheless for several years he remained active, performing in and directing numerous staged readings in New York City as well as various local productions in and around his home town of Bridgewater, Connecticut, and assisting playwrights in the development of theatrical projects.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, noted ceramic artist, Elizabeth MacDonald.
There will be a memorial service at the Congregational Church in Bridgewater June 29th at 2 p.m.
Arrangements by the Lillis Funeral Home, 58 Bridge Street, New Milford, CT.
Donations in his memory may be made to Channel 13 in New York.

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Published in News Times on May 1, 2013
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