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VAN ZANDT--Porter, 89, October 14th, 2012, in Sherman Oaks, CA. Born in Rochester, NY, he served in the Navy (WWII) and graduated from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A Broadway Actor, Production Stage Manager, Producer and Director from the late 1940's; he also managed non-profit theatres bringing success to many companies including The Acting Company and Circle Repertory Company. His legacy of professional integrity and support for all forms of theatre continues on today in the people he mentored and the companies he nurtured. He was much loved and respected by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Debra, son, Stephen, daughter Karen, stepdaughter Kirstin, four grandchildren and brother Ted. A celebration of his life is being planned. Donations may be made in Porter's name to The Actors Fund actorsfund.org or KUSC, P.O. Box 77913, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

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Published in New York Times on Oct. 24, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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25 entries
October 7, 2015
Dearest Debra,

I am sitting here with an old Broadway costumer from The Hasty Heart who arrived at my house last night as an AirBnB guest. We were so amazed to find out that we both knew Porter -- and we are so sorry to hear about his passing..... although it has been 3 years now I know you will always miss him as will the rest of the world! We were just saying how few people have been lucky enough to have worked with Porter! All my love, Hannah Neufeld (Kathi Neufeld)
Katherine Hannah Neufeld
July 22, 2015
Dearest Porter: You live in my heart with memories that lift my spirits, make me smile, and fill me with a warmth that brings tears to my eyes. As the Wizard said to the Tin Man: "A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others. If this is true, and I think it is, you have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I've ever known because you are loved dearly by so many. From the heart - Timothy Wayne
Timothy Wayne
November 27, 2013
Mr. Van Zandt,
Sir. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country when you served in the USN during WW II and also for being a member of the Greatest Generation. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds and Following Seas
Mike Casey
June 11, 2013
debra, i was so shocked to see porter's name last night on the tonys. and so sad. as you know, i dearly loved him, and he was the best stage manager broadway ever produced. my love to you and the children.....what a loss, and what a fabulous man. and what a talent!
barbara barrie
June 10, 2013
Porter shaped my adult life with one very long phone call where he explained what a wardrobe supervisor does and then asked if I'd like to be one as of Wednesday next week with The Acting Company. He taught me to budget time, to divide a sheet of paper into all the areas in which work had to be done and millions of other useful, important run the show information. When I came to NYC, I only knew about being a costume designer, Porter gave me my life's work. Thanks. Karen L. Eifert wardrobe supervisor NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT and TWU Local 764 member 40 yrs thanks to Porter
June 10, 2013
I was watching the Tony Awards last night and recognized Mr. Van Zandt's name as a name that was recently entered into Chapter Grand of Phi Delta Theta. I send my condolences and know that he made huge contributions to the stage. Our love to you and your family during this time. --Phi Delta Theta staff
Kelly Derickson
February 16, 2013
Dear Deb,
I am so sorry to have lost touch with you two and stunned to see Porter listed in AEA Final Curtain today...he helped me so much in so many ways when we worked together. I shall certainly keep him and you in my prayers
Joyce Reehling
February 15, 2013
Oh, so sad to hear this news. Kind and funny and sweet and smart. You will be missed Porter.
Debra Jo Rupp
November 20, 2012
Dear Debra,
It was a pleasure to see you and Porter together. Even though he was not well when I was with him your stories of him clearly told me what a fabulous man Porter had been in his life. You were both lucky people.
With great affection, Rory
Rory Firestein
November 9, 2012
Porter reads to Reuben (Mom's favorite picture)
Kirstin Mooney
November 9, 2012
Porter, Gretchen and Ted
Kirstin Mooney
November 9, 2012
November 9, 2012
Mom and Porter ready to Skype into the Stage Manager's Association Awards.
November 9, 2012
I remember him being always interested in the world and so gracious. Today's world could use a little of his grace! Condolences to Aunt Deb and Kirst, and to his children.
Lisa Vick Grubba
November 9, 2012
Dearest Porter
You were such a great friend to me, a great mentor, someone that always gave me good advice and always listened. I will love you forever. I just know you are sitting in a chair in heaven eating
peanut butter and chocolate!

Karen, Steve, Kirsten and Dear Deb sending you all my deepest condolences and Deb and Kirsten sending both lots of love. porter's spirit lives in each one of you. Love Diane DiVita
November 9, 2012
My Dear Debra and Karen and Steve,
You know how much I loved Porter, or Pete as he was called many years ago. There's little can say other than I truly owe my entire career and, indeed in some ways, my entire life for the past forty years or so to Porter. I can assure you that he will be in my thoughts, probably every day, for the rest of my life.
All my love,

Frank Hartenstein
November 9, 2012
Dear, fabulous Porter.

A great storytreller, a great voice and simply a great man.

You loved and were loved, man's great destiny.

You remain in our hearts and prayers, always.
Marianne Muellerleile
November 9, 2012
So sorry to hear the news.. What a lovely lovely man.. We will all miss him and send you lots of love.
Ellen Gittelsohn
November 8, 2012
What joy Ginni and me had talking with Porter at the wonderful birthday party Debra threw for him. I'm proud to say that our son Jackson was assistant stage manager during As You Like It at his school. And of course we thought of Porter the whole time. He was a giant in our lives and we got the chance to tell him so. Love to you all, Michael & Ginni
November 8, 2012
What joy Ginni and me had talking with Porter at the wonderful birthday party Deb threw for him. I'm proud to say that our son Jackson was assistant stage manager during As You Like It at his school. And of course we thought of Porter the whole time. He was a giant in our lives and we got the chance to tell him so. Love, Michael & Ginni
Michael Ruscio
November 8, 2012
Dear Sweet Porter. Deb, Kirsten, Karen and Steve, my thoughts and love are with you.
Craig Richard Nelson
November 8, 2012
So sorry to hear about Porter. Know that my thoughts are with you.
Greg Richman
November 8, 2012
A gentle man. Will always remember Porter's support of Obama... way ahead of us...
Lianne Ritchie
October 26, 2012
I am so glad I was able to visit last year. He will be greatly missed.

Delores Casa
October 24, 2012
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Joan and Tom Hampton
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