One of the Deans of Theater Criticism, Elliot Norton, Exits the Stage

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From the WGBH QuickNooz (with permission) — 10/20/2003

Elliot Norton passed away on Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He was 100.

The former host of WGBH’s 24-year long TV series, Elliott Norton Reviews, Norton set a mid-century standard of theater writing as critic for The Boston Post, The Boston Record American and The Boston Herald American (now The Boston Herald).

Norton connected with prominent figures in theater in more than 1,100 episodes of Elliott Norton Reviews, which aired between 1958-1982 on Channel 2.

At times Norton became part of the artistic process, most famously when playwright Neil Simon was a guest on the program. Puzzled by the flatness of the third act of Simon’s new play, The Odd Couple, Norton suggested during their televised conversation in the WGBH studio a return of the ditzy Pigeon sisters, who at the time only appeared in the second act. Simon heeded the advice and the play became a hit on stage, screen and television.

Norton leaves a son, David A.; two daughters, Elizabeth N. Norton and Jane Norton Hardy; and three grandchildren.

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