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Former Second City Matriarch Dies

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Joyce Sloane, a longtime producer and matriarch at The Second City, has died at the age of 80.

Sloane was associated with the legendary Old Town-based sketch comedy group for all but one of the years it has existed, Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones reported. She held the posts of associate producer, executive producer and producer emeritus, founded the Second City e.t.c. company, and co-founded the Second City national touring company and Toronto branch, Jones reported.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Felicia Middlebrooks reports


She also found talent that became legendary, including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Chris Farley and Gilda Radner, Jones reported.

She also brought Nia Vardalos from London, Ont., to Chicago, Jones reported. Vardalos went on to make "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

Sloane was still a fixture at Second City as recently as a few weeks ago, according to Jones.

The Second City grew out of the Compass Players, a cabaret group formed in the 1950s by University of Chicago students. When the Compass Players shut down, three of its members – Bernard Sahlins, Paul Sills and Howard Alk – moved north and opened Second City on Dec. 16, 1959, at 1842 N. Wells St.

The Second City moved a couple of blocks south to its current home in 1967.

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