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Martha Lavey, Major Steppenwolf Theatre Figure, Passes Away At 60

(CBS) -- Martha Lavey, who was Steppenwolf Theatre's artistic director for almost 20 years, has died after suffering another stroke -- her second in two years.

"She was one of the most important figures in theatre -- and not just local theatre.  In national theatre," says Steppenwolf Ensemble Member and Director Amy Morton.

Martha Lavey
Martha Lavey was an artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theatre. (courtesy: Joel Moorman)

"She was the most diligent and thoughtful theatre practitioner I knew."

Morton tells WBBM one of her best memories is directing Martha Lavey in the play, "Loves Lies Bleeding."

"She was also my good girlfriend that I've known for a very, very long time. So, that's what she was to me more than anything. She was really, really fun to hang out with. … There was no one in the world like her."

Martha Lavey was 60 years old.

Mayor Emanuel issued a statement:


"Chicago owes a debt of gratitude to Martha Lavey, ensemble member and former artistic director at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. While leading one of the most acclaimed theater companies in the world for more than 20 years, she helped put Chicago theater—and the gritty, gutsy Chicago-style theater for which we're known—on the map. Martha will forever be remembered as one of the most important figures in the history of Chicago theater."

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