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You are here: Home Theatre Reviews & Features 2015-16 Reviews 2013-14 Season Press Releases Former Outer Critics Circle President & Theatre Critic MARJORIE GUNNER Dies at 91
Monday, 23 September 2013 22:49

Former Outer Critics Circle President & Theatre Critic MARJORIE GUNNER Dies at 91

Former Outer Critics Circle President & Veteran Theatre Critic
Marjorie Gunner
Dies at 91

Marjorie Gunner, a fixture on Broadway’s first-nighter scene for decades and former long-standing President of one of the country’s oldest theatre award organizations, The Outer Critics Circle, died at age 91 on Saturday, September 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

She died of natural causes, said her daughter, Holly Gunner.

In addition to serving as President of the Outer Critics Circle from 1979 to 2005, along with Liza Minnelli she was one of the first seven women admitted as members to the legendary Friars Club in 1988. As a theatre critic and reporter she started writing for Manhattan’s Town and Village newspaper in 1966 and continued to write for The Italian Tribune, The Bronx Home News, Culvert Chronicles and New Jersey’s The Ridgewood News.

A devoted theatre reviewer, Ms. Gunner attended up to 8 shows a week almost every week. “It was the freezing cold winter of 2009 that finally stopped her.  She just couldn't wait outside in the cold for a taxi,” said her daughter Holly.

Born on March 29, 1922 in New York City, she graduated from the Julia Richman High School and attended Cornell University where she directed plays and acted on radio shows. She received her diploma from New York University with a major in Drama.

Under her guidance as President of the Outer Critics Circle, she transformed the organization’s annual awards party from a dull and mumbled ceremony into something that was informative, intelligent and star-studded. She decided to have prominent theater people present the awards to the winners using a script crafted by herself, prompting Helen Hayes bestowing an award to Baryshnikov to comment, "This is the most intelligent awards ceremony I have ever been to!”

Married to Morris Gunner, she was widowed in 1966.  She is survived by her daughters, Holly Gunner and Rochelle Gunner and three grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, September 24 at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street (at Amsterdam Avenue).  A reception will follow at Sardi’s Restaurant, 234 West 44th Street, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Marjorie Gunner may be made to Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street, NY, NY 10036.

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