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Pamela Gordon, 66; Petite Actress With Deep Voice Was a Fixture of L.A. Theater

September 24, 2003|Don Shirley | Times Staff Writer

Pamela Gordon, one of Los Angeles' most respected and recognizable small-theater actors, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of pulmonary failure, a complication of esophageal cancer. She was 66.

Gordon's diminutive size was in stark contrast to her gravelly voice. Earlier this year, she received the annual "Queen of the Angels" award at the L.A. Weekly's theater awards ceremony. The citation on the plaque read that the award was "presented with respect almost as deep as her voice but not half as deep as her talent."

Gordon was devoted to performing in new plays, especially "the nonlinear variety," said her husband, Marc Wedner. However, this past summer she appeared in a revival of the old comedy "Harvey" at the Laguna Playhouse. She left the production because of deteriorating health and collapsed Aug. 4, one day after her final performance in the role of a society matron.

She appeared in productions of the Padua Hills Playwrights' Festival, one of Los Angeles' most prominent crucibles for new plays, from the late 1980s through 1995. In recent years, she often performed in Evidence Room productions.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday September 25, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
Pamela Gordon -- A caption with the Pamela Gordon obituary in Wednesday's California section incorrectly identified the play Gordon was appearing in as "Pretty Good Time." The correct title of the play is "Gretty Good Time."

Her TV credits include appearances on "Hill Street Blues," "NYPD Blue," "ER," "The West Wing," "King of Queens" and "Frasier." After many small roles in movies, she played the title role in an independent feature film, "The Dogwalker," in 2002.

Born in Pittsburgh, she began acting as a child in local theater and received a drama degree from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University. She moved to California in 1961. She was a member of the Actors Studio for many years.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Marcus Wedner of Winnetka, Ill.; a daughter, Melissa Roeder of Orinda, Calif.; and four grandchildren.

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