Posted September 26, 2006
Tributes and Condolences Honoring Patrick Quinn
Patrick Quinn at AEA's 90th Anniversary Celebration at The Players in New York City on March 29, 2004
Actors' Equity has received many tributes, condolences and messages honoring Patrick Quinn.
Mark Zimmerman, President
Patrick was a close and very dear friend of mine for 33 years. He was also a respected colleague whose opinions and advice were important to me. We met at the LaSalle Music Theater, becoming instant friends. When I got my first professional job at a dinner theater in Raleigh, North Carolina, he came to see my show - and to give me notes. That is how it was between us - we would share ideas, point each other in the right direction and work towards goals we strongly believed in. Patrick was an incredible advocate for this membership. He led by example, with humor and sensitivity and with great dignity. He wanted only the best for actors and this Association. He was quick to grasp a situation, and know what should be done. But Patrick also had the wisdom to say "wait a minute, we want to think this through." It was this dedicated individual who saw the enormous possibilities we have before us as a Union and his passing is a great loss -both to me personally, and to every member of Actors' Equity. Before his untimely death, we had many, many discussions about what he wanted to accomplish and I know that all of us at Equity will keep his hopes and vision alive.
Alan Eisenberg, Executive Director
"Patrick Quinn proudly and unselfishly served Actor's Equity for almost 30 years, from the time he became a Councillor in 1977. He was a consummate artist; a strong champion for the rights of artists, a perceptive and dynamic leader, and a compassionate human being. As a working actor, Patrick knew the challenges and uncertainties that actors face, because he faced those challenges himself. He knew what our members needed and worked hard to achieve them. He gave of himself at every opportunity - at the bargaining table, at benefits, as a Trustee, on picket lines, and as our beloved President - all for his fellow actors. I am grateful for his friendship and counsel for these many years, and am deeply saddened by his death."
John P. Connolly, President
"When we started on stage together all Patrick wanted to do was Sing & Dance, as the saying goes, and he did that so well. His charm and comedic timing on stage were unparalleled, and when called upon, his barbed and dishy wit off-stage was without peer, on-target, and hysterically funny. His heart that so failed his great soul last night, took in the laughter and tragedies of his friends, his peers, and his 45,000 Equity Members in an embrace that I know cost him dear. But the man he grew into from the stage-struck boy of our youth, would have it no other way. Patrick was like a great Song-&-Dance-Man Cyrano, our very own Warrior Poet, magnificent in his public aplomb, searingly honest in his private self-doubt, and more the noble for accepting, suffering, and loving both sides of his soul."
Alan Rosenberg, President
"I am shocked and saddened to hear of Patrick Quinn's sudden passing. Patrick was a dedicated, compassionate man who worked tirelessly to protect the rights of professional actors. I am a proud Equity member myself, and I will always cherish the time I served with him on the Equity council during the 1970s and 1980s. An accomplished stage and screen performer, Patrick knew about the unique life of an actor firsthand. While I am heartbroken that he will never get a chance to lead Equity as its new executive director, I am comforted knowing the many contributions he made on behalf of actors will live on. Along with the entire membership of Screen Actors Guild, I offer heartfelt condolences to Patrick Quinn's family and his many friends."
Screen Actors Guild National Board Member Sam Freed, who recently acted with Quinn in a play: "Patrick Quinn was both a gentleman and a fierce advocate for the rights of actors. His courage in guiding Equity in recent negotiations is testament to the quality of his leadership. He was a superb performer, an actor's actor--and a pleasure to work with."
Theo Bikel, President Emeritus
No one who knew Patrick Quinn can fail to feel the loss keenly and personally. This was a warm and caring human being, not one ready to do battle unless he perceived injustices. Then righteous anger would turn to steely resolve -- but only for the duration of the fight. He loved actors and honored his profession; within the family of actors he was a uniter not a divider. This is a legacy to cherish and a life to emulate. We will carry on without Patrick but it will be harder without his counsel and his smile.
Brian Stokes Mitchell, President
"Patrick had the heart of both an artist and activist. As a president and member of Actors Equity, and as a trustee of The Actors' Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, he walked the walk as a union leader, working actor and compassionate human being. Thanks to his talent, his humor, and his kind and generous spirit, he has left the world of performing arts - and the world at large - a better place."
Joseph Benincasa, Executive Director
"Patrick was a positive force for good, his leadership always hopeful and inspiring, and he epitomized the very best in all of us. He loved his colleagues and cherished his friends - we all loved him, and will miss him and remember him everyday."
Tom Viola, Executive Director
"To hear of Patrick Quinn's death, particularly on this day is unimaginable. Patrick was a founding member of Equity Fights AIDS and then First Vice President of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. His enthusiasm and generous spirit helped create and nurture the organization we are today. I know that the sunshine we had during what was supposed to be a rainy Sunday came at Pat's heavenly instigation - his insistence if he could not be there with us in Shubert Alley. We will miss him dearly and remember him always."
Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director
"We were deeply saddened to learn about the passing of our friend and colleague, Patrick Quinn, Executive Director of Actors' Equity Association. He was regarded as a committed and passionate leader, with an extraordinary devotion to Broadway. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and loved ones, and to the vast community of actors whose lives he touched."
Evans Haile, Artistic Director
(Editor's Note: Patrick Quinn's last stage appearance was at the Cape Playhouse last month, in A.R. Gurney's SYLVIA)
The Cape Playhouse has had the honor, and I the privilege, of Patrick's presence and friendship for over 20 years. Each production revealed a different color in Patrick's extensive pallete as an actor. Whether it was playing the banjo in I LOVE MY WIFE, high British comedy in OH, COWARD, being the oldest "youthful" ingenue opposite Kitty Carlisle Hart, and Jo Sullivan Loesser in YES THERE WERE GIANTS, raising the rafters as Julian Marsh in 42ND STREET, or most recently stealing the show, and having the audience howling, as society matron Phyllis, in A.R. Gurney's SYLVIA (According to Patrick, his first role in drag - at 6'3, a true giant amongst NY doyennes!)
No one loved performing , and the relationship with an audience, more than Patrick. His sparkle was contagious to anyone onstage, or off. All it would take was a slight turn of the head, his all too focused look , and that low growl only he knew how to do, to break an unfortunate colleague, or audience member into laughter. Every Actor on the American Stage lost a best friend with Patrick's passing. He had such breadth of career, with an intense understanding of the theatre business, and the needs of Actors, Directors, Designers, and yes, even Producers! But most importantly, it is memories of Patrick's coaxing dog Molly to swim in Scargo Lake, laughter, (and wicked humor), shared with he and partner Marty at a Cape Cod sunset dinner overlooking the marina, and Patrick's genuine humanity that I will carry with me.
Gordon Forbes, Secretary/Treasurer
On behalf of ATPAM's Board and Membership I would like to offer our sincere condolences on the passing of Patrick Quinn. Patrick was a good friend to ATPAM and a tireless champion of the rights of working people in the Theatre Industry. He will be sorely missed. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. Please know that our thoughts are with the membership of Equity, his partner Marty and Patrick's family.
Pamela Berlin, President
Patrick was an inspiring colleague. He had the uncanny ability to get to the heart and truth of an issue with intelligence, depth, humor and an incredible respect for people on both sides of the table. And he knew how to listen. We at SSDC will always remember our meetings and conversations with Patrick as that wonderful mix of collegial professionalism and warm fraternity. We were so looking forward to this next chapter in his and all of our lives. We will miss him terribly.