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Larry D. Clark, Ph.D.

September 18, 1932 - December 24, 2014

With sadness we announce that Dr. Larry Dale Clark, Dean Emeritus of the College of Arts and Science and Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the University of Missouri, passed away at age 82 in Columbia, Missouri.

Larry D. Clark began his career in higher education at the University of Iowa in 1963. He came to the University of Missouri in 1966 as an assistant professor of speech and dramatic art. He was an artist, scholar, director, leader, teacher and colleague. His service to MU and the field of Theatre was extensive. His accomplishments were many, including receiving the prestigious gold medallion from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He served as President of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. He was also one of the founding members of the Mid-America Theatre Conference. Throughout the last decade of his life, he continued to serve on doctoral committees and support the MU Dept. of Theatre program.

Several years ago, Dr. Suzanne Burgoyne established the Larry Clark Scholarship to aid graduate student with travel expenses when they presented their research at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference.

Larry assisted the department with reading conference papers and selecting recipients. He was co-author of the popular acting text Acting is Believing, now in it’s 12th edition.

During his career as a Professor of Theatre, Clark was active on the national scene and was elected President of three professional organizations devoted to the educational aspects of theatre. He was an exceptionally well-known figure in the American College Theatre Festival, serving as festival critic for hundreds of plays during its first 20 years. The plays he mounted covered a broad range of dramatic literature from the classics to Sam Shepard.

His production of Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" was particularly praised. It starred one of Clark's young students, Tom Moore, who went on to establish a distinguished motion picture career as the popular actor, Tom Berenger. Berenger leads a long list of Professor Clark's former acting students who are now earning their living in motion pictures, the theatre, or both.

A few years ago Dr. David Crespy helped establish the Larry Clark Actor's workshop to help students develop different theatrical skills in areas such as acting styles, movement, masks, voice and dialects. The workshop will continue to honor Professor Clark's legacy.

After a distinguished career as a teacher of acting and directing, during which he directed dozens of plays, Dr. Clark was selected as dean of the University of Missouri’s College of Arts and Science in 1988. He was an unflagging worker during his deanship, and his tenure marked many milestones in the life of the university, including receipt of the first million dollar gift to the College.

He retired from the University in 1999 with titles of both Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus.