Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Paul Laughlin Oct. 23, 1936 - March 10, 2014 Longtime Actor in Little Lake Productions

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Paul Laughlin Oct. 23, 1936 - March 10, 2014 Longtime Actor in Little Lake Productions

Article excerpt

To earn a picture on the Little Lake Theatre Wall of Fame, you have to have worked in 20 shows. Paul Laughlin, a lawyer and an actor at heart, appeared in 85 productions at the theater, where he was honored last year with the Will Disney Award for enrichment and support of the company.

Mr. Laughlin, 77, of Mt. Lebanon died Monday. In November, he had been diagnosed with the rare nerve disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome, which apparently progressed quickly over the weekend.

Among Mr. Laughlin's roles at Little Lake was one that combined his love of theater and the law, Matthew Harrison Brady in the play "Inherit the Wind." He also played the role in a special production of the play at the Allegheny County Courthouse in 1988.

More often, he was cast in drawing-room comedies. On Valentine's Day, he and his wife of 35 years, Priscilla, performed "Love Letters" for the Baldwin Players at the Castle Shannon Borough Building.

"This is rather prophetic," said Mrs. Laughlin, a sometimes actress, costume maker and supporter of local theater with her husband. "Last season at South Park Theatre, he was in something called 'The Last Romance.' Then we were both in 'Romeo and Juliet' - - as Lord and Lady Montague -- and then we had an opportunity to do 'Love Letters.' That was a treat because we didn't get to play husband and wife often."

Mrs. Laughlin recalled meeting her husband through friends. "The first time I saw him, he was acting at Little Lake," she said.

Sunny Fitchett, whose father, the late Will Disney, founded the Canonsburg theater that she now runs with her husband, Robert, often directed Mr. Laughlin, who served as a board member.

"He said [the British comedy] 'Move Over, Mrs. Markham' was his favorite, and he did a lot of A.R. Gurney plays because that was sort of Paul. He was this distinguished gentleman -- a very liberal distinguished gentleman -- and such a kind soul," Mrs. Fitchett said.

Mr. Laughlin graduated from the now-defunct Dormont High School and was a wide receiver on the Villanova University football team, as well as class president and valedictorian, Class of '58. A veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Mr. …

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