Recognizing his memorable impact on the industry and his long association with this organization, ATPAM’s Board of Governors, at their October 25th Board meeting, unanimously voted to rename ATPAM’s conference room ‘The Merle Debuskey Conference Room.’
Merle Debuskey | Induction into The Theater Hall of Fame
Brother Debuskey passed away on September 25 at the age of 95 at the Lillian Booth Actors Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey. Merle was a stalwart and proud member of ATPAM for decades, serving as Board Member and as President of the Union for over 25 years. One of Broadway’s most prolific and influential Press Agents, Merle represented over 400 productions on Broadway and Off, among them A Chorus Line, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Raisin in the Sun, Hamlet (with Richard Burton), Jesus Christ Superstar, Dreamgirls, Amadeus, Woman of the Year, The Crucible and The Man of La Mancha.
Working alongside Joseph Papp, Merle helped bring the New York Shakespeare Festival into the spotlight. He helped fan the fires of the Off-Broadway scene in its early days and also was instrumental in bringing the Lincoln Center Theater to life.
Merle gave back to the community by serving on the Boards of both Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Actors Fund for many years.
He was the subject of a recent biography entitled ‘The Gentleman Press Agent: Fifty Years in the Theatrical Trenches with Merle Debuskey,’ by Robert Simonson, who also penned an obituary of Merle in Playbill. The New York Times published an obituary on September 27.
Merle’s beloved wife and companion Pearl died earlier this year.
We will not see his like ever again — on Broadway or anywhere else.