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Theater Caricaturist and Former Drama Desk President Sam Norkin Has Died

By New York City
Sam Norkin Self-Portrait
(© Sam Norkin)
Sam Norkin Self-Portrait
(© Sam Norkin)
Sam Norkin, a theater caricaturist and illustrator, passed away this morning. He was 94.

His illustrations chronicled stage productions on and off Broadway, as well as opera, ballet and film, and were published in the New York Herald Tribune, Daily News, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe, among other places. His drawings, along with reminiscences, were collected in the book Sam Norkin: Drawings - Stories, published by Heinemann, in 1994.

In addition, Norkin was a past President of the Drama Desk, designed the original Drama Desk Awards plaque, and served on the organization's board of directors. In June 2011, the Drama Desk Board of Directors established an annual special award in his memory -- the Sam Norkin Off Broadway Award -- which will be presented for the first time at the 67th Annual Drama Desk Awards in 2012.

Among the awards Norkin received over the years include ones for "Outstanding Theater Art" from the League of American Theatres and Producers (1980); "Lifetime Body of Work" from the Drama Desk (1995); and two awards from the National Cartoonists Society: the "Special Features Award" (1980) and the "Silver T-Square Award" (1984).

Norkin is survived by his wife, Frances; son Richard Norkin and wife Mary; daughter Laura DeSena and husband Fred; Frances' daughter Sue Fallon; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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