Jerome Kilty

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Jerome Timothy Kilty (born June 24, 1922 – died September 6, 2012[1]) was an American actor and playwright. He wrote Dear Liar: A Comedy of Letters, a play that had a successful run in New York, which was based on the correspondence of famed playwright George Bernard Shaw and actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell. He worked extensively on the stage, both in the United States and abroad.

Personal life[edit]

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland of Irish descent on his father's side, but raised on the Pala Indian Reservation, San Diego County, California.[why?] He wed actress Cavada Humphrey (June 17, 1919 – July 11, 2007), who was three years his senior, on May 11, 1956.[2] Humphrey died in 2007, aged 88.


His other notable plays include Dear Love, a love story based on the poems and letters of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; The Ides of March, dealing with the actions and events surrounding the end of the Roman Empire; and The Little Black Book, wherein a lawyer falls in love with girl number 134 from his little black book. His play, Look Away, based on the book, Mary Todd Lincoln, by Justin and Linda Levitt, is set in an insane asylum exploring the title character's life. Starring Geraldine Page, it closed after 24 previews and just one performance, but Maya Angelou was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. In the early days of American television, he acted in numerous programs, including The United States Steel Hour, Kraft Television Theatre, The Alcoa Hour, Studio One, and Hallmark Hall of Fame.[citation needed]

South Africa[edit]

Kilty and Humphrey toured the world performing Dear Liar, beginning in 1964. They were also the first duo to internationally tour in the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, including performances in South Africa. At the insistence of playwright Edward Albee, Virginia Woolf was to be presented only before integrated audiences. The play opened in Port Elizabeth and then moved to Durban, receiving strong reviews (favorable and unfavorable) in both cities, with a more negative response in Durban, where one critic called it "dirt-laden debris".[citation needed] In the less provincial, more cosmopolitan Johannesburg, the press was more encouraging. But people who may or may not have seen the show expressed their outrage in letters to the government. In response, Jan de Klerk, South Africa's then Minister of the Interior ordered that performances be suspended in Johannesburg while waiting for a report from the official Board of Censors to ensure that the play was "not contrary to public interest or good morals", in effect banning the play.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Jerome Kilty, Who Made a Career of Interpreting Shaw, Dies at 90". 
  2. ^ Film Reference biodata

External links[edit]