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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Outstanding community theater actor dies in freak accident

"The Barn Theater's members (and fans) are mourning Tom Morrissey's death on Wednesday, a day after he was struck and killed by a box truck in a parking lot on Spruce Street in Oakland. Police said Morrissey tripped and fell before he was hit by the passing truck about 4 p.m.

Morrissey died of a head injury. The driver was not charged.

Morrissey, they said, could play the lead role in "Run for Your Wife" or fill the shoes of the constable in "Fiddler on the Roof" - the size of the part and the number of lines didn't matter.

"He didn't have ego that way," said Jeff Knapp, who directed Morrissey in about one play each year since 2003.

"We have this big hole in our community right now," said Knapp, who is also membership director of the theater. "I don't know that it can be filled. We're suffering a great loss."

Morrissey, 56, was a Lincoln Park resident and father of three sons and grandfather to one." Edited from

Here are our comments in 2016 when we awarded Tom our New Jersey Footlights award:

"For the past four years we have each December published our New Jersey Footlights awards. The winners come from both the professional and community stages. Yes, this is only January, but we have already picked one of the 2015 winners. The actor we have selected is Tom Morrissey of Lincoln Park (left above). His performance, particularly in the first act, is at a show stopper pro level. It may be an over used line, but to see his Ray is worth the price of the admission." (Rick Busciglio) 

Here are several pictures from Tom's performances at the Barn Theatre:

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