Shirley Herz, a veteran theater publicist who received an honorary Tony Award in 2009, died on August 11 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. The cause was complications from a stroke suffered on July 18. She had recently undergone brain surgery for a blood clot. Herz was 87.
During her almost 65-year theater career, Herz publicized hundreds of Broadway and off-Broadway productions, films and TV shows. Herz’s career highlights included representing the original Tony Award-winning productions of La Cage aux Folles, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? and Dancing at Lughnasa, the 1989 revival of Gypsy, starring Tyne Daly, and the 2005 revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Her other theater credits included Do Re Me, 3 Penny Opera, Jerry’s Girls, Perfectly Frank, Legs Diamond, The Royal Family, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Singin’ in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof, On Golden Pond and Oh! Calcutta!.
In 2009, The American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League awarded Herz a special Tony Award for "Excellence in Theater," given to "individuals that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theater but are not eligible in any of the established Tony categories." A year later, she received the Theatre Hall of Fame Founders Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Theatre.
Herz is survived by her husband, Herbert Boley, whom she married in 1948. Broadway theaters will dim their lights this week to pay tribute to the passing of Herz. Theater marquees will go dark for one minute at 8 PM on August 14 in honor of the late actor.