The theater world mourns the passing of Chicago actress Hollis Resnik

Hollis Resnik
Hollis Resnik at The Porchlight Theatre

Hollis Resnik, the Chicago based actor known for her theatre roles in Sunset Boulevard and Les Misérables, and a host of critically acclaimed performances, passed away at the age of 67.

A twelve-time Joseph Jefferson Award winner and the 1992 winner of the Sarah Siddons Award, Resnik played lead roles in scores of musicals at Chicago area theaters such as the Porchlight Music Theatre, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Mercury Theater, the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, the Chicago Goodman Theatre, and more.

Rev. Jim Heneghan, a family friend and spokesperson, confirmed the sad news and said that Resnik’s ex-husband, musician, Thomas Mendel, was by her side when she passed.

Although Hollis Resnik was born in Euclid, Ohio, Chicago will always be her home. It was there that she met and began working with Bill Pullinsi, the Founder and Artistic Director of Candlelight Playhouse. Her first stage performance was Bye, Bye, Birdie at the Candlelight in 1978. From then on, Resnik would be a consistent player in the Chicago theatre scene.

Some of her Chicago performances include,  Eva Peron in Evita at the Candelight, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors at Candlelight, Edith Piaf in Piaf at Interplay, Charlotte in A Little Night Music at the Ravinia Festival, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha at Court, Edith Beale in Grey Gardens at Northlight, and Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

Her many friends and fans gave their condolences on social media.

Although she had announced her retirement a few years ago, Resnik continued to find opportunities to keep doing what she loved. Most recently appearing in Sister Act in the role of Mother Superior at the Mercury Theater Chicago, and as the Wicked Witch at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

According to Rev. Jim Heneghan, “She was moving gracefully into retirement, and she talked about doing concerts. She was also looking into opportunities and parts in New York, but she didn’t want to fly there because of COVID concerns. She was at a point in her life where she could pick and choose and weigh her options carefully and take her time.”

#hollisresnik #inmemoriam


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