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In Appreciation: Todd Haimes

Todd Haimes, a major force of New York theater who rescued the Roundabout Theater Company and developed it into one of the country’s premier nonprofit theaters, died Wednesday in New York City due to complications of osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. He was 66.

Haimes’ death was confirmed by his representation. The theater exec had been undergoing treatment for the cancer, which he had been living with since a diagnosis in 2002.

Born May 7, 1956, in New York City, Haimes earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. at Yale. After living in Connecticut and serving tenures at the Hartman Theater Company in Stamford and the Westport Country Playhouse, he returned to New York. In 1989, he became producing director of Roundabout, adding the position of chief executive in 2015.

Haimes led the Roundabout across four decades, serving as its artistic director and chief executive officer. Once approaching bankruptcy in the ’80s, the organization now runs three of the 41 theaters on Broadway, as well as two off-Broadway spaces. Over the years, Roundabout productions have won 34 Tony Awards, 58 Drama Desk Awards, 73 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 21 Lucille Lortel Awards and 14 Obie Awards.

At the age of 26, Haimes joined Roundabout as managing director. He opened the Criterion Center at Broadway and 45th Street in 1991, with early successes including “Anna Christie,” starring Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson, and a revival of “She Loves Me.” Roundabout then acquired the Selwyn Theatre, now the American Airlines Theatre, which opened in 2000 with “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and serves as the organization’s hub.

Roundabout’s biggest triumphs include the 1998 revival of “Cabaret,” which was threatened by a construction accident in its early performances before recovering and running for nearly six years. The company’s 2020 revival of “A Soldier’s Play” is now touring.

Under Haimes’ tenure, Roundabout has also launched community efforts, such as Education at Roundabout, which reaches 4,000 students annually to foster backstage careers for underserved youth.