• Bella Itkin

DePaul University has announced that esteemed acting teacher Bella Itkin passed away February 9 at age 90. Dr. Itkin was the daughter of actor and director David Itkin, a Russian émigré who taught at the Goodman and helped shape its identity as a European-style theater conservatory. Bella, who arrived in America from Russia in 1932, graduated from the Goodman School in 1943 and spent more than 50 years teaching there and at its successor, the Theatre School of DePaul University. Her noted students include Geraldine Page, Linda Hunt, Joe Mantegna, Kevin Anderson, and Harvey Korman. She also served as artistic director of the Goodman Children’s Theatre, which was for many Chicago kids in the 1950s and ’60s their first exposure to high-quality live theater. As such, she was a huge influence on the development of Chicago’s homegrown theater. Dr. Itkin’s death comes a week after the death of longtime Second City producer Joyce Sloane, marking the passing of two of Chicago theater’s most prominent, influential, and gifted women.