Hollis Resnik (1954-2022)
Hollis Resnik’s many credits included Eva Peron in “Evita” at the Candlelight (1985); Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors” at Candlelight (1986); a stunning Edith Piaf in “Piaf” at Interplay (1992); "Songs for a New World" at Apple Tree; Charlotte in “A Little Night Music” at Goodman Theatre; Edith Beale in “Grey Gardens” at Northlight Theatre; and Norma Desmond in Porchlight Music Theatre's "Sunset Boulevard; " Aldonza in “Man of La Mancha” at Court (2005); Edith Beale in “Grey Gardens” at Northlight; Carlotta in Gary Griffin’s famed production “Follies” at Chicago Shakespeare (2011) and an especially memorable Fräulein Schneider in Katie Spelman’s 2018 production of “Cabaret” at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. Hers was a familiar presence onstage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Porchlight Music Theatre, Court Theatre and the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook. Her career was long enough to reach back to the Candlelight Theatre in Summit, when she appeared in a series of ingénue roles.
Hollis’ national tours included “Sister Act”, and years of work on “Les Miserables” (including a triumphant six-month run at the Auditorium Theatre in 1989).
She won a dozen Joseph Jefferson Awards and a plethora of other honors.
Hollis rarely made large salaries and also appeared in children’s theater, including a full-on performance as the Wicked Witch in a daytime production of “The Wizard of Oz” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2019.
Terry James, executive director of the Marriott Theatre, said “We have lost a dear friend, and Chicago has lost a theater legend.”
Originally from the Cleveland area and born in 1955, Resnik arrived in Chicago (after graduating from Denison University) at the age of 23, got her Equity card doing “Bye Bye Birdie” for Bill Pullinsi at Candlelight, and made a life in the professional theater here.
Hollis is survived by her parents Betty and Reginald Resnik, brothers Paul and Mark Resnik, and sister-in-law Mary Resnik.