Kevin KenneallY (1959-2023)
Chicago stage actor Kevin Kenneally passed away peacefully at 63 after a valiant fight with leukemia.
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Kevin received a BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and enjoyed a theatrical career spanning over two decades on numerous Chicago stages.
Kevin performed lead and supporting roles in numerous Chicago theatres: Ben Hubbard in "The Little Foxes" at Shattered Globe Theatre, Reverend Baines in "Golden Child" at Silk Road Theatre Ensemble, Fred in "The Lady from Dubuque" at Organic Theatre, Gooper in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, Ben in "Death of a Salesman" at The Hypocrites, Thomas Putnam in "The Crucible" (Jeff Citations for Best Production and Best Ensemble) at TimeLine Theatre, Penniman in "Another Part of the Forest" (Jeff Citations for Best Production and Best Ensemble) at Eclipse Theatre, James Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey into Night" at Polarity Ensemble Theatre and other productions at Shattered Globe, Remains Theatre, Raven Theatre, Prop Theatre and others. He also understudied several roles for Remy Bumpo, Lookingglass Theatre, Victory Gardens, Fox Theatrical and Naked Eye Theatre Company.
He was lauded for his role of Ben Hubbard in "The Little Foxes" by none other than the Wall Street Journal: "As for Kevin Kenneally, who plays Ben, the brains of the Hubbard family, his silken performance is a study of malice so sharply etched that you'll shudder every time he smiles."
Kevin also appeared in several film projects in the 1980's, most notably "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," where his ad lib was kept in the movie and resulted in residuals for years.
In addition to theatre, he also spent a year in the late 1980's working for his beloved Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. He and his dear friend, fellow Chicago and LA actor Marc Vann, met when they both worked for Hubbard Street Dance Studio. And for over 20 years, he was a Licensing Specialist at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP.
Kevin demonstrated his noble heart when a new play that he was in rehearsals for underwent a rewrite and his part was cut. He never complained but came to opening night and supported the remaining cast. All through his diagnosis and treatment of leukemia, he was positive, matter-of-fact and very brave.
Kevin met his wife Jeanie through a Reader personal ad over 28 years ago and they were together the rest of his life, sharing a love of science fiction, cats, comic books and 'The Big Bang Theory.'
A Celebration of Life for Kevin is planned for later this year and more information regarding that event will be available this fall.