Shuman, Felix A revered member of Chicago's theater community, died on January 3, 2012 after a brief age related illness. Mr. Shuman was 87. He performed many character roles in the now closed In the Round theater, where he eventually took over as director. During this period of his career he, along with Guy Barile, Aviva Crane, and June Haver, originated the Joseph Jefferson Committee that still honors Chicago theater productions and the individuals that make theater happen. Joseph Jefferson awards are to Chicago what the Tonys are to New York. Mr. Shuman was twice nominated for Jeff Awards for direction of musical comedy. He also was an actor in motion pictures with character roles in Damien Omen II and The Fury in 1978, Dreamer in 1979, Four Friends and On the Right Track in 1981, Will, the autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy in 1982, and Music Box in 1989. After a successful career as a theater actor and director, Mr. Shuman turned to voice-over acting in commercials for a wide range of products including Kellogg's cereals, Miracle Whip salad dressing, and Aldi's, for whom he was the signature voice for many years. Mr. Shuman was a member of the Chicago Shakespeare Workshop led by Barbara Gaines. He performed in several productions of that group, which later become Chicago Shakespeare Theater now housed on Navy Pier and a world renowned theater company. Mr. Shuman was an early supporter of the Hubbard Street Dance Company, whose founder and artistic director, Lou Conte, worked under Mr. Shuman's direction at In the Round Theater as a choreographer. Mr. Shuman and Mr. Conte enjoyed a life-long friendship. In his retirement, Mr. Shuman was a subscriber and financial supporter of many of the theater companies that make Chicago one of the most vibrant theatrical cities in the world. Up until only a few weeks before his death he led an active social life with several engagements each week attending theater productions, dance events, and the Chicago Symphony. He is survived by a sister, Mary Frances Madison, of Johnson City, TX, a nephew, Sam Foster, of Hermosa Beach, CA, and a niece, Norvene Vest, of Charlottesville, VA. There will be no services. However, a memorial will be held at a later date.
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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on January 14, 2012