Volume 74, Number 53 | May 11 - 17 , 2005

Elizabeth Owens, 77, stage actress and a resident of Penn South co-op

Elizabeth Owens, a Penn South resident in Chelsea with her husband, Gene Feist, and an actress long associated with Feist’s Roundabout Theater, died March 8 of breast cancer at the age of 77.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago and had survived a remission until a recent recurrence, her husband said.

Elizabeth Owens, whose nonprofessional name was Kathe Feist, received her early training with Sandy Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse and studied also with Stella Adler. She performed with Erwin Piscator’s Dramatic Workshop at the New School where she acted with Walter Matthau, Elaine Stritch, Shelley Winters, Harry Belafonte and Marlon Brando.

On Off-Broadway, she played in Llorca’s “Yerman” at Circle in the Square, Gertrude Stein’s “Dr. Faustus Lights” at Living Theater and the American premier of Jean Genet’s “The Maids.”

Her Broadway debut was in 1956 in Leslie Stevens’s “The Lovers” starring Joanne Woodward and Hurd Hatfield.

She married Gene Feist in 1957 and together they revived the New Theater, in Nashville, Tenn. Her career included national tours of “The Winslow Boy,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Me and My Girl” and “The Sound of Music,”

In 1965, Gene Feist founded The Roundabout Theater, which occupied space in the Penn South supermarket before moving to Broadway. At Roundabout, Elizabeth Owens appeared in more than 30 plays over the next 25 years.

In addition to her husband, her two daughters, Gena and Nicole, and a grandson, all of Penn South, survived.

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