Norman Skaggs, respected actor, proud father, passionate reader, true friend and a mainstay of his Venice, California neighborhood, died of cancer on August 9, 2013 at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica. He was 58.
Born in New London, Connecticut, Skaggs was the youngest child and only son of Belgium-born Denise Godenne and American Gordon Skaggs. Perhaps in response to his parents' different cultural backgrounds, Skaggs possessed a scholar's affection for language coupled with a passion for sports.
A star athlete in high school, he studied languages as intently as he did football playbooks. He went on to star on the football team at Colby College, but injury interrupted Skaggs' collegiate football career and instead he spent his junior year studying in Besancon, France. He returned fluent in French and hopelessly in love with the theatre. His major changed to literature and, though his devotion to sports never wavered, his career path changed dramatically.
Skaggs went on to study theatre at the University of Connecticut, and later moved to New York City for an apprenticeship with the internationally acclaimed avant-garde theatre company, Mabou Mines. He then headed to San Francisco for advanced training at the American Conservatory Theatre.
Skaggs became a regular feature at a number of prestigious theatres in the Bay area. Most notably, he was cast as Coyote in the Magic Theatre's production of The Coyote Cycle, toured internationally in Sam Shepard's Fool for Love and headlined Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo.
Skaggs relocated to Los Angeles and worked steadily in film and television throughout the eighties and nineties. He landed plum parts in a series of Movies of the Week: Decoration Day, Shadow of a Doubt, Chrome Soldiers, the Flood and Getting Out.
Within the last five years, Skaggs re-surfaced as a member of the Pacific Resident Theatre Ensemble, and was featured in Mary Rose, Informed Consent and Simpatico. He will be sorely missed.
Skaggs is survived by his aunts Baroness Ghislaine Godenne and Dr. Mary McCrea-Curnen, his uncle Dr. Jacques Godenne and aunt Elizabeth, by his sisters Audrey Fay and Yvonne Simms, and by his two greatest loves, his wife Mihal Shapiro Skaggs and their 8 year old daughter Ariella.
SKAGGS, Norm (Norman Charles Godenne Skaggs)
Born: 2/16/1955, New London, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Died: 8/9/2013, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
Norm Skaggs’ western – actor:
The Young Riders (TV) - 1990