Thursday, July 13, 2017

RIP Robert Lesko

Los Angeles Times
July 13, 2017

BUSINESS EXECUTIVE TURNED PROFESSIONAL ACTOR Robert Lesko was a true Renaissance man who had an accomplished business career, ending as a corporate officer at AT&T, and then pursued his passion as an actor in Los Angeles. As a young man, Lesko was a member of the University of Notre Dame's legendary football team. He was a man who was as comfortable in the boardroom of a Fortune 500 company as he was performing on stage or on a football or rugby team. Lesko received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1964 from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. He was a classically trained actor who received his MFA from the Catholic University of America in 1979. Surrounded by his loving family, Lesko peacefully passed away on June 26, 2017 at the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California after a valiant battle with a rare lung disease. He was 74. Lesko's signature artistic achievement was authoring and performing his one-man show about Benjamin Franklin titled "B. Franklin," which the "Huffington Post," described as "superb" and "sublime." "Working with Bob on his triumphant drama project was joyous. He was ever diligent, cooperative, imaginative, tireless, curious, and brimming with bonhomie," said director Bjorn Johnson. According to veteran actor Eric Pierpoint, "It was an absolutely riveting night of theatre. For years Bob would talk about his fascination with Ben Franklin and the American Revolution. His painstaking research and meticulous attention to detail paid off in a truly authentic and brilliant performance of his play." Lesko was a television, film and stage actor who was a long-time member of Actors' Equity and the Screen Actors' Guild. His television and film credits include "The Young and the Restless" (CBS), "The Toy Maker," "Who Flew," "TV Virus," "The Passion According to John," "One Problem Leads to Another," "Bearskin" (PBS), and "Countdown To Looking Glass" (HBO). On Los Angeles stages he appeared in "Room Service," "Fernando," and "Both" at The Open Fist Theatre, the operetta "Charlotte: Life? Or Theatre" at the Met Theatre, and "The Heiress," "Iphigenia in Aulis," "The Circle," and an evening of one-act comedies with Circus Theatricals (now the New American Theatre). He appeared in numerous productions of the original musical "Life Begins Again." At Arena Stage in Washington, DC he appeared in "Undiscovered Country," "Galileo," and "After The Fall." Lesko also performed in "Richard III" at the Folger Shakespeare Theater and in "The Miser" and "The Tenth Man" at the Olney Theater Center. He performed in other regional theater productions in the Washington, DC area, including "Flesheaters," "Macbeth," "The Seagull," "A Man For All Seasons," "Stephan D.," "Antony and Cleopatra," and "King Lear." Residing for many years in Georgetown in Washington, DC, Robert Lesko also had a noteworthy and long career in business as a management consultant. As a corporate officer at AT&T, Lesko led AT&T's global consulting and network integration business unit. Earlier, he was a partner with Deloitte & Touche, where he led its banking consulting practice in North America, specializing in large-scale operational and information systems. He worked with clients such as Citibank, Norwest Bank (now Wells Fargo), Prudential Life Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Universal Card, the Irish National Bank, National Australia Bank, and Lloyds Bank. He was a member of several corporate boards, including AT&T Solutions, Inc., AvantGo Inc., and Software A&E, Inc. Lesko also served on charitable boards at OXFAM-AMERICA, VSA arts (formerly Very Special Arts), and the Friends of the Hartke Theatre at Catholic University. He was a visiting faculty member in the graduate business programs at George Washington University and American University. For the past thirteen years he resided in Pasadena, California, with his wife Kathleen, a research scholar and writer at the Huntington Library, whose career had been at Georgetown University and the Folger Shakespeare Library. He was born on September 24, 1942 to Joseph and Irene Lesko, and was raised in Homestead, Pennsylvania, where his family operated a funeral home across the street from the historic Homestead Steel Works on the Monongahela River. Lesko is survived by his wife Kathleen, his sons Mark and Bob, their wives Karen and Sarah, his sisters Catherine and Mary Jo, his brothers Jim and Tim, and his three grandsons Risley, Dylan, and Justin. Lesko was preceded in death by his beloved brother Richard. A funeral service is scheduled for Friday, July 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Church, 1501 Fremont Avenue, in South Pasadena, California, with a reception to follow. Msgr. Clement J. Connolly along with concelebrants Fr. Charles L. Currie, SJ, and Fr. Mark Nowel, OP, will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Lesko's life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the retirement community for those in the entertainment industry at the Motion Picture & Television Fund, Wasserman Campus, Suite 220, 23388 Mulholland Drive, Woodland Hills, California 91364. Note that your donation is in tribute of Robert Lesko.

LESKO, Robert (Robert Joseph Lesko)
Born: 9/24/1942, Homestead, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 6/26/2017, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.

Robert Lesko’s western – actor:
Bearskin: or The Man Who Didn’t Wash for Seven Years – 1984 (Innkeeper)

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