THE ICON: Stocker Fontelieu
THE LEGACY: With his commanding presence, sonorous voice and an undeniable confidence in whatever he undertook, Stocker Fontelieu was a dominant presence on New Orleans stages for nearly 60 years. In addition to performing, he directed at theaters throughout the area, most notably at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, where he was executive director from 1961 to 1985. Janet Shea, an actress who worked with him frequently, praised Fontelieu’s ability to get exactly what he wanted from even the least-experienced thespian. Fontelieu also nurtured promising young talent; among actors who went on to national show-business careers after working with him were Bryan Batt of “Mad Men” and Ed Nelson of “Peyton Place.” In 2009, the curtain finally dropped on Fontelieu’s storied career, but he left behind rich, decades-long legacy as one of the true shining stars of the New Orleans stage.
THE ARTIST: Michael McManus
THE INSPIRATION: “He was theatrical, but, then, he WAS theater.” — Frank Gagnard, a retired Times-Picayune critic, in a 2009 interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune