In memory of "a consummate craftsman," actor Jeff Norton

On Sunday night, actor Jeffrey Charles Norton was found in his St. Petersburg home, apparently bludgeoned to death. His passing is a shock to everyone in the theater community and an immeasurable tragedy.

I didn't know Jeff very well, but I reviewed him numerous times, and I produced one interview with him in the first years of my life as CL's theater critic. What I did know, even in 1998 when I started this job, was that he was the most respected actor in the Tampa Bay area, and the model of a serious approach to performing. Other actors spoke of him with reverence, and when Norton took the stage over the years — for example in Camping with Henry and Tom at American Stage, or The Crucible at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, or Uncle Vanya at Banyan Theatre in Sarasota — the audience was treated to a distinguished performance by a consummate craftsman.