Thomas P. Kelly Jr., professor and dean at Loyola Marymount University, died on April 7. He was 91.
Kelly was a professor emeritus and former dean of LMU’s College of Communication and Fine Arts and School of Film. During his 29-year tenure at LMU, he won several Teacher of the Year awards and was known for his passion for the arts and devotion to students.
He was also a filmmaker, actor and producer. He won an Oscar in 1967 for his documentary short “A Year Toward Tomorrow” and was nominated for his 1969 documentary short “A Space to Grow,” which focused on Upward Bound programs in Chicago.
At Providence College, Kelly wrote a musical that was a campus success and then pursued a career in theater. While working as an expeditor at Sikorsky Aircraft in Bridgeport, Conn., Kelly moonlighted at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Theater, where he worked on productions like “King John.”
After earning a masters degree in drama at Catholic University of America, Kelly landed a job as an actor and company manager at Players, Incorporated (now known as the National Players), the longest-running classical touring company in the U.S. While managing the company across national and European tours, Kelly played Baptista and Tranio in “Taming of the Shrew” and Capulet in “Romeo and Juliet.”
In 1960, Kelly worked at Norwood Studios in Washington, D.C., as a writer, director and producer. He co-produced “A Visit to Washington With Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson on Behalf of a More Beautiful America,” which won a Peabody Award in 1966. Later, he served as the in-house film producer and writer at the Office of Economic Opportunity, the chief agency in President Johnson’s War on Poverty initiatives.
Tom is survived by his children, Thomas, Joseph, Regina, John, J. Matthew, Elizabeth and William; his grandchildren, Sean, Chantal, Joseph, Jr., Veronica, Amelia, Genevieve, Ava, Hudson, Riley, Vivienne and Marguerite; his brother-in-law Chris, and his sisters-in-law Mary, Anita and Nancy.
A memorial mass will be held on July 10 at American Martyrs Catholic Church in Manhattan Beach, Calif. In lieu of flowers, Kelly’s family asks that donations in Tom’s honor be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.