RIP Perry

Longtime Fort Worth theater critic dies after car accident

Longtime Fort Worth theater critic dies after car accident

Fort Worth Star-Telegram critic Perry Stewart
Perry Stewart began working for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1967. Photo by Mark Lowry, courtesy of TheaterJones

Perry Stewart, a longtime Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter, theater critic, and editor, has died. According to a Facebook post by arts website TheaterJones, he died on January 7; he was 75.

Stewart had been recovering from serious injuries sustained last October, when he was struck by a car while crossing the street near the Starbucks at Gaston and Haskell avenues.

Local arts advocate Lisa Taylor alerted the DFW theater community to Stewart's accident with a post on the D-FW Theater Facebook page. Near Christmas, she posted that he had been undergoing rehab at Autumn Leaves on White Rock Lake, an assisted living facility.

Stewart had been through several surgeries, and was in hospice with both feet still broken.

Stewart first began covering the arts for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1967. He was an avid member of the DFW Theater Critics Forum, and championed several local companies, performers, and artists.

In addition to theater, he wrote about blues, folk, and rock music in a weekly column called Nightcrawler, plus other arts such as film. In his 1977 review of Star Wars, he described it as "a boy's adventure yarn in the most traditional, unabashedly entertaining sense," and predicted the marketing avalanche, saying that there would "comics, calendars, and all manner of toys."

A native of Austin, Arkansas, Irvin Perry Stewart was a resident of East Dallas, known for his long lustrous gray locks, which he frequently wore in a pony tail; and his sweet, almost chivalrous nature. He was also a foodie by default, as the longtime partner of Dallas restaurant critic Betty Cook.

Survivors include a couple of cousins, one in Arkansas and another in Plano.

Services will be held on January 13 at 10 am at Grace United Methodist Church, where Stewart was a member.