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William Thomas Seres

"All the world's his stage, too!"

in memoriam  in memoriam

Remembered by Wally Carbone:

I didn't know Bill Seres well while we attended NRHS. We did compete for the role of John the Witch Boy in our senior year production of "Dark of the Moon." That I, someone who had never acted a minute on stage in my life, got the role over the seasoned, talented Bill Seres was shocking to anyone that knew better - convincing all that Mr. Morgan, the director, had clearly lost his marbles.

Bill and I went on to Emerson College in Boston, where, together we were theater majors. The first week of our freshman year he auditioned at the prestigious American Repertory Theater at Harvard. The play was Arthur Miller’s "View from the Bridge." He walked off with the lead role, ahead of Tommy Lee Jones… who everyone thought would be a lock until Bill read.

I remember Bill waltzing into my dorm room and confirming he had gotten the lead role… the character’s name was Eddie Carbone. He told me he was determined to be a more convincing, authentic “Carbone” than I was. We had that kind of a relationship.

Through the years at Emerson we took classes together, acted together, directed each other and became good friends. In our junior year we decided to form a travelling repertory group. We called ourselves “Theater Six” - you guessed it, because there were six actors. It was a blissful, crazy summer. We had two vans which transported everything - costumes, sets and the six of us. We performed Shakespeare, Thurber, Albee at dozens of venues throughout Pennsylvania - between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia… crumbling theaters, church basements, tents… we slept in flea bag motels, in the spare rooms of strangers' houses. We were 20 years old, our own bosses, doing what we loved - life couldn't have been better.

After Emerson, I lost touch with Bill and we didn't meet again until our 25th NRHS reunion. That night Bill looked dapper, as ever - dressed meticulously to the nines. He was then manager of the men’s department at Bloomingdale's in White Plains. I recalled laughing a lot with him... maybe drinking too much… reminiscing… remembering how we had turned down one of our Emerson classmates who auditioned for our acting group. His name was Henry Winkler. We remembered him confronting us afterward and telling us that we would regret missing the opportunity to work with him because one day he would become “a household word.” And of course several years later he became “the Fonz.”

I didn't ask Bill what had happened to his theater career. I was still making a living at the film biz and knew all too well how much luck and good fortune had helped. The Bill Seres I know was one of the most accomplished actors… a beautiful sonorous speaking voice, with graceful stage movement. He was scrupulous to a fault with his preparation… just a brilliant talent.

I did ask him if he had done any acting recently, and he said “yes… in the shower.” I asked what kind of plays he performs in the shower and he said, “…only Shakespeare… his soliloquies.”

I know each of us will most likely die in the middle of something… a story, a sentence and idea. I like to think that Bill died in the middle of a soliloquy. Yes, that would have been perfect.

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