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Beloved playwright succumbs to cancer

Washington County playwright and theater reviewer Darrell Baker died last Friday, July 3, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Survivors include his wife, Tina Arth. Beaverton residents Arth and Baker co-wrote two plays and reviewed countless Washington County theater productions. Well known and liked in the local theater community, Baker attended nearly every show at county community theaters and wrote encouraging, fair reviews of each work with his wife, always accenting them with an appreciation for those who are brave enough to get on stage.

HART Theatre put on the couple’s “Crazy Old Man” last year, and upon hearing of Baker’s illness, Theatre in the Grove presented a one-weekend showing of the pair’s “Somebody’s Ripper” this June.Darrell Baker

“Our second greatest accomplishment as a couple in 42 years (after [our son] Evan, who leaves the competition in the dust by a mile) was Theatre in the Grove’s exquisite production of this show, and a joy in my top 3 was being able to sit with him in the theater just 9 days ago at opening night,” Arth wrote on the couple’s Westside Theater Reviews Facebook page.

“He led an amazing life. Digs in the Canary Islands, Egypt, Hawaii with Thor Heyerdahl, Donald Redford, Don Ryan. Author of the definitive discographical work on Sir Harry Lauder, and the stunningly comprehensive Encyclopedia of the Egyptian Pharaohs that is in daily use at the British Museum, as well as earning shelf space in the world’s greatest universities,” the post continued.

A celebration of life is anticipated in September, when friends of Baker’s can share kind words and memories or a short performance.

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