On Tuesday, November 6, Robert Grande Weiss – nothing short of a legend in Santa Barbara’s theater community – passed away. The director, known most recently for his work with the Ensemble Theatre Company, was 71.
Grande Weiss, who was awarded The Independent‘s prestigious Local Hero Award in 2004, had been struggling for many months with a recurrence of cancer, according to Peter Lackner. He spent his last days in hospice at Sarah House, where he died on November 6 at 7:40 p.m., with Emma Jane-Huerta and Richard McLaughlin at his side; they assure that he passed on without pain. His son Pablo had also spent a great deal of time with Grande Weiss in the last few months, according to Lackner.
In an email to friends and family, Lackner wrote, “For decades, Robert was a pillar of strength and inspiration in the Santa Barbara cultural community, a friend to many, playing a major role in many peoples’ lives and careers. But enough praises for now, because YOU know who Robert was, and because I am sure there will be some form of memorial event at which his life and art will be duly commemorated.”