Austin actor, producer and educator Billy Harden has died


Billy Harden, co-founder of Spectrum Theatre Company, died Tuesday of colon cancer. He was 64.

An Austin actor, producer and educator, Harden appeared in many shows with Spectrum, Zach Theatre and various permutations of Austin Playhouse.

“(I’m) wrecked today at the loss of Billy Harden,” Lara Toner Haddock, artistic director of Austin Playhouse, said Tuesday. “I met Billy when I was 12 years old and for 30 years he served as an unparalleled example of kindness and integrity. … I’m grateful to have known him and so saddened by his loss.”

Harden earned a doctorate in educational leadership and served as a teacher, instructional coach and administrator. He was former head of school at Goodwill Industries’ charter school and assistant principal at the Austin school…

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