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UW Alumna Fran Bennett — Revered Actor — Passes Away

The death of University of Wisconsin alumna Fran Bennett, 84, on September 11, 2021, was announced just a few days later in The Hollywood Reporter. After receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the UW, Ms. Bennett went on to a distinguished stage and screen career, winning, among many honors, the NAACP Theatre Award and the Screen Actors Guild Diversity Award. Renowned for her roles in everything from Shakespeare to Star Trek: The Next Generation — and an inductee into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame — Ms. Bennett was also a much-sought-after teacher. One of Ms. Bennett’s final official interactions with her alma mater was insisting in summer 2021 that her name be added as a signatory to an ensemble support letter asking the UW to restore the good name of fellow alum, Hollywood Golden Age icon and racial-justice giant Fredric March.

More Alumni Notes

Leah Hunter ’05 has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as associate commissioner for external affairs, where she oversees agency-wide communications activities regarding the FDA’s public health and regulatory activities.