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Herbert E. Metz, professor emeritus of drama and of English in Arts and Sciences, died of complications stemming from heart failure Tuesday, Aug. 25, 1998, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He was 77.
Metz taught literature and drama at the University for 40 years. He directed dozens of productions for the Performing Arts Department in Arts and Sciences, including his own original plays "The Artificial Princess" (1959) and "Romance Language" (1973).
"Herb was one of the most popular and effective teachers we've ever had," said Henry I. Schvey, Ph.D., professor and chair of performing arts. "He personified the values of modesty, integrity, generosity and, above all, passion for the theater that we hope to instill in our students."
Metz joined the University in 1955 as an instructor in speech in the Department of English. He became assistant professor in 1962 and associate professor in 1969. In 1972, he also was named associate professor in performing arts, where he headed the drama division. In 1973, he became associate professor of English. Metz was named associate professor emeritus of drama and of English in 1991 but continued teaching part time until 1995.
A native of New York City, Metz earned a bachelor's degree from the City University of New York in 1942 and -- following a three-year stint in the U.S. Air Force during World War II -- a master's degree from the University of Iowa in 1949.
A memorial service will be held in Graham Chapel at a later date.
Metz is survived by his partner, David E. Belmont.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Herbert E. Metz Fund for the Performing Arts Department at Washington University, c/o the Performing Arts Department, Washington University, Campus Box 1108, One Brookings Dr., St. Louis, MO 63130-4899.
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