Actress Elaine Shore, 78; D.C. Theater Co-Founder

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Elaine Shore, 78, a character actress who helped start a Washington theater in 1964 and appeared in films and television shows as well as New York stage productions, died March 19 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville. She had tongue cancer.

Mrs. Shore co-founded the Actors Company in Washington and participated in other Washington area theater groups. Critic Geoffrey A. Wolff, writing in The Washington Post, called her "gross, despicable and greatly talented" as Mrs. Peachum in a Howard University production of "The Threepenny Opera."

Not long after, she left for New York and began appearing off-Broadway. In 1969, she starred with James Coco in Terrence McNally's one-act comedy "Next" as a humorless Army inspection official who administers a series on tests on a middle-aged man.

In the early 1970s, Mrs. Shore had a recurring role as a secretary on the CBS sitcom "Arnie," starring Herschel Bernardi. She also had small parts in such films as "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon" (1970) with Liza Minnelli and "The Eiger Sanction" (1975) with Clint Eastwood.

She also did theater work in Chicago and won the 1974 Joseph Jefferson Award for best actress in "The Sea Horse." The award honors theatrical excellence in Chicago.

Elaine Borovay was born in Chicago and moved to the Washington area about 1950. She did clerical work at the National Institutes of Health while appearing in community theater productions.

She returned to the Washington area in the early 1990s and lived in Rockville until moving to the Hebrew Home about two years ago.

Her marriage to Alexander Shore ended in divorce.

Survivors include a daughter, Wendy Gonzales of Rockville; a sister; and two grandsons.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company