In Loving Memory

John (Jack) Dudley Masterson Heald



The man.  The myth.  The legend.  The actor.  The husband.  The father.   John (Jack) Heald passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.  Forever 49 years old, John loved his wife, his children, his granddaughter, and his career, with a passion like no other.  A professional actor and director for his whole life, John worked as managing director for the Joe Jefferson Playhouse as well as acting, stage managing and/or directing for the Jubilee Fish Theater, the Mobile Theater Guild, the Blowing Rock Stage Company, Theater 98, and Theater USA among many others.  Even as he worked, he was the consummate storyteller and often practical joker, providing inspiration for others who made their way onto the stage, while keeping his own children off.  His demand for professionalism continued to bring actors back to work with him again and again. 

Together for 41 years, John is survived by his wife of 29 years, Blair Heald; children, Jonathan (Rebecca) of Greensville, SC and Adrienne (Bhaya) of Brooklyn, NY; his granddaughter Lila Nabis of Brooklyn, NY; as well as other family members and friends.

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, we invite you to celebrate John’s life and mission in this world which is now complete.  Please email [email protected] for more information.  The champagne is chilling.

Expressions of condolence for the family may be offered at  Hughes Funeral Home, 7951 American Way, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.



  1. Mike McKee

    He was a great joy to work an actor, director and theatre practitioner. He will be missed

  2. Richard Williams

    John was always the gentleman. I am so grateful for the many opportunities I had work with him, as a director and actor.

  3. Terry Yemm

    John was a great friend and mentor. He will always be an important part of my memories of Mobile theatre. He taught me much about the stage and gave me a confidence that carried me through 40 years of acting.

  4. Barbara Gilbert Baughman

    John was the quintessential director, actor, and designer. It was an honor to have known him and to have worked with him in many productions.

    • John C Shoulders

      I feel very lucky to have had the honor of working with John at Theatre 98. He taught me how to deliver a punchline; “give it a beat and then deliver” he would say. He’s gonna be missed.

  5. Gary L. Kohler

    A great guy, a terrific talent. Taught me “cockney” in 1968.

  6. Kathleen Kennedy

    Excellent actor and I remember him from JJP. Worked with him a little and thought highly of him.I am saddened by his loss. This brings back lots of great memories.

  7. Regina Harbour

    My parents knew him from when he did summer tent shows at Ole Miss, back in the 1960’s. I worked with him at The Lost Colony in the 80s. I am so sorry to learn of his passing. Regina Harbour

  8. Kyrah Drasheff

    John, thank you for seeing in me what I didn’t. You were a joy to work with: professional, caring, and spot on. And you were funny as all get out! Thank you for leaving a beautiful legacy for all of us who had the great fortune to be directed by you.

  9. Mary Lois Timbes Adshead

    John Heald was a creative and knowledgeable man of the theatre–invaluable to me in establishing the professionalism at Jubilee Fish Theatre in Point Clear and Fairhope in the 1990s. He did everything from stage managing to set design, acting, and directing–plus keeping productions on an even keep and mollifying emotions when chaos occasionally ensued in the normal course of putting on a play. His joy in the art was contagious. I think of him often and know the community has lost one of its finest citizens.

  10. Pamela Merritt

    Loved working with him! He will be missed. Sincerest condolences.

  11. Frances (Towers) Stead

    I am sorry to hear of the death of my uncle. I knew of him only through my mother (his sister). She had very fond memories of him and was proud of his achievements. I wish it could have been possible for her to have got to know the man he became and about whom many people speak so highly.

  12. Jon Lutz

    I had the great pleasure of working with John doing Sea Marks at Jubilee Fish Theatre. He was unique. He was talented knowledgeable artful gracious kind supportive inclusive and more as a person and leader, and I carry some of those gifts from him ever since. I wish I had more. He touched so many people, both directly and through those of us who worked with him, that as long as any of us are here he will be an active presence both here and in the Hereafter. Thank you, John, from the bottom of our hearts.


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