Actress-turned-stage-director Elke Neidhardt has died, aged 72. The German-born star passed away in Sydney, Australia on Monday (25Nov13). She recently underwent an operation after the discovery of several tumours, but the cause of her death has yet to be officially confirmed, according to The Australian newspaper.
Fellow opera director Noel Staunton, says, "She had an enormous contribution to opera in Australia, and left it with some great productions. In the opera world, she was a big influence. She will be sadly missed."
During her early career, Neidhardt appeared in a number of TV and film roles, including 1972 movie Alvin Purple.
However, she is most celebrated for becoming the first theatre director to stage Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle in Australia in 2004.
She is survived by her son, Fabian.
The 30 Rock star was reprimanded by gay rights groups for suggesting he'd "stab" his son if he found out he was gay during his routine on 3 June (11) and has since apologised for the ill-judged remark.
He also agreed to meet with homeless gay teens in New York on Friday (17Jun11) in an effort to show gay rights groups he truly was sorry.
The meeting at the Ali Forney Center was arranged by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
And, on Tuesday (21Jun11), Morgan was back in Nashville to apologise directly to the fans he offended with his homophobic remarks.
Local GLAAD bosses set up the meeting with fans and gay and transgender residents at the Nashville Convention Center.
Morgan also addressed members of the media and spoke out in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.
The comedian also met Elke Kennedy, the founder of Sean’s Last Wish. Her 20-year-old son, Sean, was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in 2007.
He said, "I apologise to the people that were at the show. I want to apologise to my friends, and my family and my fans and everyone in every community who were offended with this. I didn't know. I didn't mean it... I don’t have a hateful bone in my body. I don’t believe that anyone should be bullied or just made to feel bad about who they are.
"I totally feel that, in my heart, I don’t care who you love, same-sex or not, as long as you have the ability to love. I don’t really see gay or straight, I just see human beings now... From the bottom of my heart, I apologise to everybody... To err is human, to forgive is divine... Thank you everybody for forgiving me."
GLAAD spokesman Herdon Graddick says, "Tracy’s remarks today have the power to reach millions with a message that gay and transgender youth should be met with support from families - not rejection or violence."
And Kevin Rogers, the Morgan fan who first reported the comic's remarks via Facebook.com, adds, "Tracy was sincere and spoke from his heart today... The best thing that has come from this is a national conversation that anti-gay violence is unacceptable and that homophobia is outdated."
The story of Elke, a beautiful German girl who marries Peter Stefan, an American doctor, and the complications that ensue. The pilot episode relates the story of how Peter, at a medical convention in Europe, meets, falls in love with, and marries Elke.