Brett died May 13, 2015 of metastatic prostate cancer. At Amherst, he majored in Dramatic Arts and played the title roles in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and “Hamlet” at Kirby Theatre.  

After Amherst he studied acting in London, England. Then partly to escape the draft, he enrolled in Yale Drama School and upon graduation in 1968 accepted a job at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, which has one of the country’s oldest drama programs. In 1970 he left to “give New York City a shot,” as he wrote for the 50th Reunion eBook. “Within a couple of years it was clear that I was unlikely to become a Broadway star.” Another job opened at Stephens, so Brett returned to become a theatre professor, teaching as well as acting and directing.

In London he had met and married Branca Maria de Queiroz Costa from Rio de Janeiro, who had been working at the Brazilian Embassy. They had two children, Craig and Laura.

During 38 years at Stephens, Brett performed in and directed over 100 shows at the Stephens Playhouse, Warehouse, and Okoboji Summer Theaters. He received the Governor’s Excellence in Teaching Award from the State of Missouri, and was named a Trustees Professor by Stephens in 2002. He was known for a powerful voice, devoted mentorship of students, sharp wit, creative profanity, and great storytelling. A skilled magician and voracious reader, he loved family, dogs, scuba diving, and his martinis. Brett was, in short, unforgettable.

He is survived by his wife and children and their spouses, and five grandchildren. He took great pride in his Amherst education, kept in touch with classmates Bob Goldberg (with whom he had roomed in London) and Freddy Maples, reminiscing often about professors Aarons, Bard, Dermott, and others, and enjoying reunions.

Craig Prentiss and Neale Adams ’63