Back to the Blog

Jeff Norton ~ R.I.P.

missjulie about almost 5 years ago


Our thoughts are with Jeff's students, friends and family.

Below is a partial re-posting from an article by JOSÉ PATIÑO GIRONA | The Tampa Tribune

Published: July 19, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG - Jeffrey Charles Norton was a dedicated actor who thrived in the local theater scene for decades.

"Jeff was one of the best actors who came out of the Tampa Bay area," said longtime friend Paul Wilborn, executive director of the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College.

He performed in dramas and comedies and had a knack for playing the eccentric and funny character, especially in the American Stage's production of Shakespeare in the Park.

"Jeff was funny; he was talented," Wilborn said. "He had the talent to be a national actor."

Norton, 55, was found dead Sunday night at his home in St. Pete, said Mike Puetz, a spokesman with the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Police have ruled it a homicide and are investigating while the medical examiner's office performs an autopsy. (A suspect has been arrested & confessed ~ a neighbor, who took care of Jeff's lawn!!) ~ added July 23, 2010

Norton died from blunt trauma that possibly occurred 72 hours before he was found at around 8 p.m. Sunday, Puetz said.

Besides acting, Norton was working as theater manager at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg. He was in charge of the stage and lighting for the school, said Michael Murphy, the school's head master.

Norton grew up in south Tampa and attended the University of South Florida and got into acting through an interest in dance, according to a 1993 Tampa Tribune story.

He studied theater at USF and continued his studies in Tokyo and at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He returned to Tampa in 1985. In the Tribune interview, he noted his hobby as watching Bugs Bunny cartoons on Saturday mornings.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Norton was one of the "most visible working actors" in the area, Wilborn said.

"He was living a fairly quiet life," Wilborn said. "Nothing in his life would indicate that something like this would happen to him."

Click here to see a music video of Jeff singing his "SulpherSprings" song

comments powered by Disqus


aw (censored)

I had the honor of being a former student of his, and unlike a LOT of what i took freshman year, a lot of what he taught stayed with me. Godspeed jeff


I just saw that you have this on your site. Bless you all so much for posting! I didn't know Jeff as long as so many folks in the Tampa Bay area but I do know what a wonderful, amazing and talented Man he was! And how much he was loved and admired!! Thank you again~ I will let others know this is here!!!