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Moving Man

Tragedy has struck twice in three months at the Sacred Fools Theater Company, stealing company member J. Haran (38), who succumbed to cancer on September 28, on the heels of company co-founder Danielle Surrette‘s shocking death in late June. A native of Mount Kisco, New York, Haran appeared in half a dozen plays off-Broadway before coming to Los Angeles. In 1991, he was cast in the comedy Ignored, a “fiasco,” according to director Stan Freitag, who became one of Haran’s closest friends, and with whom he shared a penchant for collecting action-figure toys. Haran was “rock solid” in pursuit of his acting craft, Freitag notes, by way of explaining why he was also perpetually angry at Los Angeles -- a place where devotion and hard work do not necessarily pay off. Haran floundered here for a while, but his frustrations never daunted him, says Freitag. Sacred Fools founder John Sylvain remembers Haran‘s “grace, dignity and quiet heroism.” Haran started his own furniture-moving business, and wrote a screenplay about a moving man “like him as an old man, plugging away at it, so ready for love,” Freitag says. After a series of disappointments with women who didn’t share his desire for domestic commitment, Haran met Susan Estes, who led him to the Sacred Fools and later became his fiancee. Haran‘s performances in the company’s ongoing late-night serial Crime Scene earned him a cadre of devoted followers. “I saw him go from shades of gray to contentment,” Freitag recalls. “He loved this company, he had a woman he loved, he had his own business, he had just gotten a part in a Showtime film . . . A barber told him about a black spot on his skin, but he just ignored it. I was there on the moving truck on his last job, and he just couldn‘t do it anymore. He wanted to live so badly. His heroes were fighters. Personally, I would do anything to have him back.” Haran is survived by his fiancee, his mother and stepfather, a sister, two stepbrothers and four nieces. Donations can be made in Haran’s memory to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center or to the Sacred Fools Theater Company.

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