Severn Darden, 65, an improvisational comedian and...


Severn Darden, 65, an improvisational comedian and actor who worked in theater, film and television, died yesterday of heart failure at his home in Santa Fe, N.M.

He was widely recognized in the world of improvisational theater a comic genius whose wacky portrayals of a German know-it-all professor and a nitpicking expert on everything under the sun influenced two generations of comic performers. Mr. Darden was a founding member of the Second City troupe in Chicago, which produced such stars as Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Shelly Berman, Alan Arkin and Barbara Harris.

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