In November, SIU’s Department of Theater lost one of its brightest stars. Bert Belasco, a 2005 SIU graduate, died suddenly at 38 years old. He personified the best qualities of a true Saluki. His work ethic and giving spirit were always strong, even when times were tough. Bert made it his mission to help others and regularly put the needs of others before his own.
The Department of Theater has set up two funds to properly honor his memory – the Bert Belasco Scholarship and the Bert Belasco Award.
The scholarship will be given to an incoming African American or minority student, who best exemplifies ingenuity, creativity, craftsmanship, and dedication to theater. This scholarship will be established as part of our major effort to attract top minority students to the department. The award will be granted to a graduating student actor in recognition of his/her artistry and commitment to the performing arts.
Please join us in honoring Bert Belasco’s memory by making a gift of any size. Through this effort, we can share Bert’s wonderful spirit with future generations of Salukis.
Bert was best known for his role as Charles Whitmore on BET’s “Let’s Stay Together” from 2011 to 2014. He also appeared in the Fox series “Pitch” (2016), as well as the FX series “Justified” (2010), and the film “WTF: World Thumbwrestling Federation” (2017). His first major credit came alongside Betty White in a 2010 Super Bowl commercial for Snickers. While at SIU, he starred in “Home,” by Samm-Art Williams. He was on location for his next project when he died in his sleep.