Guthrie actor Peter Michael Goetz leaves play in mid-run

ROHAN PRESTON | Updated 2/6/2013

Veteran actor has been replaced by Raye Birk for the remainder of the run of "Long Day's Journey."


Tom Wallace

Veteran Guthrie Theater actor Peter Michael Goetz, one of the stars of Joe Dowling's staging of "Long Day's Journey into Night," has left the production and will not return for the rest of the run, which ends Feb. 23.

Goetz's last appearance on stage was January 27.

The Guthrie did not comment on Goetz's health. In a statement released Wednesday, it said "Goetz will return to his California home in order to attend to a personal matter that requires his immediate attention."

Actor Raye Birk, another veteran who has been in more than two dozen Guthrie plays, has taken over the lead role of patriarch James Tyrone in the Eugene O'Neill drama. Birk acts opposite Helen Carey, who plays his wife, and John Catron and John Skelley, who play their sons.

Over the past four decades, Goetz has performed in more than 90 productions at the Guthrie, including "The Government Inspector," "Much Ado About Nothing," and "A Christmas Carol." He also acted on Broadway and in movies and television.

In the past, he has expressed pride in not missing any theater performances, despite being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004.

Birk and Goetz starred together last summer in Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys."