Star of Stage and Screen, John McMartin Passes Away at 86

Award-winning Broadway actor John McMartin has passed away at the age of 86. McMartin most recently appeared on Broadway in 2014's ALL THE WAY and the 2011 revival of ANYTHING GOES. His death was announced this morning in a listing in the New York Times obituary section.

The actor made his Broadway debut as Forrest Noble in THE CONQUERING HERO in 1961, followed by BLOOD, SWEAT AND STANLEY POOLE that same year. He created the role of Oscar in SWEET CHARITY in 1966, opposite Gwen Verdon, garnering a Tony nomination, and played the role again in the 1969 film opposite Shirley MacLaine.

He later starred in the original Broadway production of Sondheim's FOLLIES in 1971 as Benjamin Stone. His association with Sondheim continued, appearing in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC as Frederick at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, in 1991, and the Broadway revival of INTO THE WOODS in 2002, in the dual role of the Narrator/Mysterious Man.

Other Broadway roles include the Narrator in Happy New Year, Ben in A LITTLE FAMILY

ALL THE WAY

BUSINESS (1982), Donner in Tom Stoppard's ARTIST DESCENDING A STAIRCASE, Cap'n Andy in Kern and Hammerstein's SHOW BOAT (1994), and Uncle Willie in Cole Porter's HIGH SOCIETY (1998).

McMartin was a leading member of the New Phoenix Repertory Company during their three Broadway seasons in the early 1970s, appearing onstage in, among other productions, Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown (opposite Katherine Helmond), Molière's Dom Juan, and Pirandello's The Rules of the Game.

He played "Anton Schell" opposite Chita Rivera in Kander and Ebb's musical THE VISIT (based on the play by Friedrich Durrenmatt) at the Goodman Theatre. He created the roles of "J.V. 'Major' Bouvier" and Norman Vincent Peale in GREY GARDENS, opposite Mary Louise Wilson and Christine Ebersole. He played Thomas Jefferson in the original cast of John Guare's A FREE MAN OF COLOR at Lincoln Center (2010-2011), and played "Elisha Whitney" in the 2011 Broadway revival of ANYTHING GOES.

ANYTHING GOES

On television, he appeared on The Golden Girls, Cheers and Frasier. He had a recurring role on Murder She Wrote and appeared as Shirley Jones' love interest in The Partridge Family.

Other notable awards include:

1966 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Sweet Charity (nominee)
1973 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Don Juan (nominee)
1973 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance The Great God Brown (winner)
1973 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance Don Juan (winner)
1995 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Show Boat (nominee)
1998 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical High Society (nominee)
1998 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical High Society (nominee)
2002 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Into the Woods (nominee)
2006 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Grey Gardens (nominee)
2009 Inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Below, watch John McMartin, the original Ben from Sondheim's FOLLIES, sing 'The Road You Didn't Take':

Photo credit: Jennifer Broski

Photo credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia

Photo credit: Evgenia Eliseeva



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