I am shocked and saddened. She was a truly brilliant actress, both in plays and musicals. Her performance in House and Garden was the epitome of grace. I spoke to her several times, and she was so gracious. She shall be missed.My condolences to her family.
WhizzerMarvin said: "Her performance in The Royal Family was so good. I remember her running around the stage with her overly hammy (on purpose) acting until she collapsed on the rug, only to spring up again when she thought she would be late for the theater. It was hysterical and perfectly pitched."I often talk about her performance in this show and that moment especially. Ranting and raving about how her daughter WILL be married and NOT an actress etc etc, throwing herself on the ground with "and I am going to stand beside you and cry from happiness and wish to God it was ME!" only to have the maid say "10 minutes til curtain, Miss Cavandish" to have her instantly stand up and BOLT out the door, grabbing her coat and hat from the maid. A brilliant act-closer.She was utterly perfect in every role she took on. I'm deeply sad we'll never get her Dolly, her Mame, or her Nora in Doll's House Part 2. RIP
I worked with her once, 20 years ago. She was the kind of professional who inspired everyone else to step up their game. So intelligent and very kind. I am not surprised that her illness was not (it seems) reported beyond her intimate circle -- she always struck me as a private person. My deepest condolences to her husband and son. What an actor, what a loss.
Very, very sad news. I saw Follies 5 times in NY (often from the 5th row, thanks to TKTS) and 5 times in LA. I oddly started thinking of them all as friends. And even as cool Phyllis, Jan expressed a warmth that radiated out to the audience.My eye was always drawn to her during Who's That Woman? Not the greatest dancer in the world, but she did those steps with such a sense of fun and enthusiasm. I will never forget her. Rest in Peace.
Very sad. I saw FOLLIES twice on Broadway and three times in Los Angeles. Reading these posts also reminded me that I saw her in THE SOUND OF MUSIC and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG as well.5 Tony nominations...I hope they dim those lights!
So many great performances. But the one I cherish the most is A Doll's House. The first time I, and so many of us, ever saw Jan Maxwell or Janet McTeer. McTeer's Nora is deservedly regarded as legendary. But Maxwell's Christine was equally extraordinary.
If there is a dimming lights petition, I will gladly sign on.
I have nothing profound to say, but I will echo what all of you have already said. Too soon, too young, so much talent, and I am very sad about this loss. She was an amazing performer, and I will miss her.
Has there been any statement from the League of American Theaters and/or Charlotte St. Martin about possible dimming of the lights?
If they dimmed the lights for Robin Williams and Carrie Fisher, they sure as hell should do it for a woman who devoted her life to acting on stage. But I'm not going to hold my breath.
New York Times has two pieces out on Jan today.An obit, with new details about her illness: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/obituaries/jan-maxwell-acclaimed-stage-actress-is-dead-at-61.html?And a lovely tribute from Ben Brantley: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/theater/jan-maxwell-was-a-star-made-for-the-stage.html?
If they don't want to dim the lights, won't there just be another ruckus ala Joan Rivers? I was thinking last night about how she probably would have landed a huge TV or Film had she not so often been contracted for Broadway and off-Broadway productions.
I cannot explain how devastated this news has made me. Her work meant so much to me as a young actor and the performances of hers I was lucky to see I will cherish forever. Her performance is Follies was so electrifying,I will never forget it. And her work with the Potomac Theatre Project is also truly staggering. She adored her work and it showed on whatever stage she performed on.
They dimmed the lights for Roger Rees - surely they will for Jan.
I knew Jan personally and she was beyond reproach as an actress and a human being - full of kindness and hilarity. When I stopped her one day on 43rd street to say how much I loved her in Corum Boy, I began to cry because of the fact that I knew her and witnessed a performance that was well beyond the cast arround her. She hugged me and said, "you have just made it all worth the struggle." It will take time to not think of her and the tears not flow, but I will enjoy the tears until then and the resolve of life moving on, but oh what a better life I have knowing Jan Maxwell. Lovely, lovely, and loved.
Jan Maxwell changed my life in the Kennedy Center's production of Follies. I had never before seen someone with so much access to their talent - I remain shaken by her Phyllis. I'm really enjoying the clips posted in this thread of Jan in performance but many may not know the wit and humor the lady herself possessed. Here's a delightful interview with Seth Rudetsky that Jan gave while she was starring in Follies on Broadway:
This is a loss that is and will be deeply felt, but let her humor, talent, and compassion live on.
That interview was SO good - thank you for sharing. I hadn't seen it before. She really was absolutely hilarious. Her Phyllis was SO funny - much funnier than the recent NT Follies Phyllis.
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