Who are Broadway's forgotten stars?

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MasterLcZ
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Who are Broadway's forgotten stars?#0
Posted: 9/3/03 at 8:38pm
Carol Channing rocketed to fame in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, yet who remembers her co-star Yvonne Adair? Similarly, Russell Nype was a mellow-voiced comedian-singer who performed opposite Ethel Merman in CALL ME MADAM & Elaine Stritch in GOLDILOCKS, yet who remembers him today? If it weren't for the film THE BANDWAGON, such a fate might have been Nannette Fabrays, who appeared in numerous musicals without quite "clicking".

Further back are Jimmy Savo, once one of Broadway's most popular comedians and Lynn Murray, a big-boned teenage gal with a roof-raising voice who introduced JOHNNY ONE NOTE.

What other Broadway stars made their mark in a hit or two then never had much follow-through?
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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re: Who are Broadway's forgotten stars?#1
Posted: 9/3/03 at 8:56pm
This is a great post.... Of course, there are many many people that you could say this about I am sure.

There are even some today.
Judy Kuhn is one of those who has not done anything lately on broadway.
...this is wrong on so many levels... Diane Lane in "Must Love Dogs" "If you have poo, now is the time to fling it" -- The Monkey's from Madagascar
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What is the name of that little girl who opened that musical based on a John Waters film which starrred Devine and Tab Hunter? What was her name? Malissa? Maelissa? Whitaker?

You know I actually have a scratch n sniff card which was given out at the first run of that film. "Smell-o-Vision" is how they advertised it. I wonder why?
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BB, the smell-o-vision card was for POLYESTER, not HAIRSPRAY!
You are so mean about Miss Winnikle.

And who, pray tell, is the fur-bunny in YOUR new picture? Woof!
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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Did I confuse my John Waters' movies? Oh well, I guess when you've seen one, you've seen 'em all.

Bulldog
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What ever happened to the woman who won the Tony for the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie?
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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or the star of ANNIE?
or the star of HELLO DOLLY?
or what about FUNNY GIRL?
...this is wrong on so many levels... Diane Lane in "Must Love Dogs" "If you have poo, now is the time to fling it" -- The Monkey's from Madagascar
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MasterLcZ, Nanette Fabray is one of my faves, yet no one ever seems to know who she is!

What about Vera-Ellen? BEST female dancer of her time... but who really remembers her aside from 'that dancing chick from White Christmas'??? She was in several Broadway shows (By Jupiter, etc.), yet she made more of her mark in the movie musicals. Unfortunately, only made twelve in total, but she was quite popular in her day.

"You! You are the worst thing to happen to musical theatre since Andrew Lloyd Webber! And you, well, I just plain don't like you."
~Stewart Gilligan Griffin
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Didn't Glynis Johns (sp?) do a lot of Broadway in her younger days? I've only seen her movies; but what Broadway shows has she done? **tee-hee** I liked her in Mary Poppinsre: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Who are Broadway's forgotten stars? and she was so adorable in "While You Were Sleeping."
"It's the little things; the details, that distinguish the Barbra Streisands from the Rosalyn Kinds."~Gilmore Girls~
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Whatever happened to these actors that had lead roles in shows....

Sandra Church (the original Louise/Gypsy)
Zan Charisse (the 70's Louise/Gypsy)
Jerry Lanning (from Mame)
Wanda Richert (42nd Street)
Sandy Faison (original Grace in Annie)...?

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Wanda Richert? Ah, there's a tale. I've got insider scoop.

Vera-Ellen. Now that's a tragedy. First of all, she was a fabulous dancer in all styles...flawless technique. But she was also a victim of anorexia later in her career. When you compare the Vera-Ellen of "On The Town" to the Vera-Ellen of "White Christmas", the contrast is startling. So very thin -- so thin, in fact, that all her costumes were high necked so the emaciation of her chest area wouldn't show. After that, I think she pretty much disappeared from view...and died of cancer in the 80s (I think).

Speaking of another dancer with flawless technique, I must throw out Mitzi Gaynor. Because she chose to focus on movie musicals AFTER the heyday of movie musicals, I don't think she's ever gotten the recognition she could have had. Had she made better choices, or had a different focus, she would also have been one of our great triple threats ala Chita Rivera. Just my opinion.

And this is just about the GAYEST post I've ever written.
Updated On: 9/4/03 at 08:30 AM
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Sydney Chaplin was one of the great leading men of the 60's Bells are Ringing, Funny Girl...) that passed into obscurity. Of course, my favorite from that decade was also forgotten Stephen Douglass (Damn Yankees, 110 in the Shade, The Golden Apple).

Poor Helen Gallagher, everyone thinks that it was either Rita or Chita that originated Nicki in Sweet Charity.

I love Vera-Ellen. Surely, people remember her from the movie of "On the Town," too? Or was she over shadowed by Betty Garrett and Ann Miller?

Glynnis Johns returned to Broadway twice after Mary Poppins, in "A Little Night Music" and (the one I got to see her in!) "The Circle" a revival of Sommerset Maugham's drawing room comedy. She was utterly delightful. It was also the last broadway appearances of her co-stars, Rex Harrison and Stewart Granger. However, my favorite performance of hers was in the movie "The Court Jester" with Danny Kaye and Angela Lansbury.
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Don't tease me rlbgbc! What is the inside dirt on Wanda Richert?
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To Master LCZ:

Thank you so much for remembering Wynn Murray and Jimmy Savo. I appeared with them in BABES IN ARMS and BOYS FROM SYRACUSE.

Here is my list of those forgotten Broadway names:

Marilyn Miller
Louise Groody
Jack Whiting
Vivienne Segal
Ina Claire
Shirley Booth
Helen Ford
Alfred Lunt
Lynn Fontanne
Aline McMahon
William Gaxton
Victor Moore
Maureen Cannon
Fred Stone
Dorothy Stone
Clifton Webb
Jean Dixon
Irene Bordoni
Katharine Cornell
Jane Cowl
Ethel Barrymore
Hope Williams
Maurice Evans
Peggy Conklin
Peggy Wood
Dennis King
Ruth Gordon
Alla Nazimova
Eva LeGallienne
Gertrude Lawrence



Every movement has a meaning--but what the hell does it mean!
Updated On: 9/4/03 at 09:11 AM
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Alfred Lunt
Lynn Fontanne (As in Lunt-Fontanne Theatre)
Laurette Taylor
Katherine Cornell
Dolores Gray (Tony)
Shirley Booth (3 Tonys, an Oscar and at least one Emmy)
Gertrude Lawrence
Sam Levene
The list goes on. All we really need to do is check the Broadway Hall of Fame

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rlb & daisy, I adore Vera-Ellen! She expressed more joy in her dancing than any other female dancer of the time. I think she had a breakdown after her baby died (crib death?)

I have a private videotape of a "Gypsy of the Year - Southern California Version" of two years ago, which honored June Haver and Gregory Hines. It's pretty loose: Esther Williams (in introducing June) discussed having a dressing room next to Lana Turners ("where there was nothing but a giant BED"), and Mitzi (who looked fabulous and drunk off her ass) was a SCREAM, dissing Betty Grable ("She was a BITCH!") and alluding to the fact that everybody at Fox knew that June had blonde pubes. I agree...if Mitzi had done Broadway, she could have very easily been the Hungarian-American Chita.

Speaking of dancers, whatever became of Bambi Lynn?
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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Ah, Bambi Lynn -- a forgotten talent. For those of you not in the know, she was the original "Louise" in CAROUSEL. You can also see her as "Dream Laurey" in the film version of OKLAHOMA!
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Mitzi Gaynor was never much of a singer though. I think that would have held her back on Broadway. Not now (with miking) , but then.
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Helen Gallagher teaches at HB Studios in NYC.
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Helen Gallagher had a long run role on that soap set in a bar. Ryan's Hope or something like that?

Elizabeth Allen also was on a soap for years. Another World?

Hey, its a job, a good job, a steady job.

Mitzi toured for 40 weeks a season until she had to semi reitre in the late 80s due to a brain tumor. She had a club act that would also do theatre dates at places like the Music Fairs. She sold a lot of tickets, made the audiences and promoters very happy, and by all accounts gave a good middle-brow show. I think she still works now and then. She's gotta be late 70s.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
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To go with a relatively recent AWOL, whatever happened to Scott Waara, Tony winner for the last revival of MOST HAPPY FELLA. Always thought he was terrific and cute as a button.

I also wish more people knew of Susan Johnson. What a voice, what a presence, what a broad!
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Shirley Booth? Really? You think that she's on the forgotten list? (sigh) Probably. Although Hazel notwithstanding, most kids at least know her voice from playing Mrs. Santa Claus on a couple of the Rankin Bass specials. And I love her in the movie version of The Matchmaker (with Shirley MacClaine and Anthony Perkins- who few remember as the Bway star he was pre-Psycho).

Also surprised that Gertrude Lawrence made two people's list. I consider her one of the greats. Maybe when STAR comes out on DVD, it will remind people. (Of course, that movie will have a better chance of making people cringe at the mention of her name...)
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re: Who are Broadway's forgotten stars?#22
Posted: 9/4/03 at 10:54am
RobbieJ:

I'm convinced that somewhere out there, some queen has an audio tape of Susan Johnson's mid-to-late-1960s GYPSY. (Can you IMAGINE what she was like? Oh. My. God.)

And I think it is the height of selfishness that he has witheld it from us!!!!!
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
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Whoever that bitch is that has that tape better fess up now cause I will find you.

Talk about all the 'coulda been great' roles for Ms. Johnson. The mind reels (sp?)!
"I'm so looking forward to a time when all the Reagan Democrats are dead."
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re: Who are Broadway's forgotten stars?#24
Posted: 9/4/03 at 11:01am
QueenS: Appearantly, Shirley Booth (like Mary Martin & Beatrice Lillie etc.) was one of those stars whose magic only really came out on-stage. And I don't think HAZEL is on anymore, even on cable (but I could be wrong).

Maybe next year, BroadwayCares could ask Helen Gallagher to be at the celebrity table. I think they'd be surprised at what a big reception she'd get!

I'd love to know what happened to Scott Waara as well!
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"