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Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(born Ethel Agnes Zimmermann, January 16, 1908 – February 15, 1984) was an American actress and singer.[1] Known primarily for her distinctive, powerful voice and leading roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage".[2] Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm" (from Girl Crazy); "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "Some People", and "Rose's Turn" (from Gypsy—Merman starred as Rose in the original 1959 Broadway production); and the Cole Porter
Cole Porter
songs "It's De-Lovely" (from Red, Hot and Blue), "Friendship" (from DuBarry Was a Lady), and "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top", and "Anything Goes" (from Anything Goes). The Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
song "There's No Business Like Show Business", written for the musical Annie Get Your Gun, became Merman's signature song.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Early career 2.2 Later career 2.3 Performance style

3 Personal life

3.1 Marriages and children 3.2 Profanity 3.3 Politics

4 Autobiographies 5 Later life and death 6 Awards and nominations 7 Performances

7.1 Theatre 7.2 Filmography 7.3 Television 7.4 Hit records 7.5 Audio samples of Ethel Merman

8 Footnotes 9 Further reading 10 External links

Early life[edit] Merman was born in her maternal grandmother's house located at 359 4th Avenue in Astoria, Queens
Astoria, Queens
in New York City
New York City
in 1908, though she would later emphatically insist that it was actually 1912.[3] Her father, Edward Zimmermann (1879–1977), was an accountant with James H. Dunham & Company, a Manhattan
Manhattan
wholesale dry-goods company, and her mother, Agnes (Gardner) Zimmermann (1883–1974), was a teacher. Edward Zimmermann had been raised in the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
and his wife was Presbyterian. Shortly after they married, they joined the Episcopal congregation at Church of the Redeemer, where their daughter was baptized. Her parents were strict about church attendance, and she spent every Sunday there, at morning services, followed by Sunday school, an afternoon prayer meeting, and an evening study group for children.[4] Her family was of German and Scottish ancestry.[5] Merman attended P.S. 4 and William Cullen Bryant High School
William Cullen Bryant High School
(which later named its auditorium in her honor), where she pursued a commercial course that offered secretarial training.[6] She was active in numerous extracurricular activities, including the school magazine, the speakers' club, and student council, and she frequented the local music store to peruse the weekly arrivals of new sheet music.[7] On Friday nights, the Zimmermann family would take the subway into Manhattan
Manhattan
to see the vaudeville show at the Palace Theatre, where Merman saw Blossom Seeley, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, and Nora Bayes. At home, she tried to emulate their singing styles, but her own distinctive voice was difficult to disguise.[8] After graduating from Bryant High School in 1924, Merman was hired as a stenographer by the Boyce-Ite Company. One day during her lunch break, she met Vic Kliesrath, who offered her a job at the Bragg-Kliesrath Corporation
Bragg-Kliesrath Corporation
for a $5 increase above the weekly $23 salary she was earning, and Merman accepted the offer.[9] She was eventually made personal secretary to company president Caleb Bragg, whose frequent lengthy absences from the office to race automobiles allowed her to catch up on the sleep she had lost the previous night when she was out late performing at private parties.[9] During this period, Merman also began appearing in nightclubs, first hired by Jimmy Durante's partner Lou Clayton. At this time, she decided the name Ethel Zimmermann was too long for a theater marquee. She considered combining Ethel with Gardner or Hunter, which was her grandmother's maiden name. These considerations caused her father's ire, and she abbreviated Zimmermann to Merman to appease her father.[10] Career[edit] Early career[edit] During a two-week engagement at a club in midtown Manhattan
Manhattan
called Little Russia, Merman met agent Lou Irwin, who arranged for her to audition for Archie Mayo, a film director under contract at Warner Bros. He offered her an exclusive six-month contract, starting at $125 per week, and Merman quit her day job, only to find herself idle for weeks while waiting to be cast in a film. She finally urged Irwin to try to cancel her agreement with Mayo; instead, he negotiated her a better deal allowing her to perform in clubs while remaining on the Warners payroll. Merman was hired as a torch singer at Les Ambassadeurs, where the headliner was Jimmy Durante, and the two became lifelong friends. She caught the attention of columnists such as Walter Winchell
Walter Winchell
and Mark Hellinger, who began giving her publicity. Soon after, Merman underwent a tonsillectomy she feared might damage her voice, but after recovering, she discovered it was more powerful than ever.[11] While performing on the prestigious Keith Circuit, Merman was signed to replace Ruth Etting
Ruth Etting
in the Paramount film Follow the Leader (1930), starring Ed Wynn
Ed Wynn
and Ginger Rogers. Following a successful seven-week run at the Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Paramount, she was signed to perform at the Palace for $500 per week. During the run, theatre producer Vinton Freedley saw her perform and invited her to audition for the role of San Francisco café singer Kate Fothergill in the new George and Ira Gershwin musical Girl Crazy. Upon hearing her sing "I Got Rhythm", the Gershwins immediately cast her, and Merman began juggling daytime rehearsals with her matinee and evening performance schedule at the Palace.[12] Girl Crazy
Girl Crazy
opened on October 14, 1930, at the Alvin Theatre, where it ran for 272 performances.[13] The New York Times
The New York Times
noted Merman sang "with dash, authority, good voice and just the right knowing style", while The New Yorker
The New Yorker
called her "imitative of no one."[14] Merman was fairly blasé about her notices, prompting George Gershwin
George Gershwin
to ask her mother, "Have you ever seen a person so unconcerned as Ethel?"

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
with Tyrone Power
Tyrone Power
in the trailer for Alexander's Ragtime Band

During the run of Girl Crazy, Paramount signed Merman to appear in a series of 10 short musical films, most of which allowed her to sing a rousing number, as well as a ballad. She also performed at the Central Park Casino, the Paramount Theatre, and a return engagement at the Palace. As soon as Girl Crazy
Girl Crazy
closed, her parents and she departed for a much-needed vacation in Lake George in Upstate New York, but after their first day there, Merman was summoned to Atlantic City, New Jersey, to help salvage the troubled latest edition of George White's Scandals. Because she was still under contract to Freedley, White was forced to pay the producer $10,000 for her services, in addition to her weekly $1,500 salary. Following the Atlantic City run, the show played in Newark and then Brooklyn
Brooklyn
before opening on Broadway, where it ran for 202 performances.[15] Merman's next show, Humpty Dumpty, began rehearsals in August 1932 and opened—and immediately closed—in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
the following month. Producer Buddy DeSylva, who also had written the book and lyrics, was certain it could be reworked into a success, and with a revamped script and additional songs by Vincent Youmans,[16] it opened with the new title Take a Chance on November 26 at the 42nd Street Apollo Theatre, where it ran for 243 performances.[17] Brooks Atkinson
Brooks Atkinson
of The New York Times called it "fast, loud, and funny" and added Merman "has never loosed herself with quite so much abandon." Following the Broadway run, she agreed to join the show on the road, but shortly after the Chicago opening, she claimed the chlorine in the city's water supply was irritating her throat, and returned to Manhattan.[14] Merman returned to Hollywood to appear in We're Not Dressing
We're Not Dressing
(1934), a screwball comedy based on the J. M. Barrie
J. M. Barrie
play The Admirable Crichton. Despite working with a cast including Bing Crosby, Carole Lombard, and Burns and Allen, under the direction of Academy Award–winning director Norman Taurog, Merman was unhappy with the experience, and she was dismayed to discover one of her musical numbers had been cut when she attended the New York opening with her family and friends. She also appeared on screen with Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
in Kid Millions
Kid Millions
(also 1934), but her return to Broadway established her as a major star and cemented her image as a tough girl.[18] Anything Goes
Anything Goes
proved to be the first of five Cole Porter
Cole Porter
musicals in which Merman starred. In addition to the title song, the score included "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top", and "Blow Gabriel Blow". It opened on November 21, 1934, at the Alvin Theatre,[19] and the New York Post called Merman "vivacious and ingratiating in her comedy moments, and the embodiment of poise and technical adroitness" when singing "as only she knows how to do." Although Merman always had remained with a show until the end of its run, she left Anything Goes
Anything Goes
after eight months to appear with Eddie Cantor in the film Strike Me Pink. She was replaced by Benay Venuta, with whom she enjoyed a long but frequently tempestuous friendship.[20] Merman initially was overlooked for the film version of Anything Goes (1936). Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
insisted his wife Dixie Lee
Dixie Lee
be cast as Reno Sweeney opposite his Billy Crocker, but when she unexpectedly dropped out of the project, Merman was cast in the role she had originated on stage. From the beginning, it was clear to Merman the film would not be the enjoyable experience she had hoped it would be. The focus was shifted to Crosby, leaving her very much in a supporting role. Many of Porter's ribald lyrics were altered to conform to the guidelines of the Motion Picture Production Code, and "Blow Gabriel Blow" was eliminated completely, replaced by a song, "Shang Hai-de-Ho", that Merman was forced to perform in a headdress made of peacock feathers while surrounded by dancers dressed as Chinese slave girls. The film was completed $201,000 over budget and 17 days behind schedule. Richard Watts, Jr., of the New York Herald Tribune
New York Herald Tribune
described it as "dull and commonplace", with Merman doing "as well as possible", but unable to register "on screen as magnificently as she does on stage."[21]

In the film trailer for There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Merman returned to Broadway for another Porter musical, but despite the presence of Jimmy Durante
Jimmy Durante
and Bob Hope
Bob Hope
in the cast, Red, Hot and Blue closed after less than six months.[22] Back in Hollywood, Merman was featured in Happy Landing, one of the top ten box-office hits of 1938 comedy with Sonja Henie, Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero
and Don Ameche; another the box office hit Alexander's Ragtime Band, a pastiche of Irving Berlin songs interpolated into a plot that vaguely paralleled the composer's life; and Straight, Place or Show, a critical and commercial flop starring the Ritz Brothers.[23] She returned to the stage in Stars in Your Eyes, which struggled to survive while the public flocked to the 1939 New York World's Fair
1939 New York World's Fair
instead, and finally closed short of four months.[24] Merman followed this with two more Porter musicals. DuBarry Was a Lady, with Bert Lahr
Bert Lahr
and Betty Grable, ran for a year,[25] and Panama Hattie, with Betty Hutton
Betty Hutton
(whose musical numbers were cut out of the show on opening night at Merman's insistence), June Allyson, and Arthur Treacher, fared even better, lasting slightly more than 14 months.[26] Shortly after the opening of the latter, Merman—still despondent about the end of her affair with Stork Club
Stork Club
owner Sherman Billingsley—married her first husband, Treacher's agent, William Smith. She later said she knew on their wedding night she had made "a dreadful mistake," and two months later she filed for divorce on grounds of desertion.[27] Shortly after she met and married Robert D. Levitt, promotion director for the New York Journal-American. The couple eventually had two children and divorced in 1952 because of his excessive drinking and erratic behavior.[28] In 1943, Merman was a featured performer in the film Stage Door Canteen and opened in another Porter musical, Something for the Boys, produced by Michael Todd. Her next project was Sadie Thompson, a Vernon Duke
Vernon Duke
Howard Dietz
Howard Dietz
musical adaptation of a W. Somerset Maugham short story, but Merman found she was unable to retain the lyrics and resigned 12 days after rehearsals began.[29] In August 1945, while in the hospital recovering from the Caesarean birth of her second child, Merman was visited by Dorothy Fields, who proposed she star as Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley
in a musical her brother Herbert and she were writing with Jerome Kern. Merman accepted, but in November, Kern suffered a stroke while in New York City
New York City
visiting Rodgers and Hammerstein (the producers of the show) and died a few days later. Richard Rodgers
Richard Rodgers
and Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II
invited Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
to replace him,[30] and the result was Annie Get Your Gun, which opened on May 16, 1946, at the Imperial Theatre, where it ran for nearly three years and 1,147 performances.[31] During that time, Merman took only two vacations and missed only two performances because of illness.[32] Merman lost the film version to Judy Garland, who eventually was replaced by Betty Hutton, but she did star in a Broadway revival two decades later at Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center
with Bruce Yarnell, who was 27 years Merman's junior, cast as Annie Oakley's loyal husband and manager, Frank E. Butler. Merman and Berlin reunited for Call Me Madam
Call Me Madam
in 1950, for which she won the Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, and she went on to star in the 1953 screen adaptation, as well, winning the Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her performance. The following year, she appeared as the matriarch of the singing and dancing Donahue family in There's No Business Like Show Business, a film with a Berlin score. Merman returned to Broadway at the behest of her third husband, Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
executive Robert Six, who was upset she had chosen to become a Colorado
Colorado
housewife following their wedding in 1953. He expected her public appearances to engender publicity for the airline, and her decision to forgo the limelight did not sit well with him. He urged her to accept the lead in Happy Hunting, with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse (who had written Call Me Madam) and a score by the unknown team of Harold Karr and Matt Dubey. Merman acquiesced to her husband's demands, although she clashed with the composers from the start and soon was at odds with co-star Fernando Lamas and his wife, Arlene Dahl, who frequently attended rehearsals. Based on the Merman name, the show opened in New York with an advance sale of $1.5 million and, despite the star's dissatisfaction with it, garnered respectable reviews. Although Brooks Atkinson
Brooks Atkinson
thought the score was "hardly more than adequate", he called Merman "as brassy as ever, glowing like a neon light whenever she steps on the stage." Several months into the run, she insisted that two of her least-favorite numbers be replaced by songs written by her friend Roger Edens, who, because of his exclusive contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, credited them to Kay Thompson. She lost the Tony Award to Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday
in Bells Are Ringing, and the show closed after 412 performances, with Merman happy to see what she considered "a dreary obligation" finally come to an end.[33] Later career[edit] Gypsy
Gypsy
was based on the memoirs of Gypsy
Gypsy
Rose Lee and starred Merman as her domineering stage mother, Rose Hovick, possibly Merman's best-remembered performance. The musical opened on May 21, 1959, at The Broadway Theatre. In the New York Post, Richard Watts called Merman "A brilliant actress," and Brooks Atkinson
Brooks Atkinson
of The New York Times said: "She gives an indomitable performance, both as actress and singer." Despite the acclaim, Merman lost the Tony Award
Tony Award
to her close friend Mary Martin
Mary Martin
in The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
and jokingly quipped, "How are you going to buck a nun?" Shortly after she divorced Robert Six, his affair with television actress Audrey Meadows
Audrey Meadows
became public, and she found solace in her work.[34] Throughout the 702-performance run of Gypsy, Mervyn LeRoy
Mervyn LeRoy
saw it numerous times, and repeatedly assured Merman that he planned to cast her in the film adaptation he was preparing. However, prior to the show's closing, it was announced that Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
had been signed to star, instead. Russell's husband, theatre producer Frederick Brisson (whom Merman later called "the lizard of Roz"),[citation needed] had sold the screen rights to the Leonard Spigelgass play A Majority of One to Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
with the stipulation his wife would star in both films. Because Russell was still a major box office draw with the success of Auntie Mame a few years earlier, and Merman never having established herself as a popular screen presence, the studio agreed to Brisson's terms. Merman was devastated at this turn of events and called the loss of the role, "The greatest professional disappointment of my life." [35] Following the Broadway closing of Gypsy
Gypsy
on March 25, 1961, Merman half-heartedly embarked on the national tour. In San Francisco, she severely injured her back, but continued to play to packed houses. During the Los Angeles run, LeRoy visited her backstage and claimed Russell was so ill, "I think you're going to end up getting this part." Believing the film version of Gypsy
Gypsy
was within her grasp, she generously gave him the many house seats he requested for friends and industry colleagues, only to discover she had been duped.[36] Over the next several years, Merman was featured in two films, the successful It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
(1963, in which she played Mrs. Marcus, the battle-axe mother in-law of Milton Berle) and the flop The Art of Love (1965). She made dozens of television appearances on variety series hosted by Perry Como, Red Skelton, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Ed Sullivan, and Carol Burnett, talk shows with Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, and Merv Griffin, and in episodes of That Girl, The Lucy Show, Match Game, Batman, and Tarzan, among others. Producer David Merrick encouraged Jerry Herman
Jerry Herman
to compose Hello, Dolly! specifically for Merman's vocal range, but when he offered her the role, she declined it. She finally joined the cast on March 28, 1970, six years after the production opened. On Merman's opening night, her performance was continually brought to a halt by prolonged standing ovations and the critics unanimously heralded her return to the New York stage. Walter Kerr
Walter Kerr
in The New York Times
The New York Times
described her voice: "Exactly as trumpet-clean, exactly as penny whistle-piercing, exactly as Wurlitzer-wonderful as it always was." He went on to say: "Her comic sense is every bit as authoritative, as high-handed, really, as her voice."[37] The seventh actress to portray the scheming matchmaker in the original Broadway production, she remained with the musical for 210 performances until it closed on December 27, 1970. Merman received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance for what proved to be her last appearance on Broadway. For the remainder of her career, Merman worked as frequently as offers were made. In 1979, she recorded The Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Disco
Disco
Album, with many of her signature songs are set to a disco beat. Her last screen role was a self-parody in the 1980 comedy film Airplane!, in which she portrayed Lieutenant Hurwitz, a shell shocked soldier who thinks he is Ethel Merman. In the cameo appearance, Merman leaps out of bed singing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" as orderlies restrain her. She also appeared in several episodes of The Love Boat
The Love Boat
(playing Gopher's mother), guested on a CBS tribute to George Gershwin, did a summer comedy/concert tour with Carroll O'Connor, played a two-week engagement at the London Palladium, performed with Mary Martin
Mary Martin
in a concert benefiting the theatre and museum collection of the Museum of the City of New York, and frequently appeared as a soloist with symphony orchestras. She also volunteered at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center working in the gift shop or visiting patients. Performance style[edit] Merman was known for her powerful, belting mezzo-soprano voice and precise enunciation and pitch.[38] Because stage singers performed without microphones when Merman began singing professionally, she had a great advantage, despite never taking singing lessons. Broadway lore holds that George Gershwin
George Gershwin
advised her never to take a singing lesson after she opened in his Girl Crazy.[39] Personal life[edit]

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
at the typewriter in 1953, New York World-Telegram
New York World-Telegram
photo by Walter Albertin

Marriages and children[edit] Merman was married and divorced four times. Her first marriage, in 1940, was to theatrical agent William Smith. They were divorced in 1941.[40] Later that same year, Merman married newspaper executive Robert Levitt. The couple had two children: Ethel (July 20, 1942 - 1965) and Robert, Jr. (born August 11, 1945) Merman and Levitt were divorced in 1952. In March 1953, Merman married Robert Six, the president of Continental Airlines.[41] They separated in December 1959 and were divorced in 1960.[40][42] Merman's fourth and final marriage was to actor Ernest Borgnine. They were married in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills
on June 27, 1964.[43] They separated on August 7 and Borgnine filed for divorce on October 21.[44] Merman filed a cross-complaint shortly thereafter charging Borgnine with extreme cruelty. She was granted a divorce on November 18, 1964.[45] Borgnine later told fellow actor Frank Wilson that he spent most of his short marriage arguing with Merman. By the end, he recounted how she came back from a film one day and said, "The director said I looked sensational. He said I had the face of a 20-year-old, and the body and legs of a 30-year-old!" Borgnine replied, "Did he say anything about your old cunt?" "No," replied Merman, "he didn't mention you at all."[46] In a radio interview, she said of her many marriages: "We all make mistakes. That's why they put rubbers on pencils, and that's what I did. I made a few lulus!"[47] In her autobiography Merman (1978), the chapter entitled "My Marriage to Ernest Borgnine" consists of one blank page.[48] Ethel Levitt, her daughter, died on August 23, 1967, of a drug overdose that was ruled accidental.[49][50] Her son Robert, Jr. was married to actress Barbara Colby
Barbara Colby
who was, while estranged from Robert, shot and killed along with her boyfriend in a parking garage in Los Angeles in July 1975 by apparent gang members who had no clear motive.[51] Profanity[edit] Merman was notorious for her brash demeanour and for telling vulgar stories at public parties. For instance, she once shouted a dirty joke across the room at José Ferrer
José Ferrer
during a formal reception.[52] While rehearsing a guest appearance on NBC's The Loretta Young Show, Merman exclaimed, "Where the hell does this go?" Young, who was a devout Catholic, advanced towards her waving an empty coffee can, saying, "Come on Ethel. You know my rules. That'll cost you a dollar." To which Merman replied "Ah, honey, how much will it cost me to tell you to go fuck yourself?!".[53] Politics[edit] Merman, a lifelong Republican, was a frequent guest at the Eisenhower White House.[54] Merman was also noted as saying of Dwight, "Eisenhower was my war hero and the President I admire and respect most."[55] On January 20, 1981, Merman performed at the inauguration of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
singing "Everything's Coming up Roses".[56] Autobiographies[edit] Merman co-wrote two memoirs. The first, Who Could Ask for Anything More? (1955), was published by Doubleday & Co. and written with the assistance of Pete Martin.[57] The second, Merman (1978), was published by Simon & Schuster and written with George Eels.[58] Later life and death[edit] Merman began to become forgetful with advancing age, and on occasion, had difficulty with her speech. At times her behavior was erratic, causing concern among her friends. On April 7, 1983, she was preparing to travel to Los Angeles to appear on the 55th Academy Awards telecast, when she collapsed in her apartment. Merman was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where doctors initially thought she had suffered a stroke. However, after undergoing exploratory surgery on April 11, Merman was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma.[59] The New York Times reported that she underwent brain surgery to have the tumor removed, but it was inoperable and her condition was deemed terminal (doctors had given Merman eight and half months to live).[59][60] The tumor caused Merman to become aphasic, and, as her illness progressed, she lost her hair and her face swelled.[61][62] According to Merman biographer Brian Kellow, Merman's family and manager did not want the true nature of her condition revealed to the public.[60] Merman's son Robert, Jr., who took charge of her care, later said he chose not to publicly disclose his mother's true condition because Merman strove to keep her personal life private. He stated, "Mom truly appreciated [her fans'] presence and their applause. But you shouldn't attempt to be personal—she drew lines, and she could cut you off."[61] Merman's health eventually stabilized enough for her to be brought back to her apartment in Manhattan. On February 15, 1984, 10 months after she was diagnosed with brain cancer, Merman died at her home in Manhattan
Manhattan
at the age of 76.[63] On the evening of Merman's death, all 36 theatres on Broadway dimmed their lights at 9 pm in her honor.[64][65] A private funeral service for Merman was held in a chapel at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church on February 27, after which Merman was cremated at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel.[66][67] In accordance with her wishes, Merman's remains were given to her son Robert, Jr.[59] Merman was interred in the Shrine of Remembrance Mausoleum in Colorado
Colorado
Springs, Colorado, next to her daughter Ethel. On October 10, 1984, an auction of her personal effects, including furniture, artwork, and theatre memorabilia, earned in excess of $120,000 at Christie's
Christie's
East.[68] The 56th Academy Awards, held on April 2, 1984, ended with a performance of "There's No Business Like Show Business" in tribute to Merman. Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result

1951 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Call Me Madam Won

1953 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Call Me Madam Won

1957 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Happy Hunting Nominated

1960 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Gypsy Nominated

1960 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Gypsy Won

1970 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Hello, Dolly! Won

1972 Tony Award Special
Special
Tony Award

Won

Performances[edit] Theatre[edit]

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
in a trailer for Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Girl Crazy
Girl Crazy
(1930) George White's Scandals
George White's Scandals
of 1931 (1931) Take a Chance (1932) Anything Goes
Anything Goes
(1934) Red, Hot and Blue (1936) Stars in Your Eyes (1939) DuBarry Was a Lady
DuBarry Was a Lady
(1939) Panama Hattie
Panama Hattie
(1940) Something for the Boys (1943) Sadie Thompson
Sadie Thompson
(1944) (replaced by June Havoc
June Havoc
before previews) Annie Get Your Gun (1946) Call Me Madam
Call Me Madam
(1950) Happy Hunting
Happy Hunting
(1956) Gypsy
Gypsy
(1959) Annie Get Your Gun (1966) Call Me Madam
Call Me Madam
(1968) Hello, Dolly! (1970) Mary Martin
Mary Martin
& Ethel Merman: Together On Broadway (1977)

Filmography[edit]

In the film Stage Door Canteen (1943)

Follow the Leader (1930) as Helen King Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
(1932) We're Not Dressing
We're Not Dressing
(1934) as Edith Kid Millions
Kid Millions
(1934) as Dot Clark The Big Broadcast of 1936
The Big Broadcast of 1936
(1935) as Ethel Merman Strike Me Pink (1936) as Joyce Lennox Anything Goes
Anything Goes
(1936) as Reno Sweeney Happy Landing (1938) as Flo Kelly Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) as Jerry Allen Straight, Place or Show (1938) as Linda Tyler Stage Door Canteen (1943) as Ethel Merman Call Me Madam
Call Me Madam
(1953) as Sally Adams There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) as Molly Donahue It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
(1963) as Mrs. Marcus The Art of Love (1965) as Madame Coco La Fontaine Journey Back to Oz
Journey Back to Oz
(1974) as Mombi, the Bad Witch (voice) Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
(1976) as Hedda Parsons Airplane!
Airplane!
(1980) as Lieutenant Hurwitz

Television[edit]

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
in a trailer for Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

The Ford 50th Anniversary Show (1953) as Herself The Colgate Comedy Hour
The Colgate Comedy Hour
(28Feb1954) one-hour book-musical of Cole Porter's: "Anything Goes" as singer Reno Sweeney, also starred Frank Sinatra & Bert Lahr Panama Hattie
Panama Hattie
(1954) as Hattie Maloney Merman On Broadway (1961) as Herself The Lucy Show, two-parter (1963) as Herself The Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Show, two episodes (1963) as Herself Maggie Brown (1963) (unsold pilot) as Maggie Brown An Evening with Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1965) as Herself Annie Get Your Gun (1967) as Annie Oakley Tarzan and the Mountains of the Moon (1967) as Rosanna McCloud Batman, "The Sport of Penguins", two-parter (1967) as Lola Lasagne That Girl, two episodes, (1967–1968) as Herself 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin (1972) as Herself Ed Sullivan's Broadway (1973) Match Game
Match Game
PM (1976), (1978) as Guest Panelist The Muppet Show
The Muppet Show
(1976) as Herself You're Gonna Love It Here (1977) (unsold pilot) A Salute to American Imagination (1978) as Herself A Special Sesame Street Christmas (1978) as Herself Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
(1979) as Lilly Loraine (voice) The Love Boat, five episodes, (1979–1982) as Roz Smith Night of 100 Stars (1982) as Herself

Hit records[edit]

"How Deep Is the Ocean?" (1932)#14 US Billboard
Billboard
Best Sellers "Eadie Was a Lady" (1933) US #8 "An Earful of Music" (1934) US #11 "You're the Top" (1934) US #4 "I Get a Kick Out of You" (1935) US #12 "Move It Over" (1943) US #14 "They Say It's Wonderful" (1946) US #20 (with Ray Middleton) "Dearie" (1950) US #12 (with Ray Bolger) "I Said My Pajamas (And Put On My Prayers)" (1950) US #20 (with Ray Bolger) "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake" (1950) US #15 "You're Just in Love" (1951) US #30 (with Dick Haymes) "Once Upon a Nickel" (1951) US #29 (with Ray Bolger)

Audio samples of Ethel Merman[edit] Courtesy of NPR
NPR
Windows Media Player Required

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
with Jimmy Durante
Jimmy Durante
"You Say the Nicest Things" Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Sings: "The World is Your Balloon" Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Sings: "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"

Footnotes[edit]

^ Obituary Variety, February 22, 1984. ^ "Merman 101: Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Biography - Part I".  ^ Kellow, Brian, Ethel Merman: A Life. New York: Viking Press 2007. ISBN 0-670-01829-5, p. 2. ^ Kellow, pp. 2–4. ^ Schumach, Murray (February 16, 1984). "Ethel Merman, Queen of Musicals, Dies at 76". nytimes.com. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ Kellow, pp. 4–7. ^ Kellow, p. 7. ^ Kellow, p. 6. ^ a b Kellow, Brian (2008). Ethel Merman : a life. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143114208.  ^ Kellow, pp. 8–13. ^ Kellow, pp. 13–19. ^ Kellow, pp. 21–26. ^ League, The Broadway. " Girl Crazy
Girl Crazy
– Broadway Musical – Original - IBDB".  ^ a b Kellow, p. 30. ^ Kellow, pp. 32–37. ^ Kellow, pp. 37–40. ^ League, The Broadway. "Take a Chance – Broadway Musical – Original - IBDB".  ^ Kellow, pp. 42–67. ^ League, The Broadway. " Anything Goes
Anything Goes
– Broadway Musical – Original - IBDB".  ^ Kellow, pp. 55–57. ^ Kellow, pp. 57–59. ^ Red, Hot and Blue at the Internet Broadway Database ^ Kellow, pp. 69–71. ^ Kellow, p. 75. ^ League, The Broadway. "Du Barry Was a Lady – Broadway Musical – Original - IBDB".  ^ Panama Hattie
Panama Hattie
at the Internet Broadway Database ^ Kellow, pp. 87–89. ^ Kellow, pp. 136–137, 142–143. ^ Kellow, pp. 104–105. ^ Kellow, pp. 107. ^ Annie Get Your Gun at the Internet Broadway Database ^ Kellow, p. 116. ^ Kellow, pp. 160–169. ^ Kellow, pp. 174-188 ^ Kellow, Brian, pp. 173-195 ^ Kellow, pp. 191-192 ^ Kerr, Walter."Merman: A Kid Who Wins All the Marbles; Merman Wins" The New York Times
The New York Times
(abstract), April 12, 1970, p.D1 ^ Michael Darvell. "Ethel Merman: A 100th-Anniversary Tribute". classicalsource.com. Retrieved April 23, 2009.  ^ Flinn, Caryl. Brass Diva: The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman (2009), p. 33, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-26022-8 ^ a b Sonneborn, Liz (2002). A to Z of American Women in the Performing Arts. Infobase Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 1-438-10790-0.  ^ " Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Seeks Divorce". The Spokesman-Review. November 15, 1960. p. 15. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ "Ethel Merman, Hubby Parted; Blame Careers". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. December 18, 1959. p. 17. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ "Ethel Merman, Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
Wed". St. Petersburg Times. June 28, 1964. pp. 6–A. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ "Borgnine Sues Merman For Divorce". The Morning Record. October 22, 1964. p. 20. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ " Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Granted Divorce". The Blade. November 19, 1964. p. 2. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ " Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine
& Ethel Merman- a Saucy Tale". Ernest Borgnine & Ethel Merman- a Saucy Tale. July 12, 2012.  ^ Interview with Ray Wickens, April 1979, on CHRE-FM, St. Catharines, Ontario. ^ Flinn, Caryl (2007). Brass Diva: The Life and Legends of Ethel Merman. University of California Pres. p. 352. ISBN 0-520-22942-8.  ^ "Ethel Merman's Daughter Dead; Autopsy Slated". The Prescott Courier. August 24, 1967. p. 3. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ "Drugs Kill Daughter Of Singer". Herald-Journal. August 26, 1967. p. 24. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ " Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Kin Slain Leaving Dramatic School". Schenectady Gazette. July 25, 1975. p. 10. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ "I GOT RHYTHM! The Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Story". kirkusreviews.com. Retrieved November 30, 2015.  ^ Mark, Geoffrey (2006). Ethel Merman: The Biggest Star on Broadway. Barricade Legend. p. 66. ISBN 9781569802939.  ^ Flinn 2007 p. 177 ^ " Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Quotes". BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved December 10, 2017.  ^ Rosenfeld, Megan; McLellan, Joseph (January 20, 1981). "Inaugural Gala". Retrieved December 10, 2017 – via www.WashingtonPost.com.  ^ "With Ethel - Anything Goes!". St. Petersburg Times. July 17, 1955. p. 12. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ Apone, Carl (July 2, 1978). "Fans Find 'Merman' For Them". The Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
Press. pp. H–6. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ a b c Flinn 2007 p. 410 ^ a b Kellow 2007 p. 262 ^ a b Flinn 2007 p. 411 ^ Mark, Geoffrey (2006). Ethel Merman: The Biggest Star on Broadway. Barricade Legend. p. 204. ISBN 1-569-80293-9.  ^ "Fans Mourn death of Ethel Merman". Reading Eagle. February 16, 1984. p. 53. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ "Broadway Lights Dimmed To Honor Ethel Merman". Ludington Daily News. February 16, 1984. p. 3. Retrieved September 21, 2014.  ^ Parish, James Robert; Pitts, Michael R. (2003). Hollywood Songsters: Garland to O'Connor. Taylor & Francis. p. 572. ISBN 0-415-94333-7.  ^ "Private religious service held for Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
in New York". Lakeland Ledger. February 27, 1984. p. 2A. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ "Broadway Musical Star Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Dies". The Lewiston Daily Sun. February 16, 1984. p. 10. Retrieved September 20, 2014.  ^ Kellow, pp. 261–266

Further reading[edit]

Thomas, Bob (November 1985). I Got Rhythm! The Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
Story (Hardcover). New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 239 pages. ISBN 0-399-13041-1. 

External links[edit]

Biography portal Theatre portal Film portal Television portal Music portal

Book: Ethel Merman

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ethel Merman.

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
PlaybillVault.com Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
on IMDb Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
at Find a Grave Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
at AllMusic They Say She Was Wonderful: Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
at 100, The House Next Door By N.P. Thompson, Slant Magazine Obituary, The New York Times, February 16, 1984, "Ethel Merman, Queen of Musicals, Dies at 76" NPR's Susan Stamberg's Report on the Memory of Ethel Merman

Awards for Ethel Merman

v t e

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Imelda de Martin (1964) no award (1965-1968) Dorothy Loudon
Dorothy Loudon
/ Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1969) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
/ Sandy Duncan
Sandy Duncan
/ Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1970) Helen Gallagher
Helen Gallagher
/ Alexis Smith
Alexis Smith
(1971) Jonelle Allen (1972) Glynis Johns
Glynis Johns
/ Michele Lee
Michele Lee
(1973) Ruby Lynn Reyner (1974) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1975) Donna McKechnie
Donna McKechnie
(1976) Clamma Dale (1977) Nell Carter
Nell Carter
(1978) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1979) Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
(1980) Lena Horne
Lena Horne
(1981) Jennifer Holliday (1982) Natalia Makarova
Natalia Makarova
(1983) Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera
(1984) No award (1985) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1986) Teresa Stratas
Teresa Stratas
(1987) Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
(1988) Toni DiBuono (1989) Tyne Daly
Tyne Daly
(1990) Lea Salonga
Lea Salonga
(1991) Faith Prince (1992) Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera
(1993) Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy
(1994) Glenn Close
Glenn Close
(1995) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1996) Bebe Neuwirth
Bebe Neuwirth
(1997) Natasha Richardson
Natasha Richardson
(1998) Carolee Carmello
Carolee Carmello
/ Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1999) Heather Headley (2000) Marla Schaffel (2001) Sutton Foster
Sutton Foster
(2002) Marissa Jaret Winokur
Marissa Jaret Winokur
(2003) Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy
(2004) Victoria Clark
Victoria Clark
(2005) Christine Ebersole
Christine Ebersole
(2006) Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald
/ Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy
(2007) Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
(2008) Allison Janney
Allison Janney
(2009) Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
/ Montego Glover
Montego Glover
(2010) Sutton Foster
Sutton Foster
(2011) Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald
(2012) Laura Osnes
Laura Osnes
(2013) Jessie Mueller
Jessie Mueller
(2014) Kristin Chenoweth
Kristin Chenoweth
(2015) Cynthia Erivo (2016) Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(2017)

v t e

Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical

Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday
(1950) June Allyson
June Allyson
(1951) Susan Hayward
Susan Hayward
(1952) Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1953) Judy Garland
Judy Garland
(1954) Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons
(1955) Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
(1956) Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall
/ Taina Elg
Taina Elg
(1957) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1958) Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
(1959) Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
(1960) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1961) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1962) Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
(1963) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1964) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1965) Lynn Redgrave
Lynn Redgrave
(1966) Anne Bancroft
Anne Bancroft
(1967) Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
(1968) Patty Duke
Patty Duke
(1969) Carrie Snodgress (1970) Twiggy
Twiggy
(1971) Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
(1972) Glenda Jackson
Glenda Jackson
(1973) Raquel Welch
Raquel Welch
(1974) Ann-Margret
Ann-Margret
(1975) Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
(1976) Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
/ Marsha Mason
Marsha Mason
(1977) Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
/ Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(1978) Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1979) Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek
(1980) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1981) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1982) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(1983) Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
(1984) Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
(1985) Sissy Spacek
Sissy Spacek
(1986) Cher
Cher
(1987) Melanie Griffith
Melanie Griffith
(1988) Jessica Tandy
Jessica Tandy
(1989) Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
(1990) Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1991) Miranda Richardson
Miranda Richardson
(1992) Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett
(1993) Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
(1994) Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
(1995) Madonna (1996) Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt
(1997) Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow
(1998) Janet McTeer
Janet McTeer
(1999) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2000) Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
(2001) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2002) Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
(2003) Annette Bening
Annette Bening
(2004) Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon
(2005) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(2006) Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard
(2007) Sally Hawkins
Sally Hawkins
(2008) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(2009) Annette Bening
Annette Bening
(2010) Michelle Williams (2011) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2012) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2013) Amy Adams
Amy Adams
(2014) Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence
(2015) Emma Stone
Emma Stone
(2016) Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan
(2017)

v t e

Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year

1951–1975

Gertrude Lawrence
Gertrude Lawrence
(1951) Barbara Bel Geddes
Barbara Bel Geddes
(1952) Mamie Eisenhower
Mamie Eisenhower
(1953) Shirley Booth
Shirley Booth
(1954) Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds
(1955) Peggy Ann Garner
Peggy Ann Garner
(1956) Carroll Baker
Carroll Baker
(1957) Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
(1958) Joanne Woodward
Joanne Woodward
(1959) Carol Lawrence
Carol Lawrence
(1960) Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda
(1961) Piper Laurie
Piper Laurie
(1962) Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine
(1963) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1964) Lee Remick
Lee Remick
(1965) Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1966) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
(1967) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1968) Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
(1969) Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick
(1970) Carol Channing
Carol Channing
(1971) Ruby Keeler
Ruby Keeler
(1972) Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
(1973) Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway
(1974) Valerie Harper
Valerie Harper
(1975)

1976–2000

Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(1976) Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
(1977) Beverly Sills
Beverly Sills
(1978) Candice Bergen
Candice Bergen
(1979) Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
(1980) Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore
(1981) Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald
(1982) Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
(1983) Joan Rivers
Joan Rivers
(1984) Cher
Cher
(1985) Sally Field
Sally Field
(1986) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1987) Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
(1988) Kathleen Turner
Kathleen Turner
(1989) Glenn Close
Glenn Close
(1990) Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
(1991) Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
(1992) Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
(1993) Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan
(1994) Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer
(1995) Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon
(1996) Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts
(1997) Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
(1998) Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn
(1999) Jamie Lee Curtis
Jamie Lee Curtis
(2000)

2001–present

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore
(2001) Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker
(2002) Anjelica Huston
Anjelica Huston
(2003) Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
(2004) Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
(2005) Halle Berry
Halle Berry
(2006) Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson
(2007) Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
(2008) Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger
(2009) Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
(2010) Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore
(2011) Claire Danes
Claire Danes
(2012) Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard
(2013) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(2014) Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler
(2015) Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington
(2016) Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer
(2017) Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis
(2018)

v t e

Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical

Grace Hartman (1948) Nanette Fabray
Nanette Fabray
(1949) Mary Martin
Mary Martin
(1950) Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1951) Gertrude Lawrence
Gertrude Lawrence
(1952) Rosalind Russell
Rosalind Russell
(1953) Dolores Gray
Dolores Gray
(1954) Mary Martin
Mary Martin
(1955) Gwen Verdon
Gwen Verdon
(1956) Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday
(1957) Thelma Ritter
Thelma Ritter
/ Gwen Verdon
Gwen Verdon
(1958) Gwen Verdon
Gwen Verdon
(1959) Mary Martin
Mary Martin
(1960) Elizabeth Seal (1961) Anna Maria Alberghetti
Anna Maria Alberghetti
/ Diahann Carroll
Diahann Carroll
(1962) Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh
(1963) Carol Channing
Carol Channing
(1964) Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
(1965) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1966) Barbara Harris (1967) Patricia Routledge / Leslie Uggams
Leslie Uggams
(1968) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1969) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
(1970) Helen Gallagher
Helen Gallagher
(1971) Alexis Smith
Alexis Smith
(1972) Glynis Johns
Glynis Johns
(1973) Virginia Capers (1974) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1975) Donna McKechnie
Donna McKechnie
(1976) Dorothy Loudon
Dorothy Loudon
(1977) Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli
(1978) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
(1979) Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
(1980) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
(1981) Jennifer Holliday (1982) Natalia Makarova
Natalia Makarova
(1983) Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera
(1984) No Award (1985) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1986) Maryann Plunkett (1987) Joanna Gleason
Joanna Gleason
(1988) Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown
(1989) Tyne Daly
Tyne Daly
(1990) Lea Salonga
Lea Salonga
(1991) Faith Prince (1992) Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera
(1993) Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy
(1994) Glenn Close
Glenn Close
(1995) Donna Murphy
Donna Murphy
(1996) Bebe Neuwirth
Bebe Neuwirth
(1997) Natasha Richardson
Natasha Richardson
(1998) Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters
(1999) Heather Headley (2000) Christine Ebersole
Christine Ebersole
(2001) Sutton Foster
Sutton Foster
(2002) Marissa Jaret Winokur
Marissa Jaret Winokur
(2003) Idina Menzel
Idina Menzel
(2004) Victoria Clark
Victoria Clark
(2005) LaChanze
LaChanze
(2006) Christine Ebersole
Christine Ebersole
(2007) Patti LuPone
Patti LuPone
(2008) Alice Ripley
Alice Ripley
(2009) Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones
(2010) Sutton Foster
Sutton Foster
(2011) Audra McDonald
Audra McDonald
(2012) Patina Miller
Patina Miller
(2013) Jessie Mueller
Jessie Mueller
(2014) Kelli O'Hara
Kelli O'Hara
(2015) Cynthia Erivo (2016) Bette Midler
Bette Midler
(2017)

v t e

New York Drama Critics Award for Best Femme Performance in a Musical

Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1943) Mary Martin
Mary Martin
(1944) Beatrice Lillie
Beatrice Lillie
(1945) Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
(1946) Marlon Bell (1947) Beatrice Lillie
Beatrice Lillie
(1948)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 22329860 LCCN: n81120327 ISNI: 0000 0000 6301 6801 GND: 119151480 SUDOC: 175842876 BNF: cb13926156w (data) BIBSYS: 99020597 MusicBrainz: a17eed36-fd8f-4d71-898b-2da805ac7492 BNE: XX1069

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