Phyllis Newman (March 19, 1933 – September 15, 2019) was an American actress and singer. She won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Martha Vail in the musical Subways Are for Sleeping on Broadway, received the Isabelle Stevenson Award in 2009 and was nominated another Tony for Broadway Bound (1987), as well as two nominations for Drama Desk Awards.
|Born||March 19, 1933|
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||September 15, 2019 (aged 86)|
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
(m. 1960; died 2002)
Early life and educationEdit
Newman was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, one of three daughters of a Jewish immigrant couple. Her mother, Rachel Gottlieb, from Lithuania, was professionally known as Marvelle the Fortune Teller. Her father, Sigmund Newman, from Warsaw, billed himself as Gabel the Graphologist, working alongside his wife in boardwalk amusements.
Newman made her Broadway debut in Wish You Were Here in 1952. Additional theater credits include Bells Are Ringing, Pleasures and Palaces, The Apple Tree, On the Town, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Awake and Sing!, Broadway Bound, and Subways Are for Sleeping, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, beating out Barbra Streisand in I Can Get It for You Wholesale. She received a second Tony Award nomination, for Broadway Bound, received the first Isabelle Stevenson Award at the 2009 Tony Awards, and was nominated twice for Drama Desk Awards for My Mother Was a Fortune Teller (1978) and The Moment When (2000).
In June 1979, Newman and Arthur Laurents collaborated on the one-woman show The Madwoman of Central Park West. Produced by Fritz Holt, it featured songs by Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Bock, John Kander, Martin Charnin, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Edward Kleban, Fred Ebb, Sheldon Harnick, Peter Allen, Barry Manilow, Carole Bayer Sager, and Stephen Sondheim, among others. The show ran for 86 performances at the 22 Steps Theatre in New York City.
An early television role for Newman was in a 1959 episode of Beverly Garland's crime drama Decoy. The following year she was cast as Doris Hudson on the CBS summer replacement series Diagnosis: Unknown, opposite Patrick O'Neal as pathologist Dr. Daniel Coffee.
Newman became a major television celebrity of the 1960s and 1970s, a frequent panelist on the top-rated network game shows What's My Line?, Match Game and To Tell the Truth and a perennial guest of Johnny Carson on NBC's The Tonight Show. She also guested as Elaine, the mother of Melissa (played by Melanie Mayron) on the 1980s television series Thirtysomething.
Newman created the role of Renée Buchanan on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live and was a regular on the primetime series 100 Centre Street and the NBC satirical series That Was The Week That Was. Other television credits include The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; Burke's Law; ABC Stage 67; Murder, She Wrote; and The Wild Wild West. Newman starred in the short-lived comedy about a couple living in an Arizona retirement community, Coming of Age, opposite veteran actors Paul Dooley, Glynis Johns and Alan Young.
On screen, Newman appeared in Picnic (1955), Let's Rock (1958), Bye Bye Braverman (1968), To Find a Man (1972), Mannequin (1987), Only You (1994), The Beautician and the Beast (1997), A Price Above Rubies (1998) and The Human Stain (2003).
In addition to her appearances on original cast recordings, Newman recorded an album of contemporary songs, Those Were the Days, for Sire Records in 1968. In England, the album was released as Phyllis Newman's World of Music on London Records.
The Phyllis Newman Women's Health InitiativeEdit
In 1995 Newman founded The Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of the Actors Fund of America. Since then she hosted the annual Nothing Like a Dame galas, which have raised more than US $3.5 million and served 2,500 women in the entertainment industry.
In 2009 Newman received the first Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony Award, for her work with the Health Initiative. This award recognizes "an individual from the theatre community for [his or her] humanitarian work."
Personal life and deathEdit
Newman was married to lyricist and playwright Adolph Green from 1960 until his death in 2002. She was the mother of journalist Adam Green and singer-songwriter Amanda Green. Newman died on September 15, 2019 at the age of 86 from complications of a lung disorder.
|1955||Picnic||Juanita Badger - Cool Girl||Uncredited|
|1956||The Vagabond King||Lulu||Uncredited|
|1958||Let's Rock||Kathy Abbott|
|1967||The Naked Witch||Robert's Mother|
|1968||Bye Bye Braverman||Myra Mandelbaum|
|1972||To Find a Man||Betty McCarthy|
|1977||A Secret Space||Ann|
|1994||Only You||Faith's Mother|
|1997||The Beautician and the Beast||Judy Miller|
|1998||A Price Above Rubies||Mrs. Gelbart|
|1998||A Fish in the Bathtub||Sylvia Rosen|
|2000||Just for the Time Being||Maggie|
|2000||It Had to Be You||Judith Penn|
|2003||The Human Stain||Iris Silk|
- "Phyllis Newman, Tony winner who fought for women's health, dies at 86". The Washington Post. September 16, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
- "Phyllis Newman". Masterworks Broadway. Accessed April 3, 2014.
- "The Madwoman of Central Park West". Guide to Musical Theatre. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
- Finn, Robin (February 27, 2004)."Still a Broadway Baby After All These Years". The New York Times.
- Gans, Andrew (October 1, 2007). "Annual Nothing Like a Dame Benefit Concert Sets 2008 Date". Playbill.
- Pesner, Ben. "The Tonys Honor Jerry Herman, Phyllis Newman, Virginia's Signature Theatre, and Shirley Herz". tonyawards.com. Retrieved May 6, 2009.[dead link]
- Jones, Kenneth (June 7, 2009). "'Billy Elliot', 'Norman Conquests', 'Hair', 'God of Carnage' Are Tony Award Winners". Playbill.
- Newman, Phyllis (1988). Just in Time: Notes from My Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-61880-3. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
- September 15, 2019. "Phyllis Newman Has Passed Away at 86". Broadway World.