Open main menu

Vivienne Sonia Segal (April 19, 1897 – December 29, 1992) was an American actress and singer.[1]

Vivienne Segal
Vivienne Sonia Segal.jpg
Vivienne Segal
Vivienne Sonia Segal

(1897-04-19)April 19, 1897
DiedDecember 29, 1992(1992-12-29) (aged 95)
OccupationSinger and actress
Years active1926-1966
Spouse(s)Robert Ames (m.1923-div.1926)
Hubbell Robinson, Jr. (1950 - ?)
AwardsDonaldson Award, Best Performance-Actress (Musical Division)-1952

Early yearsEdit

Segal was born on April 19, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the elder daughter of Jewish parents, Bernard Segal (a physician) and Paula (née Hahn) Segal, who encouraged Vivienne and her sister, Louise, to seek careers in show business.[2] Her obituary in The Guardian reported that her father "underwrote a local opera company in order to give her the chance to sing."[3]


Segal's career began when she was 15 years old and began performing with the Philadelphia Operatic Society.[4] Her Broadway debut came in The Blue Paradise (1915),[5] a production that was underwritten by her father.[3] In 1924 and 1925, she was a member of the Ziegfeld Follies.[6] She was also a performer on the CBS Radio program Accordiana in 1934.[7]

Segal may be best remembered for creating the role of Vera Simpson in Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Pal Joey and introducing the song "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered". Pal Joey opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre December 25, 1940, with a cast that included Gene Kelly and June Havoc.[8] She also starred as Morgan LeFay in the Rodgers and Hart revival of A Connecticut Yankee in 1942.[9] One of Lorenz Hart's last songs, "To Keep My Love Alive", was written specifically for her in this show.[3]

Since the 1940 Pal Joey production went unrecorded, a studio cast was assembled in 1950 to record the musical. In 2003, this recording was reissued on CD by Columbia Broadway Masterworks in a release featuring the full show's numbers plus two bonus tracks: Harold Lang singing "I Could Write a Book" (from the CBS TV show Shower of Stars) and Segal singing "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" on the CBS Radio show Stage Struck, interviewed by Mike Wallace recalling Hart's promise to write her a show.[10] In 1952, she played in Pal Joey again, when it was revived on Broadway.[2]

Vivienne Segal retired from acting in 1966 following a guest appearance on Perry Mason as Pauline Thorsen in "The Case of the Tsarina's Tiara."


Segal and actor Robert Ames eloped in 1923; they divorced in 1926.[2] In 1950, she married television executive Hubbell Robinson, Jr.[1] Both unions were childless.[11]


Segal died in Beverly Hills, California of heart failure on December 29, 1992, aged 95.[1] She was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.


In 1952, Segal received a Donaldson Award in the Best Performance-Actress (Musical Division) category for her performance in the revival of Pal Joey.[12]

Musical theaterEdit


Year Title Role Notes
1929 Will You Remember? Short.
1930 Song of the West Virginia Filmed in two-color Technicolor. Lost film.
1930 Bride of the Regiment Countess Anna-Marie Filmed in two-color Technicolor. Lost film.
1930 Golden Dawn Dawn Filmed in two-color Technicolor. Survives in black and white.
1930 Viennese Nights Elsa Hofner Filmed in two-color Technicolor. Survives in color.
1933 Fifi Fifi Short.
1934 The Cat and the Fiddle Odette Filmed in black and white with Technicolor finale.
1934 Soup for Nuts Prima Donna Short.


  1. ^ a b c William Grimes (December 30, 1992). "Vivienne Segal, 95, a Stage Star In Roles Sweet to Cynical, Is Dead". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-07. Vivienne Segal, a musical-comedy star who appeared on Broadway in 'The Desert Song,' 'No, No, Nanette,' and 'Pal Joey,' died yesterday in Los Angeles. She was 95 years old and lived in Beverly Hills. She died of heart failure, said Robert Sidney, a friend. ...
  2. ^ a b c Stark, Bonnie Rothbart. "Vivienne Segal". Encyclopedia. Jewish Women's Archive. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Harris, Dale (2 January 1993). "Unbothered and bewitching". The Guardian. England, London. p. 24. Retrieved December 18, 2017 – via  
  4. ^ "Star Quits 'Goody' Types". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. 2 January 1940. p. 20 - Part I. Retrieved December 18, 2017 – via  
  5. ^ "Vivienne Segal". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Vivienne Segal". Masterworks Broadway. Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  7. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 11.
  8. ^ "Playbill". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-10-29.
  9. ^ Suskin, Steven (1990). Opening Night on Broadway: A Critical Quotebook of the Golden Era of the Musical Theatre. New York: Schrimmer Books, pp. 154–157. ISBN 0-02-872625-1.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Grimes, William (30 December 1992). "Vivienne Segal, 95, a Stage Star In Roles Sweet to Cynical, Is Dead" – via
  12. ^ "The Winners of the 9th Annual Donaldson Awards 1951-1" (PDF). Billboard. June 21, 1952. p. 47. Retrieved 19 December 2017.


  • Sies, Luther F. Encyclopedia of American Radio: 1920-1960. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2000. ISBN 0-7864-0452-3

External linksEdit