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Broadway and Former Soap Star Phyllis Newman Dies At Age 86

Phyllis NewmanPhyllis Newman

Stage and television star Phyllis Newman has passed away at the age of 86. The beloved performer, who burst onto the Broadway scene in the early 1960s, died on Sunday, September 15, according to her son’s Instagram account.

A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Newman was born on March 19, 1922, to Rachel and Arthur Newman. She attended Lincoln High School. Newman made her first appearance on Broadway in 1952 in the show Wish You Were Here.

Newman additionally appeared in such shows as Pleasures and Palaces, The Apple Tree, Awake and Sing!, and The Prisoner of Second Avenue. She won a Tony Award in 1962 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in Subways Are For Singing.

In 1979, Newman collaborated on the one-woman show The Madwoman of Central Park West with Arthur Laurents. The production featured songs by Leonard Bernstein, Peter Allen, Barry Manilow, Carole Bayer Sager, and many others. It ran for over 80 performances at the 22 Steps Theatre in New York City.

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Newman’s career also included roles in television and film, like appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, as well as on Murder, She Wrote, thirtysomething, and Oz. For soap fans, she will also be beloved for having created the part of Renee Divine (later played by Patricia Elliott) on One Life to Live.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1983, Newman took pen to paper and started her autobiography titled Just In Time: Notes From My Life. She founded the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative of The Actors’ Fund of America in the early 1990s. Her charitable efforts led to her being the first recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award from the Tony Awards in 2009.

Formerly wed to late composer/screenwriter Adolph Green (who died in 2002) for over 40 years, Newman is survived by a son, Adam, and a daughter, Amanda. Entertainment Hub sends deep condolences to Newman’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Video Credit: WatchMojo.com

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