John Raitt



Born: January 29, 1917
Santa Ana, California

Died: February 20, 2005
Los Angeles, California, USA

John Raitt, whose strapping frame and powerful baritone made him a charismatic star of the Broadway musical stage in the 1940s and '50s, died Feb. 20, 2005, at the age of 88, the Associated Press reported. Mr. Raitt has been ill for the last several days. He died from complications of pneumonia at his Pacific Palisades home, his manager, James Fitzgerald, said in a statement.

Obituary: In his most iconic role, John Raitt played the ne'er-do-well carnival barker who tries, but failed to do right by love Julie Jordan in Carousel, one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's more darkly tinged musicals. As such, he first sang such classic tunes as "If I Loved You" and the towering musical narrative "Siloloquy."

Raitt called the song, in which Billy dreams about the kind of boy he might be father to, ``practically a one-act opera which took six and a half minutes to sing,'' the AP reported. He said Hammerstein had been inspired to write it when he heard him sing Figaro at an earlier audition for Curly in the road company of Oklahoma!. He sang Figaro's aria from The Barber of Seville as a way of warming up. He got the job, and the composing team remembered that booming, authoritative, distinctly male voice when casting their next show, Carousel.

John Raitt's other big Broadway hit was The Pajama Game



Playbill Cover - The 56th Annual Tony Awards - 2002 The 56th Annual Tony Awards - 2002
Jun. 2, 2002 - Jun. 2, 2002
Participating Artist Performer
Playbill Cover - A Musical Jubilee A Musical Jubilee
Nov. 13, 1975 - Feb. 1, 1976
Playbill Cover - The 25th Annual Tony Awards - 1971 The 25th Annual Tony Awards - 1971
Mar. 28, 1971 - Mar. 28, 1971
Performer Performer
Playbill Cover - A Joyful Noise A Joyful Noise
Dec. 15, 1966 - Dec. 24, 1966
Shade Motley Performer
Playbill Cover - The Pajama Game The Pajama Game
May 13, 1954 - Nov. 24, 1956
Sid Sorokin Performer
Carnival in Flanders
Sep. 8, 1953 - Sep. 12, 1953
The Duke Performer
Playbill Cover - Three Wishes for Jamie Three Wishes for Jamie
Mar. 21, 1952 - Jun. 7, 1952
Jamie McRuin Performer
Sep. 20, 1948 - Dec. 4, 1948
Pedro Performer
Playbill Cover - Carousel Carousel
Apr. 19, 1945 - May 24, 1947
Billy Bigelow Performer
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