Marilyn Cooper

Performer
Marilyn Cooper

Female

Born: December 14, 1936
New York, New York, USA

Died: April 23, 2009
New Jersey

Marilyn Cooper, who won a Tony Award in 1981 for her droll performance in the musical Woman of the Year, died April 23, 2009, at the Actors Fund Home in New Jersey, following a long illness. She was 75. Brunette, with large eyes and a deadpan manner, Ms. Cooper excelled at comedy. It wasn't easy drawing focus away from Lauren Bacall, the star of the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical (which was based on the Tracy-Hepburn film of the same name), but Ms. Cooper managed to do it as Jan Donovon, the drab ex-wife of Sam Craig, the Tracy character. She stopped the show with her punchlines in "The Grass Is Always Greener," a duet with Bacall's character, Tess Harding, in which the two women envy the circumstances of one another's lives. Ms. Cooper stole the number, sending the audience into gales of laughter with her nasal refrain "What's so wonderful?" Ms. Cooper also won a Drama Desk Award for her work. She would later tour with Bacall in the show, and toured again, in 1984, this time with Barbara Eden.

Obituary: Born in New York City, Ms. Cooper's musical theatre chops stretched back to Mr. Wonderful in 1956, and included ensemble roles in the original production of West Side Story (as Rosalie), Gypsy (as Agnes, the leader of the Hollywood Blondes, which back up Louise) and I Can Get It for Your Wholesale. She replaced Jane Connell as Agnes Gooch in the original production of Mame and played a variety of roles in the Jule Styne-Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Arthur Laurents musical Hallelujah, Baby!

During the 1970s, Ms. Cooper appeared in Two by Two, On the Town and Ballroom. In the 1980s, she took roles in a few straight plays, including Neil Simon's The Odd Couple and Broadway Bound.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Grease Grease
May 11, 1994 - Jan. 25, 1998
Miss Lynch Performer
(Replacement)
 
Playbill Cover - Cafe Crown Cafe Crown
Feb. 18, 1989 - Mar. 26, 1989
Ida Polan Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Broadway Bound Broadway Bound
Dec. 4, 1986 - Sep. 25, 1988
Mrs. Pitkin Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Odd Couple The Odd Couple
Jun. 11, 1985 - Feb. 23, 1986
Vera Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Woman of the Year Woman of the Year
Mar. 29, 1981 - Mar. 13, 1983
Jan Donovan Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Ballroom Ballroom
Dec. 14, 1978 - Mar. 24, 1979
Marlene Understudy
(Original)
 
    Ensemble Performer
(Original)
 
    Natalie Performer
(Original)
 
    Helen Understudy
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Working Working
May 14, 1978 - Jun. 4, 1978
Standby for the Company Standby
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - On the Town On the Town
Oct. 31, 1971 - Jan. 1, 1972
Hildy Esterhazy Understudy
(Original)
Who's Who
    Lucy Schmeeler Performer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Two by Two Two by Two
Nov. 10, 1970 - Sep. 11, 1971
Leah Performer
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - A Teaspoon Every Four Hours A Teaspoon Every Four Hours
Jun. 14, 1969 - Jun. 14, 1969
Sylvia Rubin Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Golden Rainbow Golden Rainbow
Feb. 4, 1968 - Jan. 11, 1969
Rosemary Garrity Performer
(Original)
 
    Judy Harris Standby
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Hallelujah, Baby! Hallelujah, Baby!
Apr. 26, 1967 - Jan. 13, 1968
Dorothy Performer
(Original)
 
    Ethel Performer
(Original)
 
    Mistress Performer
(Original)
 
    Mrs. Charles Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Mame Mame
May 24, 1966 - Jan. 3, 1970
Agnes Gooch
Arrived on Dec. 15, 1969
Performer
(Replacement)
 
Playbill Cover - West Side Story West Side Story
Apr. 8, 1964 - May 3, 1964
Rosalia Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - I Can Get It for You Wholesale I Can Get It for You Wholesale
Mar. 22, 1962 - Dec. 8, 1962
Ruthie Rivkin Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Gypsy Gypsy
May 21, 1959 - Mar. 25, 1961
Agnes Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - West Side Story West Side Story
Sep. 26, 1957 - Jun. 27, 1959
Rosalia Performer
(Original)
 
    Consuela Understudy
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Brigadoon Brigadoon
Apr. 9, 1957 - May 5, 1957
Singer Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Mr. Wonderful Mr. Wonderful
Mar. 22, 1956 - Feb. 23, 1957
Little Girl Performer
(Original)
 
 

Inside the Playbill (2)

See more Who's Who

Awards


Drama Desk Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1981 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Woman of the Year Winner

Tony Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1981 Featured Actress in a Musical Woman of the Year Winner
 
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