Doris Belack



Born: February 26, 1926
New York City, New York

Died: October 4, 2011
New York City, New York

Obituary: Doris Belack, a film and stage actress with decades of credits, died Oct. 4. She was 85. Ms. Belack's longtime husband, producer Philip Rose, died on May 31 2011. They had been married for 65 years.

Ms. Belack made her Broadway debut in Semi-Detached, a 1960 play produced by her intrepid husband, who often backed long-shot propositions. (He made his name as the novice producer of A Raisin in the Sun.) Many of her subsequent Broadway appearances were also in Rose outings, including The Heroine (1963), Nathan Weinstein, Mystic, Connecticut (1966), The Ninety Day Mistress (1967) and The Cemetery Club (1990). Other Broadway credits included standby and understudy assignments in The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Bad Habits and Cheaters.

With her long, saturnine face and hard dark eyes, Ms. Belack was adept at portraying tough, skeptical characters, often with an edge of humor. She deployed these charms most memorably as the tough-minded producer Rita Marshall, who unknowingly gives Dustin Hoffman a job playing a woman on a soap opera in the classic comedy "Tootsie."

Born Feb. 26, 1926, in New York City, to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Ms. Belack met her husband at a summer stock company. She got most of her early work in soap operas. She was the original Anna Wolek Craig on "One Life to Live." She played the lead role of a captain of an undercover anticrime unit of the NYPD in the short-lived television sitcom called "Baker's Dozen." She guest starred on an episode of "The Golden Girls" as Dorothy's sister Gloria, and was Judge Margaret Barry, a recurring character on "Law & Order" from 1990 to 2001. Her last television appearance was on a 2003 episode of "Sex and the City."

Off-Broadway credits included The Right Kind of People, Surviving Grace, Emerald City, Letters Home and P.S. 193, as well as many one-act plays at Ensemble Studio Theatre.

An open-to-the-public joint public memorial for the late couple will be held at New York's Ambassador Theatre on Oct. 17.



Playbill Cover - The Cemetery Club The Cemetery Club
May 15, 1990 - Jul. 1, 1990
Doris Performer
Playbill Cover - Cheaters Cheaters
Jan. 15, 1978 - Feb. 11, 1978
Grace Standby
    Monica Standby
Playbill Cover - The Trip Back Down The Trip Back Down
Jan. 4, 1977 - Mar. 5, 1977
Barbara Horvath Performer
Playbill Cover - Bad Habits Bad Habits
May 5, 1974 - Oct. 5, 1974
Ruth Benson, R.N. Performer
    April Pitt Understudy
    Dolly Scupp Understudy
    Becky Hedges, R.N. Understudy
    Ruth Benson, R.N. Understudy
    April Pitt Performer
Playbill Cover - Last of the Red Hot Lovers Last of the Red Hot Lovers
Dec. 28, 1969 - Sep. 4, 1971
Elaine Navazio Standby
Playbill Cover - The Ninety Day Mistress The Ninety Day Mistress
Nov. 6, 1967 - Nov. 25, 1967
Phyllis Performer
Playbill Cover - Nathan Weinstein, Mystic, Connecticut Nathan Weinstein, Mystic, Connecticut
Feb. 25, 1966 - Feb. 26, 1966
Deborah Wang Performer
Mar. 10, 1960 - Mar. 12, 1960
Simone Performer
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