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PASSINGS / Marilyn Cooper

Broadway star won a Tony Award

April 27, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Marilyn Cooper, 74, a Broadway actress best known for her Tony-winning performance in the musical "Woman of the Year," died Wednesday after a long illness at the Actors Fund Home in Englewood, N.J., said Virginia Seidel, a family friend.

Cooper was a chorus member in the original Broadway casts of such classic musicals as "West Side Story" (1957) and "Gypsy" (1959). She made her Broadway debut in the 1956 Sammy Davis Jr. musical "Mr. Wonderful" and also appeared in "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" (1962), "Hallelujah, Baby!" (1967), "Golden Rainbow" (1968), "Two by Two" (1970) and "Ballroom" (1978), among others.

But it was a show-stopping duet with Lauren Bacall in the Kander and Ebb musical "Woman of the Year" (1981) that won Cooper a Tony Award for featured actress in a musical.

She also appeared in several Neil Simon comedies, including the female version of "The Odd Couple" (1985) and "Broadway Bound" (1986).

On television, Cooper had a memorable role on "Cheers" as Lilith's meddling mother.

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