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Marian Seldes

Director, Performer
( b. Aug 23, 1928 New York, New York, USA - d. Oct 6, 2014 New York, New York, USA ) Female
Relations: Daughter of Gilbert Seldes
Wife of Julian Claman (1953 - 1961) divorced
Wife of Garson Kanin (1990 - 1999) his death
With a career that spanned 60 years, Seldes was the consummate actress and was happiest in the theater. She made her Broadway debut in 1948 in the Robinson Jeffers adaptation of Medea directed by John Gielgud and starring Judith Anderson in the title role. She won her first Tony (she was nominated for five) for her supporting role in A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee. She entered the Guinness Book of World Records for her appearance in Ira Levin's Deathtrap when she didn't miss a performance of the play's four-year run. Other stage credits include Equus, Painting Churches, and Dinner at Eight. Her last appearance on Broadway was in 2007 in Terrence McNally's Deuce.

In 2010, Seldes received a Tony Lifetime Achievement Award honoring her contribution to the theater and her extraordinary talent. Her acceptance of the award became a legendary moment in Tony history when she stepped onto the stage, placed her hand over her heart and looked at the audience of theater luminaries and then exited without a word. She later explained, "They said to keep it short, so I decided I would just say nothing."

Ms. Seldes also had an extensive career in movies, television and radio. She appeared in more than 18 films, including Truman, Leatherheads, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Mona Lisa Smile. On the small screen, she appeared as Emily Bronte in the television movie "Our Sister Emily," in "Murphy Brown" as the title character's eccentric aunt and as Mr. Big's mother in the popular series "Sex and the City." As a radio actress she appeared on the CBS Radio Mystery Theater for eight years.

One of her greatest joys was found in the classroom. Seldes taught for many years at The Juilliard School and later as an adjunct professor at Fordham University. She loved working with her students and her generosity and support of her fellow actors was demonstrated in her teaching. She became for many of them an important friend as well. Among her students were Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, William Hurt, Kelsey Grammar, Christopher Reeve, Kevin Spacey, Patti Lupone, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Christine Baranski, Viola Davis and Robin Williams.

Born and raised in Manhattan, Seldes was the daughter of Gilbert Seldes, an American writer and cultural critic, and Alice Wadhams Hall, a socialite. Her uncle was the investigative journalist and media critic George Seldes. She attended the Dalton School and studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse under Sandford Meisner.

Source: The New York Times obituary.



Productions Date of Productions
Deuce
[Play, Original]
  • Starring: Marian Seldes [Midge Barker]
May 06, 2007 - Aug 19, 2007
Dinner at Eight
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes
    • Carlotta Vance (Dec 03, 2002 - ?)
Dec 19, 2002 - Jan 26, 2003
45 Seconds From Broadway
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes [Rayleen]
Nov 11, 2001 - Jan 13, 2002
Ring Round the Moon
[Play, Comedy, Revival]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Madame Desmermortes]
Apr 28, 1999 - Jun 27, 1999
Ivanov
[Play, Revival]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Zinaida Savishna]
Nov 20, 1997 - Jan 04, 1998
Deathtrap
[Play, Mystery, Thriller, Comedy, Original]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Myra Bruhl]
Feb 26, 1978 - Jun 13, 1982
The Merchant
[Play, Original]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes [Rivka Kolner]
Nov 16, 1977 - Nov 19, 1977
Equus
[Play, Drama, Original]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes [Hesther Saloman]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes
    • Dora Strang - Replacement
Oct 24, 1974 - Oct 02, 1977
Next Time I'll Sing to You
[Play, Revival]
  • Directed by Marian Seldes
Jan 02, 1974 - Jan 11, 1974
Father's Day
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Marian]
Mar 16, 1971 - Mar 16, 1971
Before You Go
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Woman]
Jan 11, 1968 - Feb 03, 1968
A Delicate Balance
[Play, Drama, Original]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes [Julia]
Sep 22, 1966 - Jan 14, 1967
Tiny Alice
[Play, Original]
  • Standby: Marian Seldes [Miss Alice]
Dec 29, 1964 - May 22, 1965
The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore
[Play, Revival]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Blackie]
Jan 01, 1964 - Jan 04, 1964
A Gift of Time
[Play, Original]
  • Standby: Marian Seldes [Lael Tucker Wertenbaker]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes [Susan Loring]
Feb 22, 1962 - May 12, 1962
The Wall
[Play, Original]
  • Understudy: Marian Seldes [Rachel Apt]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes [Symka Berson]
Oct 11, 1960 - Mar 04, 1961
The Chalk Garden
[Play, Comedy, Original]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes [Olivia]
Oct 26, 1955 - Mar 31, 1956
Ondine
[Play, Romance, Original]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Bertha]
Feb 18, 1954 - Jul 03, 1954
The High Ground
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Nurse Phillips]
Feb 20, 1951 - Mar 10, 1951
The Tower Beyond Tragedy
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Electra]
Nov 26, 1950 - Dec 22, 1950
That Lady
[Play, Drama, Romance, Original]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Anichu at 18]
Nov 22, 1949 - Jan 28, 1950
Medea
[Play, Drama, Tragedy, Revival]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Second Woman of Corinth]
May 02, 1949 - May 21, 1949
Crime and Punishment
[Play, Drama, Revival]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Dounia]
Dec 22, 1947 - Jan 24, 1948
Medea
[Play, Drama, Tragedy, Revival]
  • Performer: Marian Seldes [Attendant to Medea]
Oct 20, 1947 - May 15, 1948
Special Events Date of Special Events
A Wonderful Life
[Musical, Benefit, Original]
  • Also Starring: Marian Seldes
Dec 12, 2005 - Dec 12, 2005
2010 Tony Award® Special Award for Lifetime Achievement
nominee Marian Seldes [recipient]
2006 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
  Marian Seldes (for "Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams") [nominee]
2003 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Play
 Dinner at Eight [nominee]
Performer: Marian Seldes
2001 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Play
  Marian Seldes (for "The Play About the Baby") [nominee]
2001 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
  Marian Seldes (for "The Butterfly Collection") [nominee]
1999 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
 Ring Round the Moon [nominee]
Performer: Marian Seldes
1999 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
 Ring Round the Moon [nominee]
Performer: Marian Seldes
1998 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
 Ivanov [nominee]
Performer: Marian Seldes
1978 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Play
 Deathtrap [nominee]
Performer: Marian Seldes
1971 Tony Award® Best Actress in a Play
 Father's Day [nominee]
Performer: Marian Seldes
1971 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Performance
winnerFather's Day [winner]
Performer: Marian Seldes
1967 Tony Award® Best Featured Actress in a Play
winnerA Delicate Balance [winner]
Also Starring: Marian Seldes
Find out where Marian Seldes and are credited together