( b. Aug 28, 1947 New York, New York, USA - d. Jun 25, 2011 New York, New York, USA ) Female
Playten began her acting career playing Baby Louise in the original production of Gypsy. She later told of studying Ethel Merman's performance of "Rose's Turn" from the wings. (She studied her subject well; later in her career she would be compared to Merman.) In 1963, she was Bet, Nancy's younger sister, singing "I'd Do Anything" in the Charles Dickens-inspired show Oliver! The next year, she created the role of Ermengarde, Horace Vandergelder's tearful niece, in Hello, Dolly!. She seized the spotlight in 1967, winning a Tony Award nomination and a Theatre World Award for her work in the short-lived Bob Merrill musical Henry, Sweet Henry.
In film, she cut her most memorable figure in the 1985 sci-fi curiosity "Legend," where she put her pixie-like persona to work playing Blixx, a pointy-eared goblin who serves Tim Curry's "Lord of Darkness".
Ms. Playten acted in Peter Parnell's play The Sorrow of Stephen at the Public Theater in 1979; was Eve in Up From Paradise, a musical version of Arthur Miller's Garden of Eden play The Creation of the World and Other Business, in 1983. Ms. Playten won a second Obie Award playing Lady Bird Johnson and Mamie Eisenhower in Michael John LaChiusa's First Lady Suite, and was in Bill Irwin's production of Georges Feydeau's 1907 classic, A Flea in Her Ear at the Roundabout Theatre Company in 1998. Though the plays and productions got smaller, Ms. Playten continued to act. She starred with Richard Masur in The Flea Theater's The Oldsmobiles in fall 2009. Other Broadway credits include Seussical and Caroline or Change. Her final stage appearance was the Off-Broadway comedy with music, It Must Be Him, in late summer 2010.
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