Dorothy Loudon, a Tony award-winning actress, died on Nov. 15 from cancer. She was 70.
Loudon’s mother taught her to sing more than 1,500 songs. Although she eventually attended Syracuse University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Loudon was only a teenager when she moved from Boston to New York, seeking stardom. Her big break came when a nightclub owner gave her a job as his featured performer. She soon developed a lounge act, and appeared on “The Perry Como Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Loudon made her stage debut in 1962 in “The World of Jules Feiffer,” a play directed by Mike Nichols. She hit Broadway that same year in the musical comedy, “Nowhere to Go But Up,” and followed it with a series of starring roles in short-lived shows. Although the play, “The Fig Leaves Are Falling” only lasted for four performances, Loudon received a Drama Desk Award and a Tony nomination for best actress in a musical. She was also nominated in 1979 for her work in “Ballroom,” but lost both times to Angela Lansbury.
Her luck changed when she starred in the Broadway hits “Sweeney Todd” and “Noises Off.” Her depiction of Mrs. Hannigan, the mean owner of an orphanage in the play, “Annie,” which earned Loudon the Tony, a Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award. Although she was most comfortable on the stage, Loudon also appeared in the films, “Garbo Talks” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Loudon was previously married to the late Emmy Award-winning composer Norman Paris, who wrote the theme song for the television game show “I’ve Got a Secret.” He died in 1977.
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