Betsy Friday, president of the company that helped bring to Broadway such shows as Titanic and the most recent revival of The King and I, died yesterday from complications from a bone marrow transplant. She was 44.
The multi-talented Friday was a successful singer and dancer prior to becoming a successful producer and fundraiser. A native of North Carolina, where her father is a former president of UNC, she appeared on Broadway in several musicals. She also kept busy in commercials and as a dancer, working with both the Pauline Koner Dance Consort and the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Friday spent the 1980s working under the late producer/director Joe Layton. In 1990, she became a resident director at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, retaining that position until 1994. In the '90s, while continuing as a performer--she was in The Secret Garden on Broadway--Friday evolved into an active director, producer, and fundraising consultant. The production company of which she was president had a hand in shows from the Nathan Lane ...Forum to the Matthew Broderick How to Succeed..., and from Tommy to Titanic.
Donations are being accepted in Friday's honor by The North Carolina School of the Arts, The Betsy Friday Scholarship Fund, 1533 South Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27127-2188, Attn: Bill Porter. Donations may also be sent to the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of The Actors' Fund in honor of Betsy Friday, c/o The Actors' Fund, 729 Seventh Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10019.