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Tammy Grimes, Broadway's Original Molly Brown and Dorothy Brock, Dies at 82

Grimes won two Tony Awards for her Broadway roles.

Tammy Grimes has died at the age of 82.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

Two-time Tony winner and iconic Broadway star Tammy Grimes has died at the age of 82, according to the New York Times.

Born January 30, 1934, in Massachusetts, Grimes made her Broadway debut in 1956 in The Littlest Revue and won a 1959 Theatre World award for her performance in Noël Coward's Look After Lulu. Coward cast her after seeing Grimes performing at the nightclub Downstairs at the Upstairs. She would later win one of her two Tonys, as well as a 1970 Drama Desk Award, for her work as Amanda Prynne in Coward's Private Lives.

Of her more than a dozen Broadway credits, Grimes is perhaps best known for having originated the title character in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. She received the 1961 Best Featured Actress in a Musical Tony Award rather than the one for Best Leading Actress, as Grimes was billed below the show's title.

She also originated the roles of Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street and Elvira in High Spirits. She was last seen on Broadway in 1989 in Orpheus Descending. On-screen, Grimes took on roles in the films Play It as It Lays and Slaves of New York, among others. She had her own sitcom, The Tammy Grimes Show, in the 1960s.

Grimes married Christopher Plummer in 1956, and the couple divorced in 1960. She is survived by their daughter, actress Amanda Plummer, and is predeceased by her third husband, Richard Bell, whom she married in 1971.


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