Beloved Broadway Vet Linda Balgord, the Final Grizabella in the Original Cats, Dies at 64

Balgord also appeared in many other musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Linda Balgord
(© Joseph Marzullo)

Beloved Broadway veteran Linda Balgord has died at the age of 64, according to social media posts from friends and colleagues.

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Balgord was known for her roles in musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber. She toured for two years as Rose Vibert in Aspects of Love, opposite Ron Bohmer, and was personally chosen by the composer to play Norma Desmond in the original tour of Sunset Boulevard. In addition, Balgord was the final Grizabella in the Broadway company of Cats and played Madame Giry both on Broadway and on tour in The Phantom of the Opera.

Balgord was no stranger to the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, as well. Her career on stage essentially kicked off in the 1987 Goodman Theatre production of Sunday in the Park With George and she made her Broadway debut as Fosca’s Mother (and understudying Fosca) in Passion. She was the standby for Patti LuPone in the 2008 Broadway revival of Gypsy.

Also on Broadway, Balgord played Mme. Dindon in the 2004 revival of La Cage aux Folles and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for playing Queen Elizabeth I in The Pirate Queen. She was among the ensemble cast of Death Takes a Holiday and Myths and Hymns off-Broadway. Regionally, she played Fanny in Funny Girl, Eva in Evita, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, the Drowsy Chaperone, and countless other roles.

She married veteran stage manager Andy Fenton in 1993; they met working on Aspects of Love. He is among her survivors.