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Monday, April 21, 2014

65 Groovy Things about Patti LuPone on her birthday

Today I'm celebrating Patti LuPone's 65th birthday by sharing a "few" groovy things about her life and career:

1. Patti Ann LuPone was born on April 21, 1949, in Northport, New York, on Long Island. She was named after her great-grand-aunt, opera singer Adelina Patti.

2. In 1972, she was part of the first graduating class of Juilliard's Drama Division (which also included actors Kevin Kline and David Ogden Stiers), and they were all invited to become the original members of John Houseman’s repertory theater company, The Acting Company.

3. She made her Broadway debut in The Acting Company's 1973 revival of The Three Sisters.

4. She received her first Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for The Robber Bridegroom, which ran for 14 performances in October 1975.

5. She made her television debut in a 1976 PBS broadcast of The Acting Company's production of The Time of Your Life, which was performed on Broadway in 1975.

6. She was hired by producer David Merrick to replace Carole Demas in the troubled pre-Broadway production of the Stephen Schwartz musical, The Baker's Wife, which closed out of town in 1976.

7. She appeared in the Broadway musical adaptation of Studs Terkel’s Working, which ran for 24 performances in 1978.

8. She made her film debut in the 1978 drama, King of the Gypsies, starring Eric Roberts, Susan Sarandon and Brooke Shields.

9. She appeared in the 1979 Steven Spielberg film, 1941, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

10. She won her first Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in the 1979 Broadway production of the musical, Evita. She also performed on the 1980 Tony Awards and The Merv Griffin Show.

11. She performed on the 23rd Annual Grammy Awards on February 25, 1981, and Evita won Best Cast Show Album.

12. She performed on the 35th Annual Tony Awards on June 8, 1981.

13. She played Nancy in a Broadway revival of Oliver!, which ran for 17 performances in 1984.

14. In 1984, she played a vengeful ghost in Love Cycle: A Soap Operetta, an unaired pilot episode for a PBS anthology series that also starred Priscilla Lopez, Walter Bobbie and Lonny Price.

15. In 1985, she received the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Fantine in the original London production of Les Misérables and for her performance in The Acting Company's 1985 London production of The Cradle Will Rock.

16. She played Harrison Ford's sister in the 1985 film, Witness.

17. She played Danny DeVito's wife in the 1986 film, Wise Guys.

18. She performed on The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers in 1987.

19. She played Lady Bird Johnson opposite Randy Quaid as Lyndon B. Johnson in the NBC movie, LBJ: The Early Years, which originally aired on February 1, 1987.

20. She received a Tony Award nomination for her performance as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in the 1987 Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes.

21. She played Dan Aykroyd's wife in the 1989 film, Driving Miss Daisy.

22. She played Libby Thatcher for four seasons on the 1989-93 ABC drama, Life Goes On.

23. She performed on the 1990 PBS special, In Performance at the White House.

24. She performed at Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall on June 10, 1992.

25. She performed on the PBS special, A Capitol Fourth, on July 4, 1992.

26. She performed a song from the AIDS musical, Heart Strings, on the ABC special, In a New Light: A Call to Action in the War Against AIDS, on July 11, 1992.

27. Her album, Patti LuPone Live, was recorded at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles on January 15 and 16, 1993.

28. She created the role of Norma Desmond in the 1993 London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard, but she was replaced by Glenn Close when the show opened on Broadway. She then sued Lloyd Webber for reneging on her contract, and the case was settled out-of-court, giving her enough money to build an "Andrew Lloyd Webber memorial pool" at her Connecticut home. Her performance below is from a British Comic Relief fundraising event.

29. She starred in her solo concert show, Patti LuPone on Broadway, in 1995.

30. She appeared with Peter Gallagher in the Encores! concert production of Pal Joey in 1995.

31. She appeared in a 1996 episode of the AMC series, Remember WENN.

32. In 1996, she played operatic diva Maria Callas in the Broadway production of Master Class, and she appeared in the 1997 London production of the play.

33. She starred in her own PBS special, An Evening with Patti LuPone, in 1997.

34. She and Peter Gallagher starred in a single performance of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, as a Lincoln Center Theatre benefit on March 8, 1998. They later performed together on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on July 14, 1998.

35. She received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for a 1998 episode of Frasier.

36. She played Adrien Brody's mother in the 1999 Spike Lee film, Summer of Sam.

37. She made her Carnegie Hall solo concert debut in November 1999.

38. She played Charles Durning's wife in David Mamet's 2000 comedy, State and Main.

39. She performed with John Williams and the Boston Pops on Evening at Pops on July 20, 2000.

40. She appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on October 26, 2000, to promote her solo Broadway show, Matters of the Heart, which opened on November 13.

41. She played Mrs. Lovett opposite George Hearn in a New York Philharmonic concert production of Sweeney Todd in May 2000, a San Francisco Symphony concert production in July 2001 (which was taped for PBS), and at Chicago's Ravinia Festival in August 2001.

42. She performed with Audra McDonald on The Rosie O'Donnell Show in 2001.

43. She starred in a 2001 Broadway revival of Noises Off with Peter Gallagher and Faith Prince.

44. In 2003, she played the recurring role of librarian Stella Coffo on her cousin Tom Fontana's HBO series, Oz.

45. She performed with Michael Nouri in the Encores! production of the Cole Porter musical, Can-Can, in February 2004.

46. In May 2004, she performed with Kristin Chenoweth in a New York Philharmonic production of Candide, which was televised on PBS in 2005.

47. She appeared as herself in an episode of Will & Grace on February 3, 2005.

48. She played Fosca in a concert staging of the Sondheim musical, Passion, which was televised on Live from Lincoln Center on March 31, 2005.

49. After her 2001 Ravinia Festival appearance in Sweeney Todd, she returned to the Chicago venue for five more concert presentations of Sondheim musicals, including Anyone Can Whistle in August 2005.

50. She received a Tony Award nomination for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the 2005 Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd.

51. She appeared on the TV series, Ugly Betty, as the mother of Marc St. James on March 22, 2007.

52. After playing Rose in a Ravinia Festival concert production of Gypsy in August 2006, she reprised the role in an Encores! Summer Stars production in July 2007, which transferred to Broadway in March 2008 and earned her her second Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical.

53. She played Frank Rossitano's mother Sylvia in three episodes of 30 Rock from 2009 to 2012.

54. She played Laura Benanti's mother (whom she appeared with in Gypsy) in a 2010 CBS pilot, Open Books, which also starred Scott Foley and Aisha Tyler.

55. She played the title role opposite Patrick Cassidy in Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun at Chicago's Ravinia Festival in August 2010.

56. She promoted her book, Patti LuPone: A Memoir, on The View on September 15, 2010.

57. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in the 2010 Broadway production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

58. She appeared in a 2010 HBO pilot, The Miraculous Year, with Frank Langella, Hope Davis and Norbert Leo Butz.

59. She appeared as herself in the Season 2 finale of the TV series, Glee, on May 24, 2011.

60. In April 2011, she played Joanne in a New York Philharmonic concert production of the Sondheim musical, Company, with Neil Patrick Harris. A filmed presentation of the concert debuted in select movie theaters in June 2011.

61. In 2011, she played a 63-performance Broadway engagement of An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin (her former Evita co-star).

62. In June 2012, she debuted her concert show, Far Away Places, as the inaugural act at 54 Below, a new cabaret space in New York City.

63. She appeared on Broadway opposite Debra Winger in the David Mamet play, The Anarchist, in December 2012.

64. In 2013, she played religious mother Joan Ramsey on the third season of the FX series, American Horror Story.

65. She played herself in two episodes of the HBO series, Girls, in 2014.

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