The Committee of Theatre Owners will dim the lights of The Gershwin Theatre, The Walter Kerr Theatre, The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, and The Imperial Theatre in memory of Tony winner Carole Shelley—who passed away August 31 at age 79—September 5 at 6:45 PM for one minute.
Each of the theatres dimming lights in her memory was significant to Ms. Shelley’s career. She made her Broadway debut in 1965 at the Schoenfeld Theatre (formerly The Plymouth Theatre) in The Odd Couple. At the Gershwin, she originated the role of Madame Morrible in Wicked (2003) and appeared in Show Boat (1994). She received a Tony nomination in 2009 for her performance at the Imperial Theatre in Billy Elliot: The Musical. She was last seen on Broadway in 2015 at the Kerr in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.
“Carole Shelley was as skilled at the repartee of The Odd Couple as the heartbreak of The Elephant Man and the outsized joy of Show Boat; as indelible in plays as in musicals. During an extraordinary 50 year Broadway career, she originated characters that stood the test of time and earned the devotion of anyone who worked with her," said Thomas Schumacher, chairman of the Broadway League. "She will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”
Winner of the 1979 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in The Elephant Man, Ms. Shelley received Tony nominations for her performances in Billy Elliot: The Musical (2009), Stepping Out (1987), and Absurd Person Singular (1974). She was also a multiple Drama Desk Award nominee and received honors from the Outer Critics Circle Awards and Obie Awards.