Friends and Colleagues Will Celebrate Late Gretchen Wyler Sept. 25 at Sardi's

News   Friends and Colleagues Will Celebrate Late Gretchen Wyler Sept. 25 at Sardi's
 
A private memorial service will be held for the late Broadway musical star and animal advocate Gretchen Wyler — who played the saucy Hollywood actress in Broadway's Silk Stockings — Sept. 25 at Sardi's in Manhattan.
Gretchen Wyler
Gretchen Wyler

As seating is limited, anyone wishing to attend must call (818) 501-2275 for an invitation. Arrivals are 1-1:30 PM, memorial service is 1:30-2:30 PM, and a reception will follow 2:30-4:30 PM.

Wyler, who became an overnight sensation in the original 1955 Broadway production of Cole Porter's Silk Stockings, died at her home in California, at the age of 75, May 27, 2007. Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, JoAnne Worley and Paul Blake will be among the speakers.

Wyler was featured prominently in the recent documentary "Broadway: The Golden Age," now on DVD.

Wyler's theatrical career spanned 50 years and encompassed eight Broadway shows, including Where's Charley, starring Ray Bolger; and the original productions of Guys and Dolls — in which she graduated from the chorus to the role of Miss Adelaide — Damn Yankees and Bye Bye Birdie, replacing Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, respectively. In 1968 she was invited to star in the London run of Sweet Charity, taking over the lead from Julie Prowse.

Wyler was a regular on television, appearing in "On Our Own," "Dallas," "Friends," "Judging Amy," "Providence" and "Stark Raving Mad." In 1991 she joined other Broadway musical legends at Carnegie Hall to celebrate Cole Porter's 100th Birthday Party, re-creating the songs she introduced in Silk Stockings. Her performances of the raucous "Stereophonic Sound" and the suggestive "Satin and Silk" and "Josephine" were preserved on the show's original cast album. Offstage, Wyler was a passionate advocate for animals since 1966, forming her own organization, The Ark Trust, in 1991, which later merged with The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal-protection organization. She established and produced the annual Genesis Awards, a star-studded Hollywood event, now approaching its 22nd year, "which honors the news and entertainment media for spotlighting animal issues."

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Hollywood Office of The Humane Society of the United States.

For more biographical information on Wyler, visit gretchenwyler.com. For more information on the Genesis Awards, visit humanesociety.org/Hollywood.

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