Gladys Nederlander, Producer, Dies at 83

Obituaries   Gladys Nederlander, Producer, Dies at 83
 
Gladys Nederlander, a theatre producer and member of the powerful theatrical family that owns and operates theatres across the United States, died July 21 in New York City. The cause was heart failure. She was 83.
Gladys Nederlander and Kitty Carlisle Hart
Gladys Nederlander and Kitty Carlisle Hart Photo by Sam Bolton/

Following a long career in radio, Ms. Nederlander began producing for Broadway with 1976's short-lived Legend. She produced under her previous married named, Gladys Rackmil, and partnered with the Kennedy Center and Roger L. Stevens. Caesar and Cleopatra with Rex Harrison and the musicals Platinum and The Madwoman of Central Park West followed, although none was a big success. A 1980 revival of West Side Story starring Debbie Allen and directed by Arthur Laurents did better, running for the better part of a year and winning three Tony Award nominations. Her final four Broadway credits were the Frank Loesser revue Perfectly Frank, a starry, Mike Nichols-directed revival of Death and the Maiden, the Rupert Holmes thriller Solitary Confinement and the Neil Simon musical The Goodbye Girl starring Bernadette Peters and Martin Short.

She met her future husband, Robert Nederlander, one of several brothers in the Detriot-born Nederlander theatre dynasty, while working as executive producer for Nederlander Television and Film Productions, a job she took in 1982. She had previously been married to Fred Stryker, a songwriter, from 1945 to 1955, and Milton Rackmil, the founder of Decca Records and the president of Universal Pictures, from 1963 to 1973. She is survived by Mr. Nederlander and her children Steven Stryker, of Rockville, MD, and Teri Ann Stryker, of Palo Alto, CA.

She was born Gladys Lenore Blum in New York City on Nov. 14, 1925, to Gaston and Sherry Blum. When she was young, her family moved to Chicago. After Gaston Blum died, she and her mother moved to southern California. There, she got a job on the staff of "Queen for a Day," a 1940s radio game show, according to The New York Times. She continued to work in radio over the next few decades.

Gladys and Robert Nederlander
Gladys and Robert Nederlander Photo by Aubrey Reuben
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