Irene Manning, a Soprano Seen in Stock, London, Films and on Broadway, Dead at 91

Obituaries   Irene Manning, a Soprano Seen in Stock, London, Films and on Broadway, Dead at 91
 
Irene Manning, an actress, soprano and writer who appeared in musicals and operettas in London, in stock and on Broadway, died May 28 at her home in California, according to The New York Times.

The cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Ms. Manning, 91, was born Inez Harvuot in Cincinnati. Her father was a real estate broker. She graduated high school in Los Angeles and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, from which she graduated in 1939.

Her performance debut was as Margot in a Rochester production of The Desert Song in 1939 and played sang for the St. Louis Municipal Opera. Under the name Hope Manning she sang leading roles in The Gypsy Baron, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Chocolate Soldier and The Merry Widow for Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company 1939-41.

During World War II, as Irene Manning, she toured England with her own four-girl troupe for the USO.

According to her personal bio in a 1960s edition of "Who's Who in the American Theatre," she made her debut on Broadway in 1945 in The Day Before Spring, an early flop musical Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe (who went on to write My Fair Lady). According to Internet Broadway Database, she also appeared in Susanna, Don't You Cry, an 1939 musical using Stephen Foster songs. It was part of Robert Edmond Jones' American Lyric Theatre season, at the Martin Beck Theatre.

Ms. Manning's West End debut came in 1947, in The Dubarry. She played cities throughout the U.K. In plays, musicals and music hall shows.

In the years that followed she toured the U.S. as Anna in The King and I and Vera in Pal Joey and appeared in Everybody Loves Opal, The Tattooed Countess (in New York City) and Holiday for Lovers.

Her film appearances include "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "The Big Shot," "Spy Ship," "The Desert Song," "Shine On, Harvest Moon," "Make Your Own Bed," "Doughgirls,""Escape in the Desert," "I Live in Grosvenor Square."

For the London publication, Show Business, she penned the "Girl About Town" column. Ms. Manning was also an abstract painter.

She was married three times, according to her bio: First to television producer and writer Het Manheim, Clinton Green and Maxwell White Hunter II, a rocket engineer. Her first two marriages ended in divorce. Hunter died in 2001.

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