June Winters, Singer and Actress, Dies at 96

Obituaries   June Winters, Singer and Actress, Dies at 96 June Winters, a singer and actress who appeared in the 1930s Broadway hit Hellzapoppin and became popular in the 1940s as the children’s music character "Lady in Blue," died March 29 of natural causes at her home in Bergenfield, NJ, Playbill has learned. She was 96.

Ms. Winters, who was born May 17, 1918, in Hazleton, PA, got her big break when she was cast in Hellzapoppin, the musical revue by Ole Olson and Chic Johnson that was one of the last great gasps of vaudeville on Broadway. She stayed with the show during its entire run, from 1938 to 1941. During World War II, she sang with the Boston Comic Opera Company, touring the country in Gilbert and Sullivan works such as The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and H.M.S. Pinafore.. She also played cabaret engagements at such New York clubs as No. One Fifth Ave. and performed in stage shows at Radio City Music Hall.

In 1943, she met and married trumpet player and songwriter Hugo Peretti. In 1946, the couple formed Mayfair Records and made a hit in the children’s market with Ms. Winters’ signature character, the "Lady in Blue," who sang and spoke directly to kids. Ms. Winters released dozens of albums as the character, and also performed as the Lady in Blue on radio.

Ms. Winters retired from performing in order to raise her children. Peretti died in 1986. Winters was pre-deceased by a daughter, Kathy Peretti. She is survived by daughter Tina Marie Peretti, son-in-law Robert Acuti, grandson Paul, and cousin Luigi.

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