Tony and Olivier Award winner Patti LuPone created the role of Norma Desmond for the musical's 1993 world-premiere production in London, earning an Olivier nomination for her performance. Glenn Close played the role in Los Angeles and later in New York, where she won a 1995 Tony Award for her work as the aging, deluded silent-film star. Other musical Normas include Betty Buckley (London [Olivier nomination] and New York), Elaine Paige (London and New York), Diahann Carroll (Canada), Petula Clark (London and U.S. tour), Rita Moreno (London), Debra Byrne (Australia), Helen Schneider (Germany), and Linda Balgord (U.S. tour). Florence Lacey, Loni Ackerman, Liz Callaway, and Valerie Perri are among those who have played the role regionally.
Flip through the photos from past productions below:
Look Back at the London and Broadway Productions of Sunset Boulevard
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard is based on Billy Wilder's 1950 movie, which featured Gloria Swanson as the reclusive Norma Desmond, who falls in love with an unlucky writer—Joe Gillis—who happens upon her home by accident. William Holden played Gillis in the film; Swanson, Holden, and Wilder all received Academy Award nominations for their work.