Alice Ghostley, Tony-Winning Stage Actress, Dies
By Robert Simonson
Alice Ghostley, the stage and television actress whose sweetly befuddled face was familiar to millions, died Sept. 21 at her home in Studio City, CA. Her age was variously given as 81 and 83.
Alice Ghostley made her Broadway debut in Leonard Sillman's New Faces of 1952, alongside Eartha Kitt and Paul Lynde. In it, she sang "Boston Beguine," written by a neophyte songwriter named Sheldon Harnick. In 1954 she appeared in the short-lived musical Sandhog and the next year in the Leonard Bernstein-composed "Trouble in Tahiti" section of All in One. Another ill-fated musical, Shangri-La, followed in 1956.
Ms. Ghostley played a wide variety of characters in A Thurber Carnival, a revue based on the work of humorist and cartoonist James Thurber that ran for nine months in 1960. In 1962 she starred in the S.J. Perelman comedy The Beauty Part.
Ironically, given the comic bent of her work, she won her Tony Award for a dramatic role in Lorraine Hansberry's second and last work The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window.
Ms. Ghostley is survived by her sister, Gladys. Her husband, the actor Felice Orlandi, died in 2003.
Send questions and comments to the Webmaster
Copyright © 2014 Playbill, Inc. All Rights Reserved.