November 8 marks what would have been Tony-nominated director and actor June Havoc's 107th birthday. Havoc, born Ellen June Evangeline Hovick, was the sister of famous burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee; the story of their family, guided through a grueling career in show business by matriarch Rose Thompson Hovick, would later become the basis for the Athur Laurents-Jule Styne–Stephen Sondheim musical Gypsy. In celebration of Havoc's birthday, we're taking a look back at her stint in another Sondheim musical, when she took on the role of Mrs. Lovett in the national tour of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
The original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd opened in 1979 and closed the following year, launching its first national tour with original Mrs. Lovett Angela Lansbury reprising her role alongside George Hearn, who replaced Len Cariou in the role of Sweeney Todd toward the end of the Broadway run. Following the conclusion of this tour, a North American tour was launched in 1982 with Ross Petty as Todd and Havoc as Lovett. The two toured with the show from its opening in Wilmington, Delaware, to its closing in Toronto, Ontario, in July of that year.
In addition to her work as an actor, Havoc also worked as a director, earning a Tony nomination for directing of her 1964 play Marathon '33.
Flip through photos from the tour below: