Farewell to Reid Shelton, the original Broadway Daddy Warbucks, who died from a stroke June 8 at age 72. Shelton started with the production at its 1976 Goodspeed Opera House premiere in Connecticut, then went on to tackle the role on Broadway -- this time with a shaved head -- opposite Dorothy Loudon and Andrea McArdle.
A University of Michigan graduate, Shelton made his Broadway debut in 1952's Wish You Were Here. Other Broadway roles included Wonderful Town, My Fair Lady, By The Beautiful Sea, The Saint Of Bleecker Street, Oh! What A Lovely War!, Canterbury Tales, The Rothschilds and 1976's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1983 he appeared in Major Barbara at CA's South Coast Repertory. According to the NY Post obituary, Shelton stayed with My Fair Lady -- in NY and on the road -- for eight years, moving up from the chorus to the role of Freddy Eynsford-Hill.
Shelton is also known for playing Coach Donardo on the HBO comedy series, "First And Ten." He is survived by his companion, Donovan Baker.
A spokesperson for the Broadway revival of Annie said some kind of commemoration was being planned but did not yet know the details.
--By David Lefkowitz