Torch singer Helen Marcovicci, known as a1940's nightclub singer, died last week of natural causes. She was 97.
Ms. Marcovicci arrived in New York from Lehigh, PA, at the age of 18 to work as an au pair. She later waited tables and modeled dresses before being named Miss Television at the 1939 World's Fair. She appeared at such clubs as the Maisonette and La Vie Parisienne under the name Helen Stuart.
A 1944 Billboard review noted that she had “swell pipes and excellent delivery... poise, diction, and delivers with assurance.”
In 1945 she wed Eugene Marcovicci, an internist and house physician for upscale hotels. The couple frequented New York's café society, including evenings at the Stork Club and El Morocco, until she went into semi-retirement to care for her family. She was widowed in 1968 and in 1980 remarried Dana Carroll, who preceded her in death.
An avid tennis player and sailor, Ms. Marcovicci won numerous trophies for her prowess both on the court and over the water.
In later years, during daughter Andrea Marcovicci’s annual engagement at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel, she appeared on Thursday nights for almost 25 years. At that time she possessed a forceful belt that never failed to draw huge applause. She also stopped the show at Town Hall and received a standing ovation at the 15th Annual Cabaret Convention. Of that evening The New York Times wrote, “The evening's high point was Helen's solemn, tragic rendition of 'Take Me in Your Arms.’”
She is survived by daughter, actress and cabaret singer, Andrea Marcovicci; son Peter Marcovicci, an engineer of specialty racecar engines; granddaughter Alice Reichert; sisters Mary Walker and Elaine Petock; and brother Andrew Figura.