Broadway Veteran Phyllis Somerville Dies at 76

Obituaries   Broadway Veteran Phyllis Somerville Dies at 76
The stage and screen regular last appeared on Broadway in To Kill a Mockingbird.
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Phyllis Somerville, whose myriad stage credits included Aaron Sorkin's Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, died July 16 at the age of 76. Her death was confirmed by her manager, Paul Hilepo.

Born December 12, 1943, Ms. Somerville was born and raised in Iowa, eventually graduating from the University of Northern Iowa with a major in English. She appeared on stage regularly through college before eventually studying theatre at Wayne State University in Michigan.

Phyllis Somerville
Phyllis Somerville Lev Radin/Shutterstock

Ms. Somerville made her Broadway debut in 1975 in the musical Over Here!, and in 1978 played Miss Chasen in the Broadway revival of Kaufman and Hart's Once in a Lifetime. She also stood by for Kathy Bates in the 1983 revival of 'night, Mother (she then starred in the tour with Mercedes McCambridge).

She originated the role of Mrs. Henry DuBose, the Finches' racist neighbor, in To Kill a Mockingbird, playing the role for about a year before her final bow November 3, 2019.

Off-Broadway and regionally, Ms. Somerville appeared in such works as Traveler in the Dark at American Repertory Theater, The Spitfire Grill at Playwrights Horizons, The Sum of Us at Cherry Lane Theatre, and Too Much, Too Much, Too Many with Roundabout Theatre Company. She was also a member of LAByrinth Theater Company.

On the small screen, Ms. Somerville is perhaps most remembered for her performance as neighbor Marlene on Showtime's The Big C, as well as Daredevil on Netflix and WGN's The Outsiders. Her film credits include Arthur, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Poms.