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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Isabel Bigley born 23 February 1926



Isabel Bigley (February 23, 1926 – September 30, 2006) was an American actress, perhaps best remembered for originating the partof Sarah Brown in Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls.

Bigley was born in New York, the daughter of a salesman, and was educated at Walton high school in the Bronx before going to the Juilliard School of Music in 1944. Her Broadway debut was in the chorus of Oklahoma! in 1946. She followed the show to Drury Lane, where a brief period in the chorus led to the small part of Armina in 1947. She was so good that by the time the show closed in 1949, she was playing the female lead, Laurey, serenaded in The Surrey with the Fringe on Top. 

News of her success got her recommendation to Feuer and his partner, Ernie Martin, for Guys and Dolls. Once the difficulty with Loesser was resolved, Bigley went on to be a sensation in the show, winning a Tony award in 1951. This was followed by a Theatre World award for the most promising newcomer.
 
 

 
When she sang Sarah's other hit, If I Were a Bell, critics remarked that that was how her voice sounded - like a bell. That same year, Bigley took part in the first television spectacular in colour. The show, Premiere, starred some of the most important American entertainment figures of the day.

When the Broadway production of Guys and Dolls ended in 1953, Rodgers and Hammerstein cast Bigley in the lead role of Jeannie in Me and Juliet, a show that ran for 358 performances. From then on, she concentrated on television, hosting the US version of the TV cabaret show Café Continental and appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. She was a regular, too, on the Paul Whiteman, Eddie Fisher and Abbott and Costello shows, and was on the team of the American What's My Line? She yearned to go back to the stage, but somehow the right part never cropped up at the right time. 

In July 1953, Bigley married Lawrence Barnett, an important theatrical agency boss. She retired in 1958 to raise their six children.
 

Barnett and Bigley made many charitable contributions to arts education, including establishing a graduate program in arts policy and administration at Ohio State University. They were also strongly involved in fund-raising for an organisation devoted to finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). 

Bigley lived in both Los Angeles and Rancho Mirage and in 2005 she was named chairwoman of the board of the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert.  
 

She died in Los Angeles 30 September 2006, from undisclosed causes, aged 80. Her widower died on June 11, 2012, aged 98. (Info mainly edited from an article by Michael Freedland for The Guardian.)
 

2 comments:

boppinbob said...


Open Drive mp3 players are not working so back to Zippyshare for the present.


For “ME AND JULIET / ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST”
With bonus tracks by JANE POWELL, FLORENCE HENDERSON, PATRICE MUNSEL et al, go here:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/bjpe1c

1. OVERTURE Orchestra
2. A VERY SPECIAL DAY Isabel Bigley
3. THAT’S THE WAY IT HAPPENS Isabel Bigley, Bill Hayes
4. MARRIAGE TYPE LOVE Arthur Maxwell
5. KEEP IT GAY Mark Dawson
6. NO OTHER LOVE Isabel Bigley, Bill Hayes
7. THE BIG BLACK GIANT Bill Hayes
8. IT’S ME Joan McCracken, Isabel Bigley
9. INTERMISSION TALK Orchestra & chorus
10. IT FEELS GOOD Mark Dawson
11. WE DESERVE EACH OTHER Joan McCracken, Bob Fortier
12. I’M YOUR GIRL Isabel Bigley, Bill Hayes
13. FINALE Entire Company

BONUS TRACKS from the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook

14. YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE Jan Peerce
15. IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING Jane Powell
16. ALL AT ONCE YOU LOVE HER William Johnson
17. MY LORD AND MASTER Patrice Munsel
18. YOU ARE NEVER AWAY Stephen Douglass
19. MANY A NEW DAY Florence Henderson
20. IF I LOVED YOU Robert Goulet & Mary Grover
21. LOVE LOOK AWAY Florence Henderson
22. SOME ENCHANTED EVENING Stephen Douglass
23. MR SNOW Jane Powell
24. CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN Jan Peerce


Rodgers and Hammerstein’s backstage musical ME AND JULIET was not one of the team’s greatest commercial successes, but it is packed full of very fine and witty songs, including such gems as MARRIAGE TYPE LOVE, WE DESERVE EACH OTHER, and the smash hit NO OTHER LOVE. Now, again, Flare is pleased to present the original cast album, digitally remastered.

The bonus tracks are taken from some of Rogers and Hammerstein’s other great scores, including State Fair, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Carousel and Oklahoma! Several of the recordings presented are rare, including two stunning tracks from Jane Powell. For all lovers of the musical theatre this is a CD not to be missed.


Kevin said...

Thanks again!