As BroadwayWorld reported yesterday, Joan Roberts, the stage and film actress who created the role of "Laurey" in the original 1943 production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA!, died on Monday August 13, in Stamford, Connecticut. She was 95, and died of congestive heart failure, according to her son, John Donlon. In the video below, Imagem Music Group remembers the stage star by sharing a 2011 interview. Check it out below.
Born on July 15, 1917 in New York City, Roberts appeared on Broadway in the musicals SUNNY RIVER, MARINKA, ARE YOU WITH IT?, and HIGH BUTTON SHOES, in addition to her role in OKLAHOMA! Her final Broadway appearance was as Heidi Schiller in the 2001 revival of FOLLIES.
Joan Roberts also performed in summer stock, television and film (making her professional debut at the age of 5 in an episode of the OUR GANG film serial, according to Donlon). In recent years, Ms. Roberts conducted workshops on singing and voice projection. In 2011 she was honored by the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts while attending their replica production of the original OKLAHOMA!, where she was joined by fellow original OKLAHOMA! star Celeste Holm (who died on July 15 of this year.) Joan Roberts’ autobiography, STAGE RIGHT, was released by Kaufmann Publishing earlier this summer.
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