Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
James D. Bissell to Marlon Brando
Vivian Blaine Biography (1921-)
Born Vivian S. Stapleton, November 21, 1921 (some sources say 1923 or 1924),in Newark, NJ; daughter of Lionel P. and Wilhelmina (Tepley) Stapleton; married Manuel George Frank (divorced); married Milton Rackmil (divorced); marriedStuart Clark. Addresses: AGENT--Becker and London, 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019.
Born Vivian S. Stapleton, November 21, 1921 (some sources say 1923 or 1924),in Newark, NJ; died of congestive heart failure (one source says pneumonia),December 9, 1995, in New York City. Actress. Vivian Blaine is best rememberedfor her role as the original Miss Adelaide in the hit Frank Loesser/Abe Burrows musical Guys and Dolls, for which she was awarded the New York Theatre Goers Award for Musical Comedy Star of the Year in 1951. Blaine portrayed the squeaky-voiced singer at the Hot Box Club who complained about her fiancee Nathan Detroit's lack of commitment in the show-stopping tune "Adelaide's Lament." She recreated the role opposite Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons in the 1955 film version of the show. Blaine's father, Lionel Stapleton,was a theatrical agent who launched his daughter's career as a singer while she was still in elementary school. After graduating from high school, Blainetoured as a singer with travelling bands. In 1941, a Hollywood talent scout signed her to a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox studios. She appeared in Jitterbugs (1943) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, played opposite George Raft and Joan Bennett in Nob Hill (1945), and played the dance-band singer Emily in State Fair (1945). Blaine returned to Broadway after her success in Guysand Dolls in A Hatful of Rain (1956), Company (1971) and Zorba (1984).
- STAGE DEBUT--Variety acts, Mosque Theatre, Newark, NJ, then in New York City, 1939.
- LONDON DEBUT--Variety acts, Casino Theatre, 1947.
Credits; PRINCIPAL STAGE APPEARANCES
- Miss Adelaide, Guys and Dolls, 46th Street Theatre, New York City, 1950,then Coliseum Theatre, London, 1953.
- Celia Pope, A Hatful of Rain, Lyceum Theatre, New York City, 1956.
- Irene Lovelle, Say, Darling, American National Theatre Academy Playhouse,New York City, 1958.
- Rose, Gypsy, Shady Grove Music Fair, Washington, DC, 1962.
- Angela, Enter Laughing, Henry Miller's Theatre, New York City, 1963.
- Nell Henderson, Mr. President, Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA, 1964.
- Miss Adelaide, Guys and Dolls, City Center Theatre, New York City, 1966.
- Jo Anne, Company, Alvin Theatre, New York City, 1971, later Westbury Music Fair, Long Island, NY, 1973.
- Madame Hortense, Zorba, Broadway Theatre, New York City, 1983.
- Also appeared as Phyllis Rogers Stone, Follies, Westchester Country Playhouse, NY, 1973; and in One Touch of Venus, Dallas Starlight Theatre, 1948; Light Up the Sky, Lakeside Summer Theatre, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, 1949; Panama Hattie, Starlight Theatre, Dallas, TX, 1955; The Best of Everybody, Studebaker Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1975.
Credits; MAJOR TOURS
- Celia Pope, A Hatful of Rain, U.S. cities, 1956.
- Miss Adelaide, Guys and Dolls, Nell Henderson, Mr. President, U.S.
- cities, both 1964.
- Edith Lambert, Never Too Late, U.S. cities, 1965.
- Stephanie, Cactus Flower, U.S. cities, 1967.
- Marion Hollander, Don't Drink the Water, U.S. cities, 1968.
- Madame Hortense, Zorba, U.S. cities, 1970.
- Phyllis Rogers Stone, Follies, U.S. cities, 1973.
- all female roles, Twigs, U.S. cities, 1973.
- Dolly Levi, Hello Dolly!, U.S. cities, 1974.
- Frances Black, Light Up the Sky, U.S. cities, 1975.
- Also Bloomer Girl, U.S. cities, 1949; and in One Touch of Venus; Light Upthe Sky; Born Yesterday; Gypsy; Rain; Cactus Flower; I Do, I Do; A StreetcarNamed Desire.
Credits; PRINCIPAL FILM APPEARANCES
- FILM DEBUT--Through Different Eyes, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1942.
- It Happened in Flatbush, Girl Trouble, both Twentieth Century-Fox, 1942.
- Jitterbugs, He Hired the Boss, both Twentieth Century-Fox, 1943.
- Something for the Boys, Greenwich Village, both Twentieth Century- Fox, 1944.
- Nob Hill, State Fair, Doll Face, all Twentieth Century-Fox, 1945.
- Three Little Girls in Blue, If I'm Lucky, both Twentieth Century- Fox, 1946.
- Skirts Ahoy, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1952.
- Guys and Dolls, MGM, 1955.
- Public Pigeon No. One, Universal, 1957.
- The Dark, Film Ventures International, 1979.
- Parasite, Wizard Video, 1981.
- Also appeared in Richard, 1972; I'm Going to Be Famous, 1982.
Credits; PRINCIPAL TELEVISION APPEARANCES; EPISODIC
- "Double Jeopardy," Philco Television Playhouse, ABC, 1953.
- "Heart of a Clown," Elgin Hour, ABC, 1954.
- Center Stage, ABC, 1954.
- "Pick the Winner," Damon Runyon Theatre, CBS, 1955.
- "The Awful Truth," The Bob Hope Show, NBC, 1956.
- "The Undesirable," Lux Video Theatre, NBC, 1957.
- Route 66, CBS; and Ford Theatre.
- Those Two, NBC, 1951-52.
- "Dream Girl," Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC, 1955.
- Ray Bolger's Washington Square Show, NBC, 1956.
- Guest: The Jimmy Durante Show, NBC, The Milton Berle Show, NBC, The Jackie Gleason Show, CBS.
Credits; PRINCIPAL RADIO APPEARANCES
- The Fitch Bandwagon.
Credits; PRINCIPAL CABARET APPEARANCES
- Cafe de la Paix, New York City, 1940.
- Glass Hat, New York City, 1941.
- Casino Theatre, London, 1947.
- Copacabana, New York City, 1948.
- Brothers and Sisters, New York City, 1975.
- Grand Finale, New York City, 1976.
- International Motion Picture Almanac, Quigley, 1994.
- New York Times, December 14, 1995, p. B19.
- Times (London), December 18, 1995, p. 19.
- Washington Post, December 15, 1995, p. D5.
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