Golden-age Broadway ingenue Barbara Cook died Tuesday at her Manhattan home. She was 89 and surrounded by family and friends. The only immediate survivor, her son Adam LeGrant (58), said respiratory failure was the cause of her death.
Publicist of the theater icon and soaring soprano said her final meal was vanilla ice cream.
Born on 25 October 1927 in Atlanta, Georgia, Cook was known for her crystal-clear voice and cheerful personality. Before moving to New York City she started singing locally.
Three of her biggest roles came in the 50s and 60s. It was Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in 1956 and next was The Music Man in 1957 for which she earned Tony Award in 1958 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Her third was She Loves Me in 1963.
She took to alcoholism and started weight gain following her leading roles in the Great White Way dried up. In a 2016 memoir she wrote, “I was so broke that I was stealing food from the supermarket.”