Singer/ac­tress Bar­bara Cook dies

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

Bar­bara Cook, whose shim­mer­ing so­prano made her one of Broad­way’s lead­ing in­genues and later a ma­jor cabaret and con­cert in­ter­preter of pop­u­lar Amer­i­can song, has died. She was 89.

Cook died early Tues­day of res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure at her home in Man­hat­tan, sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends, ac­cord­ing to pub­li­cist Amanda Kaus. Her last meal was vanilla ice cream, a nod to one of her most fa­mous roles in “She Loves Me.”

Through­out her nearly six decades on stage, Cook’s voice re­mained re­mark­ably sup­ple, gain­ing in emo­tional hon­esty and ex­pand­ing on its nat­u­ral abil­ity to go straight to the heart.

On Broad­way, Cook was best known for three roles: her por­trayal of the saucy Cune­gonde in Leonard Bern­stein’s “Can­dide” (1956); li­brar­ian Mar­ian op­po­site Robert Pre­ston in “The Mu­sic Man” (1957); and Amalia Balash, the let­ter-writ­ing hero­ine of “She Loves Me” (1963).

Yet when Cook’s pert in­genue days were over, she found a sec­ond, longer ca­reer in clubs and con­cert halls, work­ing for more than 30 years with Wally Harper, a pi­anist and mu­sic ar­ranger. Harper helped in shap­ing her ma­te­rial, choos­ing songs and pro­vid­ing the frame­work for her shows.

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