Cabaret star Julie Wil­son dies at 90 in New York

The China Post - - LIFE - BY MARK KENNEDY

Julie Wil­son, a mu­si­cal theater actress and cabaret star who earned a Tony Award nom­i­na­tion and was cheered for her abil­ity to har­ness the songs of Stephen Sond­heim and Cole Porter, has died. She was 90.

Christo­pher Denny, Wil­son’s friend, said she died Sun­day in New York af­ter hav­ing suf­fered two strokes over the last sev­eral days.

Upon learn­ing the news of her death, the Broad­way icon Kristin Chenoweth tweeted: “Broad­way’s loss. Heaven’s gain.”

Wil­son’s most fa­mous stage role was the 1988 Peter Allen mu­si­cal “Legs Di­a­mond,” for which she earned a Tony Award nom­i­na­tion. Her other Broad­way cred­its in­clude “Park” in 1970, “The Girl in the Freudian Slip” in 1967 and as a re­place­ment for the role of Babe Wil­liams in the orig­i­nal run of “The Pa­jama Game.”

But it was as a singer — known for her in­ter­pre­ta­tions of such song­writ­ers as Sond­heim, Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, and Porter — that made the big­gest im­pres­sions, from such record­ings as “Julie Wil­son Sings the Cy Cole­man Song­book” to her live sets at the Oak Room in the Al­go­nquin Ho­tel.

Denny, who was a friend for 30 years, called her his “sec­ond mother” and praised her for be­ing “one of my life’s great­est teach­ers and an ex­am­ple of hu­mil­ity, com­pas­sion, kind­ness and gen­eros­ity which I never ex­pect to see equaled.”

Wil­son was born on Oct. 21, 1924, in Omaha, Ne­braska, and recorded sev­eral al­bums, in­clud­ing “My Old Flame,” “Live From the Rus­sian Tea Room” and “Julie Wil­son at the St. Regis.”

She is sur­vived by her son, ac­tor, writer, and pro­ducer Holt McAloney.

AP

In this April 25, 1984 file photo, singer-actress Julie Wil­son sings the songs of Stephen Sond­heim at Michael’s Pub in New York.

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