Tony-Winning Broadway Legend Barbara Cook Has Passed Away

Broadway star Barbara Cook has passed away at age 89, the AP reports. The singer died of respiratory failure at her home in Manhattan early Tuesday, her publicist shared.

(Photo: Twitter / @playbill)

Cook's long and storied career featured major Broadway roles including star turns as Cunegonde in Candide (1956), Marian in The Music Man (1957), for which she won the Best Actress Tony Award in 1958, and Amalia Balash in She Loves Me (1963). Cook's last meal was reported to be vanilla ice cream, a nod to one of Amalia's numbers from She Loves Me.

Cook later battled alcoholism and weight gain but reinvigorated her career and began performing in clubs and concert halls for over 30 years, with her shows combining show tunes and non-musical theater standards. With the help of pianist and music arranger Wally Harper, Cook constructed iconic programs often centered around themes, including composers like Stephen Sondheim.

The singer married and divorced acting teacher David LeGrant, and she is survived by son Adam LeGrant.

Cook previously told the AP that she had just three words to encourage aspiring singers.


"You are enough. You are always enough," she said. "You don't ever have to pretend to be anything other than what you are. All you have to do is deeply embrace who you are and you'll be fine. In life, aren't you drawn to the more authentic people? Of course. You're not drawn to phonies."

Photo Credit: Twitter / @playbill