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Nanette Fabray Broadway First Lady and Hollywood’s Unstoppable Powerhouse Dies at 97

Nanette Fabray Broadway First Lady and Hollywood’s Unstoppable Powerhouse Dies at 97
Nanette Fabray, Wonderful Town

In Wonderful Town

I remember seeing Tony and Emmy award winner Nanette Fabray, in a 1975  production of Wonderful Town at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. I was beyond impressed when she told me that she couldn’t hear the orchestra at all from the stage. She had been diagnosed with otosclerosis, that lead to deafness. Fabray kept her problem to herself and began to wear discreet hearing aids, yet continued to sing and dance in musical comedies on Broadway, despite worsening hearing loss and her intensifying anxiety over it.

Nanette started off as an ingenue, in the 1939 films “Essex and Elizabeth,” “The Monroe Doctrine”and “A Child Is Born,” credited as Nanette Fabares, she moved to Broadway.

Nanette Fabrey

In Mr President

Ms. Fabray returned to the Rialto in 1962 to star with Robert Ryan in “Mr. President,” and received another nomination for best actress in a musical.


Survivors include a son, Jamie, from her second marriage and a niece, actress Shelley Fabares, and her husband, actor Mike Farrell.

I will never forget your incredible generosity to me and telling me that disabilities do and could not stop talent.

You will be missed.


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email:

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