Tony-Winning Stage Great, World Record Holder and Beloved Educator Marian Seldes Dies at 86

first_imgTony winner, world record holder and beloved Juilliard educator Marian Seldes died on October 6. Her brother, Timothy Seldes, said in a statement, “It is with deep sadness that I share the news that my dear sister Marian Seldes has died. She was an extraordinary woman whose great love of the theater, teaching and acting was surpassed only by her deep love for her family.” The stage great was 86. In 2010, before appearing in front of the Radio City Music Hall audience to accept her Lifetime Achievemt Tony Award, Seldes graciously invited to her home, where she shared glimpses of the various memorabilia she has collected over her remarkable 60-year career. “My love of the theater is what keeps me alive,” she said. Seldes was born on August 23, 1928 in New York City. She studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse under Sanford Meisner and dance with Martha Graham and her mentor, Katharine Cornell. Seldes made her Broadway debut in 1948 in Medea. She went on to appear in numerous Broadway productions, including Crime and Punishment, That Lady, Ondine, The Chalk Garden, The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore and Tiny Alice, before stepping into the role of Julia in the original production of A Delicate Balance in 1966. She earned a Tony Award for her performance. In addition to her brother Timothy, Seldes is survived by her daughter Katharine Claman Andres, grandsons Timo, Guthrie and Wells Andres. Her husband, Garson Kanin, whom Seldes married in 1990, passed away in 1999. Her first marriage, to Julian Claman, ended in divorce in 1961. View Comments A notable screen actress as well, Seldes appeared in such films as Truman, Leatherheads, The Greatest Story Ever Told and Mona Lisa Smile. Her TV credits included Our Sister Emily, Murphy Brown and Sex and the City. Seldes was Tony-nominated for four other productions: Father’s Day, Deathtrap, Ring Round the Moon and Dinner at Eight. She entered the Guinness Book of World Records for Deathtrap, having not missed a single performance for the play’s 1,809 performances. Her additional Broadway credits included Before You Go, Equus, The Merchant, Ivanov and most recently, Deuce in 2007.  Seldes’ prolific career as an artist extended well past the stage and screen. She taught for many years at The Juilliard School and as an adjunct professor at Fordham University. Among her students were Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Kelsey Grammar, Patti LuPone, Christine Baranski, Viola Davis and the late Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams. Seldes again accepted a Tony Award in 2010, this time as an honoree for Lifetime Achievement. Without uttering a single word, she held her hand to her heart and looked upon the Radio City Music Hall crowd before exiting the stage silently. Later, she said, “They said to keep it short, so I decided I would just say nothing.”last_img

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