M'el Dowd

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Dowd as Morgan le Fay in the Broadway show Camelot.

M'el Dowd (February 2, 1933 – September 26, 2012)[1] was an American stage, musical theatre and film actress, and singer, whose career spanned more than 50 years.[2] Beginning in Shakespeare roles and films in the 1950s, Dowd continued to perform on stage, film and television into the 21st century. A frequent performer on Broadway in the 1960s, Dowd originated the role of Morgan le Fay in the musical Camelot.[3]

Early life and marriage[edit]

Mary Ellen Dowd was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of John J. Dowd and Catherine (née O'Conner) Dowd. She moved to Boone, Iowa, with her family in 1945 and attended junior high school and high school there, where she acquired the nickname "Mel", which an agent later turned into M'el. After high school, she studied at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago before moving to New York City.[4]

In 1962, she married Henri G. Eudes, a native of France and restaurateur by vocation. The couple had one son, Richard.[5][4]

Career[edit]

Dowd made her professional debut Off-Broadway in the 1950s and soon appeared on Broadway, most notably originating the role of Morgan le Fay in the long-running musical Camelot. Other Broadway appearances included Back to Methuselah (1958), Everything in the Garden (1967–68), Tiger at the Gates (1968), Dear World (1969), Not Now, Darling (1970) and Ambassador (1972), among others.[3] She also played in regional theatre and in more Off-Broadway roles, winning acclaim as Katherine of Aragon in The Royal Gambit.[4]

From 1956 (in The Wrong Man with Henry Fonda) to 2005, she appeared in films, TV movies and guest spots on TV episodes, including Man on Fire with Bing Crosby in 1957, the 1986 film F/X as Joyce Lehman, and in the 1977 TV movie The Prince of Homburg, starring Frank Langella.[5]

Dowd also helped her husband in the restaurant business[6] and continued to act until at least 2005, when she appeared in a guest role on the TV show Law & Order. The New York Daily News wrote in 2001 that she played Mme. Armfeldt in A Little Night Music "deliciously".[7] In Goodspeed Musicals' 2003 production of Me and My Girl, according to Variety, "Dowd ... is the cement that holds this production together."[8]

Death[edit]

She died on September 26, 2012 at her home in Tarrytown, New York, aged 79.[9]

Selected stage roles[edit]

Film and TV roles[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Mel Dowd Eudes", Death-record.com, accessed December 12, 2013
  2. ^ IMDb profile
  3. ^ a b M'el Dowd at the Internet Broadway Database
  4. ^ a b c d "M'el Dowd, Successful Stage Star", The Boone News-Republican, September 13, 1965, p. 45
  5. ^ a b M'el Dowd profile at FilmReference.com, accessed April 7, 2012.
  6. ^ Hershenson, Roberta. "Restaurant Meals Going Door to Door for the Working Public", The New York Times, November 26, 1989
  7. ^ Kissel, Howard. "Sondheim's Sparkler in a Nutmeg Setting". December 7, 2001, accessed February 14, 2011
  8. ^ Variety review of Me and My Girl
  9. ^ "M'El Dowd Eudes: Obituary", The Journal News, Tarrytown, New York, September 30, 2012; accessed December 13, 2013.
  10. ^ NY Times review of Dowd in A Little Night Music; accessed September 23, 2014.

External links[edit]