Maria Karnilova

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Maria Karnilova
Born Maria Dovgolenko
(1920-08-03)August 3, 1920
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Died April 20, 2001(2001-04-20) (aged 80)
New York, New York, U.S.
Other names Maria Karniloff
Maria Karnilovitch
Maria Irving
Occupation Actress
Years active 1946-1988
Spouse(s) George S. Irving (1948-2001; her death); 2 children

Maria Karnilova (August 3, 1920 – April 20, 2001) was an American actress. She was briefly known professionally as Maria Karniloff.

She was born Maria Dovgolenko in Hartford, Connecticut to Filip (later Phillip) and Stephanida (née Karnilovich) Dovgolenko, emigrants from Tsarist Russia. The family later moved to Brooklyn, New York. She adopted a variation of her mother's maiden name as her professional name and made her Broadway debut in 1946 in Call Me Mister. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for the original 1964 production of Fiddler on the Roof starring Zero Mostel and was nominated as Best Actress in a Musical for Zorba (1968).[1]

Other Broadway credits include Miss Liberty (1949), Two's Company (1952), Jerome Robbins' Ballet: U.S.A. (1958), Gypsy (as the original "Tessie Tura"; 1959), Bravo Giovanni (1962), Gigi (1973), God's Favorite (1974), Bring Back Birdie (1981), and the 1981 revival of Fiddler. Her film credits include The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) and Married to the Mob (1988).


She was married to actor George S. Irving from 1948 until her death from undisclosed causes in Manhattan at the age of 80 in 2001. She was survived by her husband, two children and three grandchildren.[1]


  1. ^ a b New York Times obituary, April 25, 2011; accessed June 5, 2014.

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