August 7, 1971
Orlando, Florida, USA
Rachel York (born Rachel Lemanski August 7, 1971 in Orlando, Florida) is an American actress and singer. She is known for roles in City of Angels, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Les Misérables, Victor/Victoria, Kiss Me, Kate, Sly Fox, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Anything Goes. She also has many film and television credits, including her portrayal of Lucille Ball in the CBS biopic Lucy.
The youngest of four children, York's love for music and acting began at an early age. Influenced by her mother's love for the arts, she made her professional debut in a local production of Kiss Me, Kate in the chorus. That same year, she earned a scholarship to the American Center for Music Theatre at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. She moved to Los Angeles and began studying with acting coach Aaron Speiser, who then encouraged her to move to New York City.
At age 19 she moved to New York City and approached agent Bill Timms. She performed monologues from Nuts and Sophie's Choice and gave him a demo tape with songs from Evita. Timms signed her immediately and described her as being able to "... do anything."
York made her Broadway debut as Mallory in the musical City of Angels, and her performance won critical acclaim. After City of Angels, she has been in many performances on stage, including Fantine in Les Misérables, Irene St. Claire in Crucifer of Blood, The Younger Woman in Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together (with Julie Andrews), Norma Cassidy in Victor/Victoria (for which she won a Drama Desk Award), Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Lili Vanessi/Katharine in Kiss Me, Kate, Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, Dorothy in Summer of '42, Miss Fancy in Sly Fox, Ruth Sutton in Dessa Rose, Mother in Ragtime, Christine Colgate in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and most recently in The Sound of Music as Elsa Shraeder at the Hollywood Bowl. York is one of the few actresses who have received rave reviews from notoriously picky New York critic John Simon.
Her film credits include One Fine Day, Billy Bathgate, Dead Center, Second Honeymoon, Terror Tract, Au Pair II, and the TV movie Lucy in which she played Lucille Ball. Her performance in the London production of Kiss Me, Kate is available on DVD/video.
She also has many credits in television, including appearances on Reba, Frasier, Arli$$, Spin City, The Naked Truth, Diagnosis: Murder, and also provides the voices of Bitty on Higglytown Heroes and Circe on Justice League Unlimited. In 2008, she also guest starred on an episode of Hannah Montana, playing Isis on the episode Yet Another Side of Me.
York released her debut album Let's Fall In Love in early 2005, produced by Tor Hyams under the HyLo Entertainment label and was exclusively distributed by Barnes and Noble. She can also be heard on the Cast Recordings of City of Angels, Victor/Victoria, The Scarlet Pimpernel: Encore!, Dessa Rose, Putting It Together, Summer of '42, the soundtrack of Billy Bathgate, and recordings of Opal and Celebration of Life.
She appeared as Guenevere in the National Tour of Camelot in the 2006-2007 season, for which she earned the Golden Icon Award from Travolta Family Entertainment for Best Actress in a Touring Production. In 2009, she played Dolly Levi in the Reagle Music Theatre of Hello, Dolly! in Waltham, Massachusetts and won an IRNE Award for her performance.
In 2010, York returned to the Reagle Music Theatre in its production of Into the Woods where she played the Witch and won another IRNE Award for the role. That same year she played The Lady of the Lake in the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Spamalot.
York played the role of Reno Sweeney in the national tour of the 2011 Roundabout Theatre Broadway revival of Anything Goes, which began October 2, 2012. For this role, she won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Visiting Production. In February 2014, she played Young Belle in the Encores! concert of Little Me.
- City of Angels (1989) – Mallory Kingsley
- Les Misérables – Fantine
- Victor/Victoria (1995) – Norma Cassidy
- The Scarlet Pimpernel (1998) – Marguerite
- Sly Fox (2004) – Miss Fancy
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2006) – Christine
- Dessa Rose (2005) – Ruth
- National tours
- Kiss Me, Kate (2001) – Lilli Vanessi/Kate
- Camelot (2007) – Guenevere
- 101 Dalmatians Musical (2009) – Cruella DeVil
- "Anything Goes" (2012) – Reno Sweeney
- Film and TV
- Billy Bathgate – Embassy Club Singer
- Killer Instinct – Lotte
- Deadline – Marci Fenner
- Taking the Heat (TV) – Susan
- Dead Center – Mary
- Victor/Victoria (TV) – Norma Cassidy
- One Fine Day – Liza
- Terror Tract – Sarah Freemont
- Second Honeymoon (TV) – Gloria
- Au Pair II – Cassandra Hausen
- Kiss Me, Kate (TV) – Lili Vanessi/Katherine
- Lucy: The Lucille Ball Story (TV) – Lucille Ball
- The Courtship of Eddie's Father (TV) – Lisa
- Justice League Unlimited (TV) – Circe
- Diagnosis Murder #96. (A Mime is a Terrible Thing to Waste) (TV) - Randy Wolfe
- Hannah Montana (TV) – Isis
- Frasier (TV) – Dinah
- Neverwinter Nights 2 (Game) – Shandra Jerro
- City of Angels – 1990 Original Broadway Cast Recording
- Putting It Together – 1993 Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording
- Victor/Victoria – 1995 Original Broadway Cast Recording
- The Scarlet Pimpernel: Encore! – 1998 Broadway Revival Cast Recording
- Dessa Rose – 2005 Original Lincoln Center Cast Recording
- Summer of '42 – Sept 2006, Original Cast Recording
- Opal, Honky Tonk Highway and Other Theatre Songs by Robert Nassif Lindsey
- Let's Fall in Love – Solo album released under HyLo Entertainment
- "About. Official Site" rachelyork.net, accessed November 28, 2013
- Kenny Leon, Maureen McGovern, Diane Paulus, Rachel York et al. Receive IRNE Awards theatermania, retrieved April 22, 2014
- "STAGE TUBE: Rachel York Stars in INTO THE WOODS" broadwayworld.com, June 23, 2010
- Hetrick, Adam. "Rachel York, Daniel Jenkins, Estelle Parsons and Kenny Leon Win IRNE Awards" playbill.com, April 2011
- Charles Shaughnessy and Rachel York to Star in Ogunquit Spamalot playbill, July 2010
- "Rachel Replies". Rachelyork.net. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
- "Motherhood pushes actress Rachel York toward comedy". Orange County Register. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
- "Michael Hayden and Rachel York Join Ziegfeld Follies-Set Musical Ghostlight at NYMF". Playbill. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
- Rachel York Will "Whistle a Happy Tune" in Walnut Street's King and I, With Mel Sagrado Maghuyop playbill, October 2011
- Jones, Kenneth. "National Tour of 'Anything Goes' Lays Down Its Gangplank in Cleveland; Rachel York, Fred Applegate, Erich Bergen Star" playbill.com, October 2, 2012
- A CHORUS LINE, HELLO, DOLLY!, STUPID F**KING BIRD, BOOK OF MORMON, Rachel York and More Top 30th Annual Helen Hayes Awards in D.C. - All the Winners! broadwayworld, retrieved April 22, 2014
- Photo Flash: First Look at Christian Borle, Rachel York & More in Encores! LITTLE ME broadwayworld, February 2014
- Lefkowitz, David and Jones, Kenneth. "Rex Smith and Rachel York to Tour in Kiss Me, Kate" January 31, 2001
- Jones, Kenneth."Rachel York Will Be Camelot's Guenevere in New North American Tour" playbill.com, November 7, 2006
- Jones, Kenneth."Who Let the Dogs Out? 101 Dalmatians Musical Parks and Barks in Minneapolis" playbill.com, 13 October 2009
- Rachel York to Set Sail in ANYTHING GOES National Tour; Kicks Off October 2
- Official Website - Official Website with pictures, audio, and other information.
- Rachel York at the Internet Broadway Database
- Camelot Photos
- BroadwayWorld.com interview with Rachel York, September 4, 2007