Alice Playten

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Alice Playten
Alice Playten headshot.jpg
Born Alice Plotkin
(1947-08-28)August 28, 1947
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died June 25, 2011(2011-06-25) (aged 63)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1959–2011

Alice Playten (August 28, 1947 – June 25, 2011) was an American actress and singer.

Life and career[edit]

Born Alice Plotkin in New York City, Playten began her career in the Broadway musical Gypsy (1959). Her other Broadway credits included Oliver!, Henry, Sweet Henry, Hello, Dolly!, Rumors, Seussical, and Caroline, or Change.

Her many off-Broadway credits include Promenade, The Last Sweet Days of Isaac, Up from Paradise, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Spoils of War, Four Short Operas, First Lady Suite, A Flea in Her Ear, National Lampoon's Lemmings and Shlemiel the First.[1]

Playten's screen credits include Ladybug Ladybug, I.Q., and Legend. She wore heavy makeup and prosthetics in Legend to portray the character of 'Blix', a major minion of the Lord of Darkness; she also dubbed the voice of Gump. She did voice work in several animated features, including Felix the Cat, Really Rosie, Heavy Metal, Doug, Doug's 1st Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie.

She was a regular on the children's television series The Lost Saucer and That's Cat, appeared in National Lampoon's Disco Beaver from Outer Space during the early days of HBO, and had guest shots on Frasier, Law & Order, Third Watch, and As the World Turns, among others.

She performed a romantic dialog with Rupert Holmes in his song "Our National Pastime" on his 1974 debut album Widescreen.

Playten may have been best known for her role of the newlywed who makes a gigantic dumpling as the first meal she cooks for her husband (Terry Kiser) in two classic 1969-1970 Alka-Seltzer commercials.[1]


Playten died on June 25, 2011 at Sloan-Kettering Hospital in Manhattan from heart failure after a lifetime of juvenile diabetes, complicated by pancreatic cancer. She was 63 years old.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1968 Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Henry, Sweet Henry)
  • 1968 Theatre World Award (Henry, Sweet Henry)
  • 1973 Obie Award for Distinguished Performance (National Lampoon's Lemmings)[2]
  • 1989 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Spoils of War)
  • 1994 Obie Award (First Lady Suite)



  1. ^ a b c Holden, Stephen. "Alice Playten, an Actress of Small Frame, Big Voice, Dies at 63" New York Times (June 26, 2011)
  2. ^ 1972–1973 Obie Awards, accessed November 27, 2009

External links[edit]