Ellen Hanley

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Ellen Hanley
Born (1926-05-15)May 15, 1926
Lorain, Ohio
Died February 12, 2007(2007-02-12) (aged 80)
Norwalk, Connecticut
Spouse(s) Ronny Graham (1951-1963)

Ellen Hanley (May 15, 1926 – February 12, 2007) was a musical theater performer best known for playing Fiorello H. LaGuardia's first wife in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fiorello!.


Ellen Hanley was born in Lorain, Ohio, and made her Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun in 1946 playing the part of Mary. The following year she appeared in Barefoot Boy With Cheek and won a Theater World award for her performance as Clothilde Pfefferkorn.[1]

In 1951, Hanley married Ronny Graham, a fellow actor. They had two children, Nora and Julian. The couple divorced in 1963.[1]

In 1952 she had a part in the musical revue Two's Company, introducing the song "Roundabout". In 1959 she took over the leading role in First Impression from Polly Bergen, playing Elizabeth Bennett in a musical based on Pride and Prejudice.

Later that year she appeared in Fiorello!. The Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick musical was a hit which ran for nearly 800 performances.[1] In 1963 she performed in The Boys From Syracuse, a Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical based on Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.[2]

Hanley died on February 12, 2007, aged 80, in Norwalk, Connecticut, of a stroke after a long battle with cancer.[2] The American scriptwriter, novelist, and playwright William Hanley (1931-2012) was her brother. Their father, William Hanley, was the brother of British novelists James Hanley (1897–1985) and Gerald Hanley (1916–1992).



  • Theatre World Award (1947) for Clothilde Pfefferkorn in Barefoot Boy With Cheek



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