Lillias White

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Lillias White
Born (1951-07-21) July 21, 1951 (age 64)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress & singer
Years active 1971 – present

Lillias White (born July 21, 1951) is an American singer and actress.


The Brooklyn, New York native made her Broadway debut in Barnum in 1981.[1] She understudied the role of Effie in the original 1981 production of Dreamgirls and played the part in the 1987 revival, for which she won the Drama League Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[2] White has also appeared on Broadway in Cats, Carrie, Once on This Island, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Chicago, and Fela!. For her role in Cy Coleman's The Life, she won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her portrayal of a world-weary, no-nonsense, streetwise hooker named Sonja.[3] Off-Broadway White has performed in the Public Theater production of the William Finn musical Romance in Hard Times (1989), for which she won the Obie Award, Dinah Was (1998) at the Gramercy Theatre as singer Dinah Washington, and Second Stage Theatre's Crowns (2002), for which she won the AUDELCO Award.[4] In 2014, White appeared in the Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter. In 2015, White starred with Scott Wakefield in The York Theatre Company's World Premiere of Texas in Paris. White, Andre DeShields, Lori Tan Chinn, Stephanie Powers and Georgia Engel will appear in the Broadway-bound musical Gotta Dance, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, which will begin performances on December 13, 2015 at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre, and run through January 10, 2016.

White's concert performances include Funny Girl, Hair, Dreamgirls, and South Pacific, which was broadcast by PBS Great Performances.[5] She performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in a concert of works by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and George and Ira Gershwin celebrating the orchestra's 50th anniversary. She also has appeared in concert at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center and has toured internationally with her one-woman show From Brooklyn to Broadway. She is heard on the 1990 Madonna recording "Rescue Me".[citation needed]

White's television appearances include a regular role on Sesame Street (for which she won an Emmy Award),[6] Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and NYPD Blue. Her screen credits include voiceover work in Disney's Hercules and Anastasia and appearances in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Game 6, Pieces of April and Then She Found Me.[7]

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Tony Awards

Drama Desk Award

  • 1997: Won Featured Actress in a Musical for the role of Sonja in The Life

Ovation Awards

  • 2009: Nominated for Lead Actress in a Musical for the role of Lillias in the Rubicon Theatre Company production of "The Best is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman"[8]

Bistro Awards

  • 2015 Won Outstanding Major Engagement Bistro Award for her exciting shows at 54 Below. [9]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "IBDB: Lillias White". Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Broadway Artists Alliance: Lillias White". Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Viagas, Robert. "Where You Can Hear Tony Winner Lillias White". Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Lortel Archives: Lillias White". Lortel Archives. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "South Pacific in concert from Carnegie Hall". Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sesame Street- Additional Cast". Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "IMDB: Lillias White". IMDB. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Ovation Nominees". 20 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Chang, Lia. "Mar. 4: Tony Award-Winner Lillias White, Carol Fredette & More to be Honored at 30th Annual Bistro Awards at Gotham Comedy Club"., January 30, 2015