Phyllis Newman

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Phyllis Newman
Phyllis Newman 1966.jpg
Newman in 1966.
Born (1933-03-19) March 19, 1933 (age 85)
Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Occupation Actress and singer
Years active 1952-Present
Spouse(s) Adolph Green (1960–2002, his death)
Children Adam Green and Amanda Green

Phyllis Newman (born March 19, 1933) is an American actress and singer. She won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Martha Vail in the Broadway-theatre production of Subways Are for Sleeping and has been nominated twice for the Drama Desk Award.

Early life and education[edit]

Newman was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, the daughter of Rachael and Arthur Newman.[1] She attended Lincoln High School where she was voted "Future Hollywood Star".[2]



Newman made her Broadway debut in Wish You Were Here in 1952. Additional theater credits include Bells Are Ringing, Pleasures and Palaces, The Apple Tree, On the Town, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Awake and Sing!, Broadway Bound and Subways Are for Sleeping, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, beating out Barbra Streisand in I Can Get It for You Wholesale. She has been nominated twice for the Drama Desk Award and received a second Tony Award nomination for Broadway Bound.

In June 1979, Newman and Arthur Laurents collaborated on the one-woman show The Madwoman of Central Park West. Produced by Fritz Holt, it featured songs by Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Bock, John Kander, Martin Charnin, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Edward Kleban, Fred Ebb, Sheldon Harnick, Peter Allen, Barry Manilow, Carole Bayer Sager, and Stephen Sondheim, among others. The show ran for 86 performances at the 22 Steps Theatre in New York City.[3]


An early television role for Newman was in a 1959 episode of Beverly Garland's crime drama, Decoy.

She was then cast in 1960 as Doris Hudson in the CBS summer replacement series Diagnosis: Unknown, with Patrick O'Neal as the pathologist Dr. Daniel Coffee and Martin Huston as the handyman named Link.

Newman became a major television celebrity of the 1960s and 1970s, a frequent panelist on the top-rated network game shows What's My Line?, Match Game, and To Tell the Truth and a perennial guest of Johnny Carson's on NBC's The Tonight Show. She portrayed Melissa's mother Elaine in the television series Thirtysomething.

She created the role of Renée Buchanan on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live and was a regular on the primetime series 100 Centre Street and the NBC satirical series That Was The Week That Was. Other television credits include The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Burke's Law, ABC Stage 67, Murder, She Wrote, The Wild Wild West. Newman starred in the short-lived comedy about a couple living in an Arizona retirement community, Coming of Age, opposite veteran actors Paul Dooley, Glynis Johns and Alan Young.


On screen, she appeared in "Picnic" (1955), Let's Rock (1958), Bye Bye Braverman (1968), To Find a Man (1972), Mannequin (1987), Only You (1994), The Beautician and the Beast (1997), A Price Above Rubies (1998), and The Human Stain (2003).


In addition to her appearances on original cast recordings, Newman recorded an album of contemporary songs, Those Were the Days, for Sire Records in 1968. In England, the album was released as Phyllis Newman's World of Music on London Records.[4]

The Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative[edit]

In 1995, Newman founded The Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative of the Actors Fund of America. Since then she has hosted the annual Nothing Like a Dame galas, which have raised more than US$3.5 million and has served 2,500 women in the entertainment industry.[5][6]

In 2009, Newman received the first Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony Award, for her work with the Health Initiative. This award recognizes "an individual from the theatre community for [his or her] humanitarian work".[7][8]


Her memoir Just in Time – Notes from My Life (1988; Simon & Schuster; ISBN 978-0-671-61880-3), relates her career, life with her husband, lyricist and playwright Adolph Green, and her bout with cancer.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Newman was married to lyricist and playwright Adolph Green from 1960 until his death in 2002. She is the mother of Adam Green and singer-songwriter Amanda Green.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Biography, retrieved March 13, 2009
  2. ^ "Newman Biography", accessed April 3, 2014
  3. ^ The Madwoman of Central Park West listing. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Finn, Robin (February 27, 2004)."Still a Broadway Baby After All These Years". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew (October 1, 2007). "Annual Nothing Like a Dame Benefit Concert Sets 2008 Date". Playbill.
  7. ^ Pesner, Ben. "The Tonys Honor Jerry Herman, Phyllis Newman, Virginia's Signature Theatre, and Shirley Herz". Retrieved May 6, 2009.
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth (June 7, 2009). "'Billy Elliot', 'Norman Conquests', 'Hair', 'God of Carnage' Are Tony Award Winners". Playbill.
  9. ^ Listing. Retrieved March 13, 2009.

External links[edit]