Sandra Church

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Sandra Church
Born (1938-01-13) January 13, 1938 (age 79)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Actress, singer
Known for Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy: A Musical Fable
Spouse(s) Norman Twain (1964-1975)

Sandra Church (born January 13, 1938) is an American actress in films and theatre, primarily known for her performance as Gypsy Rose Lee in the 1959 musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable,[1] for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

Early life[edit]

Church was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Her father died when she was two years old; her mother, a nurse, "thrust her into show business." Although Church had originally detested the idea, she later decided to choose acting as her vocation.[2] She attended Immaculate Heart High School, Hollywood.[3]


Films and television[edit]

Church's first on-screen appearance was on the Producers' Showcase, followed by the role of Jeannie in The Mugger (1958). She subsequently guest starred on the television series Look Up And Live (1959), as well as The DuPont Show of the Month in 1960. Three years later, she played Marion MacWhite in the film adaptation of Eugene Burdick and William Lederer's novel, The Ugly American (1963). Also in 1963, she appeared on television in The Eleventh Hour and Kraft Suspense Theatre.[4]


In 1953, she made her Broadway debut in William Inge's Picnic at the Music Box Theatre.[5][6][7] Church then starred as Betsy Dean in the Ronald Alexander play Holiday for Lovers.[8]

Church's first major theatre role was in Gypsy: A Musical Fable, in which Church starred as Louise Hovick ("Gypsy Rose Lee").[9][10][11] In his autobiography, Arthur Laurents states, "It came down to between Suzanne Pleshette and Sandra Church. Suzanne was the better actress, but Sandra was the better singer. We went with Sandra."[12] In Gypsy, Church introduced the popular standard "Let Me Entertain You."[13]

Following Gypsy, Church appeared in the 1960 Broadway play Under the Yum Yum Tree at Henry Miller's Theatre, directed by Joseph Anthony, which ran for 173 performances.[14]


Year Title Label
Gypsy: A Musical Fable
(Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Columbia Records
Let Me Entertain You
Columbia Records
Gypsy Meets Gypsy
Sepia Records

Personal life[edit]

In October 1961 it was widely reported that Church and Gypsy composer Jule Styne would marry, although this was untrue.[15] In November 1964, she married Broadway producer Norman Twain in Barbados; the couple divorced in 1975. Church has no children.[3]


  1. ^ Kantor, Michael and Laurence Maslon, Broadway: The American Musical, Bulfinch Press, New York, p. 286.
  2. ^ "Sandra Church captures role of a stripper". Sarasota Journal. March 4, 1960. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Profile of Sandra Church, Sarasota-Harold Tribune; accessed May 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Sandra Church at the Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ Marill, Alvin H. More Theatre: Stage to Screen to Television, Vol II (M-Z), Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1993. p. 944
  6. ^ Inge, William. Four Plays. New York: Grove Press, 1958. p. 73.
  7. ^ Hawkins-Dady, Mark (Editor). International Dictionary of Theatre - 1: Plays, Chicago: St. James Press, 1992. pp. 613-14.
  8. ^ "Profile for the 1957 play". Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ Barnes, Clive. "Gypsy Bounces Back With Zest and Lilt", New York Times, September 24, 1974
  10. ^ Brantley, Ben. "New Momma Takes Charge" New York Times May 2, 2003.
  11. ^ Rich, Frank. The Hot Seat: Theater Criticism for The New York Times, 1980-1993, Random House, 1998, ISBN 0-679-45300-8
  12. ^ Gates, Anita.NYTimes-21cnd-Pleshette "Suzanne Pleshette, 70, 'Newhart' Actress, Dies" (bio) The New York Times, January 21, 2008
  13. ^ Sondheim, Stephen, Finishing the Hat, New York: Alfred Knopf, 2010; ISBN 978-0-679-43907-3, pp. 58-77
  14. ^ Roman, Lawrence (1961). "Cast (in order of appearance)". Under the yum-yum tree: a new comedy. Dramatists Play Service, Inc. 
  15. ^ Toledo Blade, October 1961

External links[edit]