April 21, 1949
Northport, New York, United States
Actor, Singer, Chicken farmer
Kevin Kline, Matt Johnston
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This dynamic Broadway star, a product of Juilliard and John Houseman's Acting Company, is best known for her electrifying musical performances as the title character in "Evita" (1979), as Nancy in the 1984 revival of "Oliver!," as Fantine in the original RSC London production of "Les Miserables" (1985) and as Reno Sweeney in the 1987 Lincoln Center revival of "Anything Goes," although she is equally at home in the classics. LuPone made her film debut in "King of the Gypsies" (1978) and appeared as Harrison Ford's helpful sister in "Witness" (1985) and as Dan Aykroyd's wife in "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989). She won critical praise for her portrayal of Lady Bird Johnson in the TV biopic "LBJ: The Early Years" (NBC, 1987) opposite Randy Quaid. LuPone then starred as the mother in the TV series, "Life Goes On" (ABC, 1989-93).When the well-received family drama petered out after four seasons, LuPone returned to the musical drama stage in London in Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of "Sunset Boulevard" (1993). Fully expecting to appear in the New York production, she was summarily dismissed by producer Lloyd Webber in favor of Glenn Close who received rave notices for her over-the-top (bordering on camp) interpretation of the role of Norma Desmond. LuPone settled for an undisclosed sum of money. After undergoing surgery to remove nodes on her vocal cords, she made a triumphant return to performing in a limited run concert version of "Pal Joey" in May 1995 and her own one-woman show "Patti LuPone on Broadway" in October 1995. When she replaced Zoe Caldwell as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's "Master Class" in 1996, LuPone surprised many with her strong dramatic turn. She returned to the London stage in the same role the following year.