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Lillias White


Lillias White

Lillias White
Born (1951-07-21) July 21, 1951 (age 62)
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. She understudied the role of Effie in the original 1981 production of Dreamgirls and played the part in the 1987 revival. White has appeared on Broadway in Cats, Carrie, Once on This Island, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Chicago, and in benefit concert versions of Funny Girl, Hair, and Dreamgirls, reprising her role as Effie, for which she won the Drama League Award for Best Actress in a Musical. 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.

White's off-Broadway credits include the Public Theater production of the William Finn musical Romance in Hard Times, for which she won the Obie Award, Dinah Was, in which she portrayed the legendary blues and jazz singer Dinah Washington, The Vagina Monologues, and Crowns, for which she won the AUDELCO Award. Her national tours include Ain't Misbehavin' and The Wiz.

White 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". White later appeared on the PBS series Sesame Street including the 1997 VHS release Elmo Says Boo!.

White's television appearances include a regular role on Sesame Street (for which she won an Emmy Award), Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and NYPD Blue. She performed the role of Bloody Mary in the PBS Great Performances presentation of South Pacific.

Her screen credits include voiceover work in Disney's Hercules and Anastasia. Film credits include How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Game 6, Pieces of April and Then She Found Me. White recently wrapped the Broadway musical Fela! where she played one of the leading roles as Funmilayo.

Her current teacher is Susan Eichhorn Young.

External links

  • Lillias White official website
  • Internet Broadway Database
  • Internet Movie Database

Template:TonyAward MusicalFeaturedActress 1976-2000

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