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Patti LuPone
Born Patti Ann LuPone
April 21, 1949 (1949-04-21) (age 60)
Northport, New York
Occupation singer, actress
Years active 1970's - Present
Spouse(s) Matthew Johnston (1988-present) 1 child

Patti LuPone (born April 21, 1949) is an American singer and actress, known for her Tony Award-winning performances as Eva Perón in the 1979 musical Evita, Rose in the 2008 revival of Gypsy, and in her Olivier Award-winning performance as Fantine in the original London cast of Les Misérables.


Personal life

LuPone was born in Northport, New York, on Long Island, the daughter of Angela Louise (née Patti), a college library administrator, and Orlando Joseph LuPone, a school administrator.[1] Her great-grand-aunt was the celebrated 19th-century opera singer Adelina Patti.[2] Her brother Robert LuPone is an actor, dancer, and director. Her other brother William LuPone is a teacher. When they were young, they performed on Long Island as the LuPone Trio. She is of Italian/Abruzzese descent and a graduate of Northport High School, where she studied under the musical direction of voice coach Esther Scott.[3] LuPone was part of the first graduating class of Juilliard's Drama Division.

LuPone married Matthew Johnston on December 12, 1988 on the stage of the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center after filming the TV movie LBJ. They have one child, Joshua Luke Johnston (b. November 21, 1990). The family resides in Connecticut.[4]

Poster for the Broadway production of Evita with LuPone in the title role.

Theatre work

In 1972 John Houseman formed The Acting Company, a nationally touring repertory theater company. LuPone's stint with the Acting Company lasted from 1972 to 1976, and she was featured in such works as The Cradle Will Rock, The School for Scandal, Women Beware Women, The Beggar’s Opera (1973), The Time of Your Life, The Lower Depths, The Hostage, Next Time I’ll Sing to You, Measure for Measure, Scapin, Edward II, The Orchestra, Love’s Labours Lost, Arms and the Man, The Way of the World, and The Robber Bridegroom (1975), for which she received a Tony Award nomination. She made her Broadway debut in the play Three Sisters.

In 1976, producer David Merrick hired LuPone as a replacement to play Genevieve, the title role of the troubled pre-Broadway original production The Baker’s Wife. The production toured at length, but Merrick deemed it unworthy of Broadway and closed it out-of-town.

Since 1977, LuPone has been a frequent collaborator with David Mamet, appearing in his plays The Woods (1977), All Men Are Whores (1977), The Blue Hour (1978) The Water Engine (1978), Edmond (1982), and The Old Neighborhood (Broadway, 1997).

In 1978, she appeared in the Broadway musical adaptation of Studs Terkel's Working.

In 1979, LuPone achieved acclaim for her portrayal of Eva Peron in the American premiere of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical Evita (1979), directed by Harold Prince. Her much-lauded performance earned LuPone her first Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.

In 1983, founding alumni of The Acting Company reunited for an Off-Broadway revival of Marc Blitzstein's landmark labor musical The Cradle Will Rock, narrated by their teacher, John Houseman, with LuPone in the roles of Moll and Sister Mister. The production premiered at The Acting Company's summer residence at Chautauqua Institution, toured the United States, including an engagement at the Highland Park, Illinois' Ravinia Festival in 1984, and played London's West End, where LuPone received an 1985 Olivier Award. LuPone remained in London to create the role of "Fantine" in Cameron Mackintosh's original production of Les Misérables, presented at the Barbican Theatre in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She received the 1985 Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical. In 1987, LuPone returned to Broadway to star as "Reno Sweeney" in the hit Lincoln Center Theater revival of Anything Goes for which she received a Tony Award nomination.

In 1993, LuPone returned to London's West End to create the role of Norma Desmond in the original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard at the Adelphi Theatre. Her time in the show was a happy experience until she was abruptly fired by Lloyd Webber and replaced by Glenn Close who opened the show on Broadway.

In 1995, LuPone starred in her one-woman show, Patti LuPone on Broadway, at the Walter Kerr Theatre. For her work, LuPone received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. In 1996, LuPone was selected by legendary producer Robert Whitehead to succeed his wife, the legendary Zoe Caldwell, in the Broadway production of Terrence McNally's play, Master Class. LuPone received rave reviews in New York and took the play to the West End.

In November 2001, she starred in a Broadway revival of Noises Off, with Peter Gallagher and Faith Prince.

LuPone has performed in many New York concert productions of legendary musicals including:

Her performances in Sweeney Todd, Candide and Passion were all recorded and broadcast for PBS "Great Performances" and were released on DVD.

Since 2001, LuPone has been a regular performer at the Ravinia Festival. At Ravinia, she starred in a six-year-long series of concert presentations of Stephen Sondheim musicals begun in honor of his seventieth birthday.

In 2005, LuPone starred as Mrs. Lovett in John Doyle’s new Broadway mounting of Sweeney Todd. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance and won the Golden Icon Award for Best Female Musical Theater Performance. In August 2006, Ms. LuPone took a three-week vacation from the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd in order to play Rose in Gypsy at the Ravinia Festival.

Following the Ravinia Festival production of Gypsy, LuPone and author Arthur Laurents mended a decade-long rift and she was cast in the City Center Encores! Summer Stars production of the show that he directed. Laurents directed LuPone in Gypsy for a 22 performance run (July 9, 2007 - July 29, 2007) at City Center. This production of Gypsy then transferred to Broadway, opening March 27, 2008 at the St. James Theatre. LuPone won the Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, Drama Desk Award, and Tony Award for her performance in Gypsy. It closed on January 11, 2009.

LuPone performs regularly across the country in her solo shows Matters of the Heart; Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda; and The Lady With the Torch which sold out at Carnegie Hall. She also appears at venues across North America in performance concerts with Mandy Patinkin.[5]

In 2009, likely due to renewed interest in the musical Les Misérables caused by reality television contestant Susan Boyle, LuPone's 1985 recording of "I Dreamed a Dream" has reached the UK Singles Chart[6] as well as the Billboard magazine Hot Digital Songs and Hot Singles Recurrents charts in the US.

She was the recipient of two Grammy Awards in 2009 in the categories of Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album for Kurt Weill: Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Film and television work

Among LuPone’s film credits are Witness, Just Looking, Law & Order, The Victim, Summer of Sam, Driving Miss Daisy, King of the Gypsies, 1941, Wise Guys, Nancy Savoca's The 24 Hour Woman, Family Prayers, Bad Faith, and City by the Sea. She has also worked with playwright David Mamet on The Water Engine, the critically acclaimed State and Main, and Heist.

LuPone played Libby Thatcher on the television drama Life Goes On, which ran on ABC from 1989 to 1993. She has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award for the TV movie The Song Spinner, and her guest appearance on Frasier. LuPone’s TV career also includes a recurring spot on the last season of HBO’s hit series Oz. She had a cameo as herself on a 1998 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Kelsey Grammer. She also appeared on the series Ugly Betty in 2007 as the mother of Mark St. James (played by Michael Urie). She played Lady Bird Johnson in the TV movie, LBJ. Patti also appeared as herself on a 2005 episode of Will & Grace. Lupone guest-starred on an episode of 30 Rock which aired on March 5, 2009.[7] .[8]

Confrontation of audience members

LuPone opposes recording, photographs, and other electronic distractions in live theatre. "Where's the elegance?", she asked in a blog post on her official site. "I mean, I'm glad they show up because God knows it's a dying art form and I guess I'm glad they're all comfortable, sleeping, eating and drinking, things they should be doing at home and in a restaurant. But it's just not done in the theatre or shouldn't be." LuPone has been the subject of some controversy due to the bluntness of her statements regarding this matter. [9]

A related incident occurred at the second to last performance of Gypsy on January 10, 2009. Agitated at a man taking pictures with the use of flash, she stopped in the middle of "Rose's Turn" and loudly demanded that he be removed from the theatre. "You heard the announcement in the beginning, you heard the announcement at intermission! Who do you think you are?!" she yelled at him. After he was removed, LuPone restarted her number. The audience applauded her stance.[10][11] The event was recorded by another audience member, who released it on YouTube.[12] She later claimed that such distractions drive "people in the audience nuts. They can’t concentrate on the stage if, in their peripheral vision, they’re seeing texting, they’re seeing cameras, they’re listening to phone calls. How can we do our job if the audience is distracted?", and also mentioned that "the interesting thing is I’m not the first one that’s done it".[13]


Reports say LuPone is at work on a memoir, recounting her life and career from childhood to the present, to be published in 2010.[14] Lupone is holding a contest to name her memoir.[15]


LuPone recorded a duet with Seth MacFarlane (in character as Glenn Quagmire) on the 2005 album Family Guy: Live In Vegas. LuPone released a new CD in 2006, of one of her shows The Lady with the Torch, on Sh-K-Boom Records. In December she released bonus tracks for that CD only available on iTunes and the Sh-K-Boom website.

Selected recordings include:

  • The Baker’s Wife (Original cast recording)
  • Evita (Original Broadway cast recording)
  • The Cradle Will Rock (The Acting Company recording)
  • Les Misérables (Original London Cast recording)
  • Anything Goes (New Broadway Cast Recording)
  • Heat Wave (John Mauceri conducting the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra)
  • Patti LuPone Live (Solo Album)
  • Sunset Boulevard (World Premiere/Original London Cast Recording)
  • Matters of the Heart (Solo Album)
  • Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic recording)
  • Sweeney Todd (2005 Broadway Cast recording)
  • The Lady with the Torch (Solo Album)
  • The Lady With the Torch...Still Burning (Solo Album)
  • To Hell and Back (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra World Premier recording)
  • Gypsy (2008 Broadway Revival Cast Recording)
  • Patti Lupone At Les Mouches (Live Solo Recording)


  1. ^ "Patti LuPone Biography". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  2. ^ Newmark, Judith (2009-03-29). "Patinkin, LuPone return to stage". Suburban Journals. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  3. ^ "Sex & Moxie: God, That's Good!". filmreference. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  4. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (2008-03-04). "In ‘Gypsy’ Patti LuPone Creates Diva Role She Was Born to Play". Bloomberg News ]] (Bloomberg L.P.). Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  5. ^ National Post: intimate intensity: Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone
  6. ^ UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Gypsy - Rose Lee Photographs (Patti's Rant)
  11. ^
  12. ^ Patti LuPone stops 'Gypsy' mid-show to yell at a photographer - YouTube video
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew (2008-06-17). "Gypsy Tony Winner LuPone at Work on Memoir". (Playbill Inc.). Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  15. ^ Healy, Patrick (2010-02-25). "Patti LuPone Asks Fans to Name Her Book". (NY Times). Retrieved 2010-02-25. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Angela Lansbury
in Sweeney Todd
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical
for Evita
Succeeded by
Lena Horne
in Lena Horne, The Lady and Her Music

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