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Veteran Broadway actor John McMartin dies

Associated Press Associated Press 8/07/2016

John McMartin, the versatile, gentlemanly Tony Award-nominated actor who starred on Broadway in such shows as Follies and Sweet Charity, has died. He was 86.

McMartin's manager, Tony Cloer, said the actor died of cancer in New York on Wednesday surrounded by his family and his longtime companion, Charlotte Moore.

McMartin, who was equally at home in plays as well as musicals, was nominated for five Tonys, starting in 1966's Sweet Charity. The silver-haired actor also was nominated for Don Juan, Showboat and High Society.

He was earned a Tony nod in the 2002 Tony-winning revival of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Into the Woods, playing the narrator opposite Vanessa Williams as the witch. Other recent Broadway credits include the 2011 revival of Anything Goes, A Free Man of Color in 2010 and Grey Gardens in 2006.

In 1994, McMartin starred as Cap'n Andy in a revival of Show Boat, a classic Broadway musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, reinterpreted by director Harold Prince. The rest of the cast included Elaine Stritch as Parthy, Mark Jacoby as Gaylord Ravenal and Rebecca Luker as Magnolia. He also was in the Cole Porter musical Happy New Year in 1980.

The Warsaw, Indiana, native was most famous for originating the role of Ben Stone in Sondheim's Follies. He remained active into his 80s, last starring on Broadway as Senator Richard Russell in All the Way, the play about Lyndon Johnson featuring Bryan Cranston in 2013.

McMartin also had many TV and film roles. He played a newspaper editor in the classic film All the President's Men and had guest parts on such shows as Murder, She Wrote, Oz, Touched by an Angel and, most recently, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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