Original 'Oklahoma!' Star, RVC Resident Joan Roberts Dies at 95

The lead of the original Broadway production died Monday.

Joan Roberts, star of the original Broadway production of "Oklahoma!," died of congestive heart failure at the age of 95 Monday, according to the New York Times.

Her death was announced by the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. One of the last living members of the musical’s original cast, Ms. Roberts had lived for many years in Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Roberts was born on July 15, 1917 in New York City. She played heroine Laurey Williams in the original Broadway cast of "Oklahoma!" in 1943.

She last appeared on Broadway "as faded operetta soprano Heidi Schiller in Roundabout Theatre Company's 2001 revival of 'Follies,'" Playbill.com reported.

Roberts' Broadway credits also include "Sunny River," "Marinka," "Are You With It?" and "High Button Shoes," according to Broadway.com

The Los Angeles Times has reported:

While raising her son in Rockville Centre on Long Island, she appeared in a few early TV shows, did a nightclub act and performed in summer theater.

Visitation will be on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Macken Mortuary, 52 Clinton Ave., Rockville Centre. The funeral mass will be held on Friday, Aug. 17, at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Cathedral, 29 Quealy Place, Rockville Centre.


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