Musical theater star Marin Mazzie reportedly died peacefully in her Manhattan home on Thursday, according to The New York Times. She was 57.
The popular Broadway star passed away following a nearly three-year struggle with ovarian cancer, which was diagnosed in 2015 but failed to keep her off the stage until the very end.
She is survived by her husband, actor Jason Danieley, as well as her mother and one brother.
An actress and singer from the start
Mazzie’s impressive Broadway career started in 1985 as a replacement player in an original production called “Big River.” She later won Tony nominations for best featured actress and best actress for her work in hit musicals like “Passion” in 1994, “Ragtime” in 1998, and “Kiss Me, Kate” in 2000.
When she wasn’t performing on Broadway, Mazzie traveled the country to sing on concert stages and in cabaret shows, as well as perform in a variety of “off-Broadway” productions and regional theaters.
Mazzie was born in 1960 in Rockford, Illinois, to a father who ran a television station. She reportedly grew up listening to the extensive record collection of musical theater performances maintained by her parents.
She began to take singing lessons at age 12, and after moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, she graduated from Western Michigan University in 1982 with a major in theater and minor in music.
After training and working for a few years at a local theater in Michigan, Mazzie began to build a reputation and earned her Actors Equity card, which led her to New York to follow her dream of being a Broadway star.
“I always wanted to move to New York and be on Broadway even before I had really been here,” Mazzie once said in an interview, according to The Times. “I didn’t know what either of those things meant, but that’s what I wanted.”
Dedicated to her career
She didn’t go straight to Broadway though. Mazzie first worked in a dinner-theater and later joined a touring group of an off-Broadway show before ending up in San Diego, California, where she made the industry connections that ultimately opened the door for her to become a Broadway star.
She finally hit it big on Broadway in the role of Clara in “Passion” in 1994, and starred in several other major productions over the years before being diagnosed with cancer in May 2015, a diagnosis that didn’t keep her from continuing to perform as much as she could.
Her final role came as Anna in the Broadway production of “The King and I” in 2016, which she used as an opportunity to raise awareness of the cancer that later claimed her life.
Mazzie was an accomplished and talented actress and singer who was beloved by audiences, co-stars and production crews alike, and she will no doubt be sorely missed by her family, friends, colleagues, and fans.