Best known for playing the title role in the long-running TV comedy series, Alice, Linda Lavin was first a Broadway and off Broadway performer, appearing in both stage plays and musicals. Lavin was first featured in a 1960 revival of George and Ira Gershwin’s Oh, Kay!, which was based on a book by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse. Two years later, she made her Broadway debut in the Kander and Goldman musical, A Family Affair.
After appearing in 1965 as a replacement for Daisy Gamble in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Lavin later appeared off Broadway in The Mad Show, a musical revue based on Mad Magazine. She won her first starring Broadway role as Sydney the secretary in the Adams and Strouse 1966 musical comedy, It’s a Bird . . . It’s a Plane . . . It’s Superman. New York Times critic Stanley Kauffmann was enchanted by her performance: “[Lavin] has two numbers – ‘You’ve Got Possibilities’ and ‘Ooh! Do You Love You’ – that are pure imp. I wish she were in every musical and revue.”
For several years, Linda Lavin appeared on Broadway in several Neil Simon stage plays, before going to work on television. She returned to Broadway as areplacement for Mama Rose in the 1989 revival of Gypsy. She has won a Theatre World Award (1965), three Drama Desk Awards, a Tony® for her 1987 performance in Broadway Bound, and is up for another Tony® for her role as Ruth Steiner in Collected Stories (2010).