Veteran actress and singer Phyllis Newman has passed away at the age of 86. Although best known for her work on the Broadway stage, soap fans will remember her for originating the role of Renée Buchanan on ONE LIFE TO LIVE.
Newman made her daytime debut back in 1987 when Renée came to Llanview and ran into ex-lover Asa Buchanan, rekindling old sparks. However, her run didn’t last long, and she was recast later in the year with Patricia Elliot, who continued playing the character for decades.
Back in 1962, Newman took home a Tony Award for best featured actress in a musical for her performance in Subways Are for Sleeping, notably beating out another rising young star named Barbara Streisand. The Broadway star hit the stage in many other productions over the years, including The Apple Tree, On the Town, and The Prisoner of Second Avenue. She appeared in primetime series like THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., MURDER SHE WROTE, and THE WILD WILD WEST as well as being a frequent panelist on game shows like WHAT’S MY LINE, MATCH GAME, and TO TELL THE TRUTH. On the big screen, Newman could be seen in films like Picnic, Bye Bye Braverman, and Mannequin.
In 1995, Newman founded the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative of the Actors Fund of America which has raised millions of dollars to aid women in the entertainment industry. She also penned a memoir titled Just in Time — Notes From My Life which details her career, her life with husband Adolph Green, and her battle with cancer.
Our thoughts are with her friends and loved ones during this difficult time. For more on your favorite OLTL stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.