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Vivian Blaine

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Years active  1942–1985
Name  Vivian Blaine

Role  Actress
Parents  Lionel Stapleton
Vivian Blaine Vivian Blaine Wikipedia
Full Name  Vivian Stapleton
Born  November 21, 1921 (1921-11-21) Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Cause of death  congestive heart failure
Died  December 9, 1995, New York City, New York, United States
Spouse  Stuart Clark (m. 1973–1995), Milton Rackmil (m. 1959–1961), Manny Franks (m. 1945–1956)
Albums  Songs from the Ziegfeld Follies
Movies  Guys and Dolls, State Fair, Doll Face, Three Little Girls in Blue, Jitterbugs
Similar People  Stubby Kaye, Jean Simmons, Dick Haymes, Frank Loesser, June Haver

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Vivian Blaine (November 21, 1921 – December 9, 1995) was an American actress and singer, best known for originating the role of Miss Adelaide in the musical theater production of Guys and Dolls, as well as appearing in the subsequent film version, in which she co-starred with Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons and Frank Sinatra.


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Vivian blaine adelaide s lament

Early years

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She was born Vivian Stapleton, in Newark, New Jersey to Leo Stapleton, an insurance agent, and Wilhelmina Tepley. The cherry-blonde-haired Blaine appeared on local stages as early as 1934.

Personal appearances

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Blaine was a touring singer with dance bands starting in 1937.

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At one point in the 1940s, she was the top-billed act at New York's Copacabana nightclub. In his book, Dean and Me: (A Love Story), Jerry Lewis wrote about appearing at the club when Blaine was on the same bill: "[Martin and Lewis] weren't even the top-billed act. That honor went to a Broadway singing star named Vivian Blaine, who'd conquered Manhattan, gone out to Hollywood to make movies for 20th Century Fox, then returned to the Big Apple in triumph. Vivian was a lovely and very talented actress and singer ..."


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In 1942, Blaine's agent and soon-to-be husband Manny Franks signed her to a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox, and she relocated to Hollywood, sharing top billing with Laurel and Hardy in Jitterbugs (1943) and starring in Greenwich Village (1944), Something for the Boys (1944), both films with Carmen Miranda, Nob Hill (1945), and State Fair (1945), among other films.


Vivian Blaine Vivian Blaine Wikipedia

Following her Fox years, Blaine returned to the stage, making her Broadway debut in the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls in 1950. Her character Adelaide has been engaged to inveterate gambler Nathan Detroit for 14 years, a condition which, according to her song "Adelaide's Lament", has given her a psychosomatic cold as well as chronic heartbreak. After the show's 1,200-performance run on Broadway, she reprised the role in London's West End in 1953, and then on film in 1955.

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Blaine also appeared on Broadway in A Hatful of Rain, Say, Darling, Enter Laughing, Company, and Zorba, as well as participating in the touring companies of such musicals as Gypsy.


As Blaine reached age 50, her television career took off, with guest appearances on shows like Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote and The Love Boat, and a recurring role in the cult hit Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. On the 25th annual Tony Awards in 1971, she appeared as a guest performer and sang "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls, providing a visual recording of the performance for posterity.

Blaine in her later years was managed by Rob Cipriano and L'Etoile Talent Agencies in New York City. Cipriano spent the early 1980s developing projects for Blaine, including Puppy Love, a TV sitcom with Jake LaMotta and Pat Cooper. She always commented that working with Cipriano reminded her of working with her first husband Manny Franks.

Personal life

Blaine's first marriage, to Franks, lasted from 1945 to 1956. She then married Milton Rackmil, president of Universal Studios and Decca Records, in 1959, and recorded several albums prior to their 1961 divorce. In 1973, Blaine married Stuart Clark. In 1983 she became the first celebrity to make public-service announcements for AIDS-related causes. She made numerous appearances in support of the then fledgling AIDS-Project Los Angeles (APLA) and in 1983 recorded her cabaret act for AEI Records which donated its royalties to the new group; this included the last recordings of her songs from Guys and Dolls. Her prior albums for Mercury Records have all subsequently been reissued on CD.


Blaine died of congestive heart failure on December 9, 1995, aged 74.


  • 1942: It Happened in Flatbush - Minor Role
  • 1942: Thru Different Eyes - Sue Boardman
  • 1942: Girl Trouble - Barbara
  • 1943: He Hired the Boss - Sally Conway
  • 1943: Jitterbugs - Susan Cowan
  • 1944" Greenwich Village - Bonnie Watson
  • 1944: Something for the Boys - Blossom Hart
  • 1945: Nob Hill - Sally Templeton
  • 1945: State Fair - Emily Edwards
  • 1945: Doll Face - Mary Elizabeth 'Doll Face' Carroll
  • 1946: If I'm Lucky - Linda Farrell
  • 1946: Three Little Girls in Blue - Liz Charters
  • 1952: Skirts Ahoy! - Una Yancy
  • 1953: Main Street to Broadway - Vivian Blaine (uncredited)
  • 1956: Guys and Dolls - Miss Adelaide
  • 1957: Public Pigeon No. 1 - Rita DeLacey
  • 1972: Richard - Washington Doctor
  • 1979: The Dark - Courtney Floyd
  • 1982: Parasite - Miss Elizabeth Daley
  • 1983: I'm Going to Be Famous - Laura Lowell
  • Television

  • 1953: The Philco Television Playhouse - Episode: "Double Jeopardy"
  • 1954: Center Stage - Episode: "Heart of a Clown"
  • 1954: The Colgate Comedy Hour - Winnie Potter (Episode: "Let's Face It")
  • 1955: Damon Runyon Theater - Cutie Singleton (Episode: "Pick the Winner")
  • 1955: Hallmark Hall of Fame - Georgina Allerton (Episode: "Dream Girl")
  • 1956: The Bob Hope Show - Episode: "The Awful Truth"
  • 1956: General Electric Summer Originals - Episode: "It's Sunny Again"
  • 1957: Lux Video Theatre - Coral (Episode: "The Undesirable")
  • 1963: Route 66 - Dixie Martin (Episode: "A Bunch of Lonely Pagliaccis")
  • 1976: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman - Betty McCullough (21 episodes)
  • 1978: Fantasy Island - Mrs. Deverse (Episode: "The Big Dipper/The Pirate")
  • 1978: Katie: Portrait of a Centerfold - Marietta Cutler (TV film)
  • 1978: The Love Boat - Barbara Sharp (Episode: "The Minister and the Stripper")
  • 1979: Vega$ - Lenora (Episode: "Everything I Touch")
  • 1979: The Cracker Factory - Helen (TV film)
  • 1979: Fast Friends - Sylvia (TV film)
  • 1979: Sooner or Later - Cosmetic Saleslady (TV film)
  • 1979: CHiPs - Vivian Blaine (Episode: "Roller Disco: Part 2")
  • 1983: Amanda's - Aunt Sonia (Episode: "Aunt Sonia")
  • 1985: Murder, She Wrote - Rita Bristol (Episode: "Broadway Malady") (final television appearance)
  • References

    Vivian Blaine Wikipedia