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Laurie Beechman
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    (April 4, 1953-March 8, 1998)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Laura Hope Beechman
    Made her Broadway debut in the original Broadway cast of 'Annie' (1977)
    Received a Best Featured Actress Tony nomination for 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat' (1982)
    Portrayed Grizabella in 'Cats' in the original US touring company (1983), and later on Broadway (1984-88,1997)
    Other Broadway credits include 'The Pirates of Penzance' (1981-82; as Kate) and 'Les Miserables' (1990; as Fantine)
    Recorded 'Listen to My Heart' (1990), 'Time Between the Time' (1993), and 'No One is Alone' (1996)
    Namesake for the Laurie Beechman Theatre on 42nd Street in Manhattan, NY
    She was a Liza Minnelli lookalike.
    Her attempt to start a girl-Rock group (Laurie and the Sighs) failed badly.
    She dropped out of NYU after barely two years.
    She played a challenging five different roles in the original 'Annie.'
    Fans of the 'Cats' musical have been known to prefer her rendition of 'Memory' to Betty Buckley's.
    She received the Gilda's Club's 'It's Always Something' Award.
    She sang at President Bill Clinton's second inaugural gala (1997).
    She auditioned for a small part in 'Joseph,' but won the Narrator role, which was crafted around her stage persona (the 'Star to Be' part in 'Annie' was also written for her especially).
    She died after a long on-and-off again struggle with ovarian cancer.
    She remained close friends with original 'Annie' actress Andrea McArdle, who would go on to sing the 'Star to Be' part in the 1999 television version (McArdle also performed a variation of the song at Beechman's memorial service the year prior).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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