Lillias White

Celebrating Black History Month in Theatre
Posted on 02/08/2021
Image of Lillias White(from Mark Zimmerman)

Lillias White (born July 21, 1951) is an American actress and singer. She is particularly known for her performances in Broadway musicals. In 1989, she won an Obie Award for her performance in the Off-Broadway musical "Romance in Hard Times." In 1997, she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for portraying Sonja in Cy Coleman's "The Life." She was nominated for a Tony Award again in 2010 for her work as Funmilayo in Fela Kuti's "Fela!."

White is also known for her roles as Calliope in the Disney film "Hercules: (1997) and its animated series of the same name; Evette in the film "Pieces of April" (2003); and as Fat Annie in the Netflix series "The Get Down." She has also starred as Bloody Mary in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" on PBS' Great Performances and in the PBS documentary "In Performance at the White House." She is an active cabaret singer and has appeared in concert with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and at Carnegie Hall.

The Brooklyn, New York, native made her Broadway debut in "Barnum" in 1981.[1] She understudied the role of Effie in the original 1981 production of "Dreamgirls" and played the part in the 1987 revival, for which she won the Drama League Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

White has also appeared on Broadway in "Cats," "Carrie," "Once on This Island," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and "Chicago," among others.
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