Barbara Cook Has Died; Broadway's Inimitable Marian The Librarian, Cunegonde Was 89


She performed in many musicals on Broadway including She Loves Me, The Music Man, Candide, and performed cabarets and shows at Carnegie Hall and numerous other venues.

Barbara will be remembered for her fondness for vanilla ice cream; it was perhaps a passion which spring-boarded from another of her musicals called She Loves Me, where Cook's hero's song was called Vanilla Ice Cream.

Cook released her memoir, Barbara Cook: Then and Now, past year and she was supposed to perform a companion off-Broadway production of the same name. The New York Post reports that her Broadway career sadly ended in the early 1970s when she began struggling with depression, alcoholism and weight gain.

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"Because of this package I'm in", she once told me, "it became more hard to get roles".

As her drinking spiraled out of control, Cook withdrew from show business. With her astounding vocal range, crystalline enunciation, expressive interpretations - and, always, plenty of inside patter - Cook was a one-woman encyclopedia of the Great American Songbook. She marked her return to the stage with a mesmerizing performance as Sally in a concert version of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies" at Lincoln Center in 1985.

In recent years she focused on a concert career that resulted in live albums like Barbara Cook's Broadway and Mostly Sondheim: Live at Carnegie Hall. She is survived by their son Adam.