Linda Lavin (Actress) as Alice
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Updated: 5/12/20

Name: Linda Lavin

Birth Name: Linda Lavin

Born: October 15, 1937 in Portland, Maine, USA

Claim To Fame: Linda Lavin is an American actress and singer best known for playing the title character in the sitcom Alice, which ran from 1976 to 1985, and for her stage performances, both on Broadway and Off-Broadway.

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Family Life: Her first marriage to Ron Leibman ended in divorce in 1980.

Her second marriage to Kip Niven, whom she met on the set of Alice, ended in a bitter divorce in 1992.

While Lavin has no biological children, she is stepmother to the children of her second husband and plays an active role in their lives and that of her grandchildren, and is stepmother to those of her third and current husband, artist/musician Steve Bakunas, whom she married in 2005.

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Info: The daughter of David Joseph Lavin, a businessman, and Lucille Potter Lavin, an opera singer, a famous coloratura soprano and performed many times for TV and radio.

Both sets of grandparents, Simon and Jessie Lavin and Harry and Esther Potter, emigrated from Russia.

Lavin has been onstage since the age of five.

She studied acting at HB Studio in New York City.

Attended Waynflete School before enrolling and graduating, in 1959, from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Joined the Compass Players in the late 1950s.

Lavin began her career with Broadway appearances in the musical A Family Affair (1962).

She "arrived at showbiz stardom with a featured role" in the musical It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman (1966).

She left Barney Miller to star in the lead role in Alice.

The series was based on the Martin Scorsese-directed Ellen Burstyn film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Lavin portrayed Alice Hyatt, a waitress and singer, the character that Burstyn had played. Lavin performed the series' theme song, "There's a New Girl in Town," which was written by David Shire and Alan and Marilyn Bergman and was updated for each of the first six seasons.

Lavin produced and starred in A Matter of Life and Death, the 1981 telefilm based on the work of nurse thanatologist Joy Ufema.

Lavin made her feature film debut in The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984).

After more than a decade away, appearing on television, Lavin returned to the Broadway stage in 1987 in Neil Simon's play Broadway Bound.

She directed the 1990 telefilm Flour Babies.

While living in Wilmington, North Carolina, her and he husband worked within the community to rehabilitate impoverished neighborhoods including renovating many homes, donating a park to the city and creating a community theatre, the Red Barn Studio.

In 1997, Lavin founded The Linda Lavin Arts Foundation in Wilmington to promote performing and visual arts in education. Her foundation has created a theater program called Girl Friends.

Her recording, Possibilities was released by Ghostlight Records in 2012.

Lavin as been nominated and won many awards, including...

Lavin was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame for 2010 in January 2011.

Tony Awards 1970 Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play - Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Nominated) 1987 Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play - Broadway Bound (Won) 1998 Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play - The Diary of Anne Frank (Nominated) 2001 Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play - The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (Nominated) 2010 Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play - Collected Stories (Nominated) 2012 Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play - The Lyons (Nominated)

Drama Desk Awards 1987 Outstanding Actress in a Play - Broadway Bound (Won) 2008 Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play - The New Century (Won)

Obie Award 1994-95 Outstanding Actress - Death Defying Acts (Won) 2012 Performance The Lyons (Won)

Golden Globe Awards 1979 Best TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy - Alice (Won) 1980 Best TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy - Alice (Won) 1981 Best TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy - Alice (Nominated)

Primetime Emmy Awards 1979 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Alice (Nominated)

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Trivia: When she was a teenager, Linda's parents encouraged her to keep practing the piano, but she admits she hated to playing it.

Says one of her favorite roles is that of Patsy Newquist, the role she played in the 1968 play Little Murders.

Had it stipulated in her Alice contract that the producers allow her to sing.

Graduated with a theatre degree from William and Mary College.

Directed an all-Brazilian jazz version of As You Like It for the Wilmington Shakespeare Festival in 1998.

Sang the song "New Kid in Town" for the opening credits of her 1970's television series Alice.

In 1997, Linda came up with the idea for The Linda Lavin Foundation in Wilmington, North Carolina, which helps eleven to fourteen year old girls learn about performing and visual arts.

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Where Are They Now: In 2020, Lavin performed the song "The Boy From..." from The Mad Show in Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration. And with recent appearances on hit series like Brockmire and Santa Clarita Diet, and the movie Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase she's might very well be the busiest octogenarian in the business.


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