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The Greatest Broadway Stars of All Time

Updated January 26, 2021 62.7k votes 6.3k voters 106.6k views126 items

List RulesVote up the famous Broadway actors, actresses, and singers who have been shining stars on the main stage.

These Broadway stars have been the biggest audience draws in the past, and many are sure to be in the future. All the theater stars on this list have performed at one of the forty designated Broadway theaters. Many theater actors listed here originated roles that have become beloved by audiences of all ages. From newer names (like Lea Michele) to old favorites who have passed on (such as Sammy Davis, Jr.), you’ll find them all here on this list of the greatest Broadway stars of all time.

Did you know that one amazing Broadway star performed two leading roles in a single day? Howard Keel, who later went on to star on the hit television show “Dallas,” understudied for the lead in Carousel in 1945. After he began performing in Oklahoma!, his understudy skills were needed - and he performed both plays in one night. Not only for his amazing performances, but also for his vigor, Keel has earned his place on this list of the most amazing Broadway stars.

Other Broadway stars are just beginning to make their marks. A prime example is Lea Michele, who is perhaps most widely recognized for her “Glee” character, Rachel Berry. She conquered the Broadway stage when she originated the role of Wendla in Spring Awakening. Audiences responded to her great Broadway performance, as did critics, and she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Michele and her cohort of Broadway newcomers are definitely building their names as the most popular Broadway performers.

On this list you’ll find all of the greatest Broadway stars from the past and present. Although some have left the stage, their memories live on and give new generations of Broadway stars something to aspire to. Cast your votes below for the greatest Broadway stars of all time.

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  • Julie Andrews1
    1,805
    609

    BirthplaceWalton-on-Thames, United Kingdom

    Country of nationalityUnited Kingdom

    Debuted on Broadway in 1954 in The Boy Friend.
    Dame Julie Andrews, (born 1 October 1935) is an English actress, singer and author. Andrews, a...  more

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  • Patti LuPone2
    1,067
    443

    BirthplaceNorthport, Huntington, New York, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Won a Tony Award for her performance in Evita.
    Patti Ann LuPone (born April 21, 1949) is an American actress and singer, best known for her...  more

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  • Bernadette Peters3
    1,043
    487

    BirthplaceOzone Park, New York City, New York, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Critically acclaimed for her performances in Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun, and more.
    Bernadette Peters (born Bernadette Lazzara; February 28, 1948) is an American actress, singer,...  more

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  • Idina Menzel4
    1,556
    752

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked.
    Idina Kim Menzel (born May 30, 1971) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. Menzel...  more

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  • Barbra Streisand5
    1,073
    515

    BirthplaceWilliamsburg, New York City, New York, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Remembered for her Broadway performance in Funny Girl.
    Barbara Joan "Barbra" Streisand (born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, actress, and...  more

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  • Kristin Chenoweth6
    1,324
    670

    BirthplaceBroken Arrow, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Originated the role of Glinda in Wicked.
    Kristin Dawn Chenoweth (; born Kristi Dawn Chenoweth, July 24, 1968) is an American actress...  more

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  • Angela Lansbury7
    833
    381

    BirthplacePoplar, London, United Kingdom

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America, United Kingdom

    Remembered for her Broadway performance in Mame.
    Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury (born October 16, 1925) is a British-American-Irish actress who...  more

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  • Carol Channing8
    561
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    BirthplaceSeattle, Washington, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Originated the role of Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!
    Carol Elaine Channing (January 31, 1921 – January 15, 2019) was an American actress, singer,...  more

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  • Liza Minnelli9
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    BirthplaceHollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Has won four Tony Awards in her illustrious Broadway career.
    Liza May Minnelli (born March 12, 1946) is an American actress and singer. Best known for her...  more

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    #269 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time#159 of 309 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100

  • Jonathan Groff10
    1,165
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    Jonathan Groff

    Age: 35

    BirthplaceLancaster, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Originated starring roles in Spring Awakening and as King George III in Hamilton.

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  • Lin-Manuel Miranda11
    1,587
    773

    Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Age: 40

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Wrote and starred in Hamilton.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda (born January 16, 1980) is an American composer, lyricist, rapper, singer,...  more

    More 

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  • Sutton Foster12
    834
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    BirthplaceStatesboro, Georgia, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Regarded for her performance as Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
    Sutton Lenore Foster (born March 18, 1975) is an American actress, singer and dancer. She is...  more
  • Lea Salonga13
    1,464
    443

    BirthplaceAngeles, Philippines

    Country of nationalityPhilippines

    Originated the role of Kim in Miss Saigon.

    Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga, , (; born February 22, 1971) is a Filipina singer and...  more

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  • Audra McDonald14
    810
    381

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Won a Tony Award for her performance in Porgy and Bess.
    Audra Ann McDonald (born July 3, 1970) is an American actress and singer. Primarily known for...  more

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    #122 of 225 The Greatest Black Actresses of All Time#107 of 126 The Greatest Black Female Singers

  • Jeremy Jordan15
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    BirthplaceCorpus Christi, Texas, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Jeremy Michael Jordan is an American actor and singer. He has performed on Broadway and in...  more
  • Nathan Lane16
    520
    306

    BirthplaceJersey City, New Jersey, USA

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in The Producers.

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  • Carol Burnett17
    436
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    BirthplaceSan Antonio, Texas, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Has performed in musicals including I Do! I Do! and Love Letters.
    Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) is an American actress, comedian, singer and...  more

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  • Gene Kelly18
    Was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1992.
    Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American dancer, actor of...  more

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  • Ethel Merman19
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    Ethel Merman

    Dec. at 76 (1908-1984)

    BirthplaceAstoria, New York City, New York, United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Introduced many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "I Got Rhythm."
    Ethel Merman (born Ethel Agnes Zimmermann, January 16, 1908 – February 15, 1984) was an...  more

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  • Chita Rivera20
    702
    447

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Performed in Broadway shows including Can-Can and Guys and Dolls.
    Chita Rivera (born January 23, 1933) is an American actress, dancer, and singer best known for...  more
  • Michael Crawford21
    458
    324

    BirthplaceSalisbury, England

    Country of nationalityEngland

    Debuted on Broadway in Black Comedy.
    Michael Patrick Smith, (born 19 January 1942), known by the professional stage name of...  more

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  • Hugh Jackman22
    854
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    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    Country of nationalityAustralia

    Performed in the Royal National Theatre's production of Oklahoma!
    Hugh Michael Jackman (born 12 October 1968) is an Australian actor, singer, and producer. He...  more

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  • Ben Platt23
    570
    214

    Ben Platt

    Age: 24

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, CA

    Country of nationalityAmerica

    Ben Platt is famous for his role in Pitch Perfect and his role in the Broadway play Dear Evan Hansen.

    Benjamin Schiff Platt (born September 24, 1993) is an American actor, singer, and songwriter....  more
  • Andrew Rannells24
    447
    272

    BirthplaceUSA, Nebraska, Omaha

    Country of nationalityUnited States of America

    Andrew Scott Rannells (born August 23, 1978) is an American actor, voice actor, and...  more

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  • Ramin Karimloo25
    502
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    BirthplaceTehran, Iran

    Country of nationalityCanada, Iran

    Ramin Karimloo (Persian: رامین کریملو‎; born September 19, 1978) is an Iranian-Canadian actor...  more