broadway The Greatest Female Broadway Stars  

Buster McDermott
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List Rules Vote up the top women on Broadway based on their careers on the stage

These leading ladies have made audiences laugh, cry and wish that the show would never end. Some have had long-running careers, while others are just starting out, but they all have one thing in common: they’re all the best female performers to have ever graced Broadway stages. For that reason, they all deserve a spot on this list of the greatest female Broadway stars. 

Broadway and music fans everywhere have heard of Barbra Streisand, but did you know she only performed in two shows on Broadway: I Can Get It for You Wholesale and Funny Girl? Of course, her star power was so bright that she was nominated for a Tony Award each time. The year she was nominated for Funny Girl (1964), she lost out to a performer many consider to be one of the top Broadway performers of all time - Carol Channing.

Channing not only won a total of three Tony Awards but also originated two of the most iconic Broadway roles in history: Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! and Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Because of these stunning performances, Carol Channing is regarded as one of the most amazing Broadway stars in history, alongside greats like Bernadette Peters, Ethel Merman, and Liza Minnelli. Other rising Broadway stars such as Megan Hilty and Lea Michele are joining the ranks of these great Broadway stars, making Broadway more fantastic as time goes on.

Whether for their powerful voices or skilled acting, the leading Broadway ladies on this list are known as the greatest female Broadway stars. Cast your votes below for the best female Broadway stars.

list ordered by

1
1,225 467
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Julie Andrews age 82 - Well-known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

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2
776 510
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Lea Salonga age 46 - Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.

3
476 391
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Chita Rivera age 84 - Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.

4
279 294
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Kristin Chenoweth age 49 - Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

5
201 322
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Audra McDonald age 47 - Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.

6
237 332
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Bernadette Peters age 69 - Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

7
257 320
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Angela Lansbury age 92 - Well-known for starring in Mame.

8
203 249
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Patti LuPone age 68 - Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.

9
275 308
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Carol Burnett age 84 - Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).

10
141 222
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Ethel Merman Died at 76 (1908-1984) - Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."

11
325 326
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Idina Menzel age 46 - Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.

12
181 232
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Carol Channing age 96 - Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

13
194 223
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Sutton Foster age 42 - Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.

14
178 305
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Liza Minnelli age 71 - Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.

15
100 231
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Mary Martin Died at 77 (1913-1990) - Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

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16
256 555
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Barbra Streisand age 75 - Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

17
77 204
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Gwen Verdon Died at 75 (1925-2000) - Picked up four Tony Awards in her career.

18
56 36
Laura Benanti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
looksharp added Laura Benanti age 38

19
107 196
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Kelli O'Hara age 41 - Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.

20
86 132
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Elaine Stritch Died at 89 (1925-2014) - Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.

21
54 19
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Anna Wray added Phillipa Soo

22
73 124
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Donna Murphy age 58 - Well-known for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I.

23
91 202
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Bebe Neuwirth age 59 - Played Velma in Chicago.

24
40 113
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Christine Ebersole age 64 - Played Ado Annie in a revival of Oklahoma!

25
19 33
Marin Mazzie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Marin Mazzie age 57

26
86 106
Megan Hilty is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Megan Hilty age 36 - Well-known for portraying the character Doralee in 9 to 5: The Musical.

27
48 103
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Barbara Cook age 90 - Earned a Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man.

28
23 31
Patina Miller is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Patina Miller age 33

29
88 111
Sierra Boggess is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
mercedesr added Sierra Boggess age 35

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30
38 96
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Dorothy Loudon Died at 78 (1925-2003) - Introduced the tunes "Easy Street" and "Little Girls" in Annie.

31
66 178
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Gertrude Lawrence Died at 54 (1898-1952) - Portrayed Eliza Doolittle in a revival of My Fair Lady.

32
37 88
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Rebecca Luker age 56 - Replaced Sarah Brightman in as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.

33
81 147
Sarah Brightman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Sarah Brightman age 57 - Acclaimed for her performance as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.

34
37 99
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Heather Headley age 43 - Introduced the role of Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King.

35
28 92
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Marissa Jaret Winokur age 44 - Remembered for her portrayal of Tracy in Hairspray.

36
4 8
Donna McKechnie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Ekir75 added Donna McKechnie age 77

37
37 90
Alice Ripley is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Alice Ripley age 54 - Nominated for a Tony Award for her work in Side Show.

38
13 5
Renée Elise Goldsberry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Mandy L. K. Yu added Renée Elise Goldsberry age 46

39
46 95
Jane Krakowski is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Jane Krakowski age 49 - Garnered a Tony Award for her work in Nine.

40
4 32
Denise van Outen is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
ColinBoddy added Denise van Outen age 43

41
30 87
Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Laura Linney age 53 - Nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in The Crucible.

42
27 80
Sherie Rene Scott is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Sherie Rene Scott age 50 - Nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

43
21 92
Marilu Henner is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Marilu Henner age 65 - Performed in Chicago, Pal Joey, and more.