Theater The Greatest Female Broadway Stars  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
17.9k votes 2.9k voters 42.7k views 60 items

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
1,324 510
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age 83 - Well-known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

2
862 561
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age 47 - Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.

3
520 434
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age 85 - Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.

4
360 338
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age 50 - Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

5
278 350
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age 48 - Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.

6
314 359
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age 70 - Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

7
278 274
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age 69 - Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.

8
321 344
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age 93 - Well-known for starring in Mame.

9
413 370
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age 47 - Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.

10
185 247
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Died at 76 (1908-1984) - Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."

11
316 343
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age 85 - Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).

12
262 251
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age 43 - Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.

13
217 258
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age 97 - Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

14
230 335
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age 72 - Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.

15
321 582
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age 76 - Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

16
141 216
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age 42 - Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.

17
81 64
Laura Benanti is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
looksharp added age 39

18
116 155
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Died at 89 (1925-2014) - Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.

19
95 62
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Anna Wray added

20
127 249
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Died at 77 (1913-1990) - Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

21
91 222
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Died at 75 (1925-2000) - Picked up four Tony Awards in her career.

22
131 132
Sierra Boggess is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
mercedesr added age 36

23
89 140
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age 59 - Well-known for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I.

24
36 53
Marin Mazzie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
age 58

25
67 115
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age 91 - Earned a Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man.