Culture

The Greatest Female Broadway Stars  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
25.1k votes 3.2k voters 46.8k views 49 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
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age 84
Well-known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
2
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age 98
Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
3
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age 51
Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
4
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age 48
Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.
5
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age 86
Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.
6
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age 49
Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.
7
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age 70
Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.
8
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age 71
Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.
9
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age 94
Well-known for starring in Mame.
10
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Dec. at 76 (1908-1984)
Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."
11
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age 48
Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.
12
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age 86
Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).
13
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age 73
Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.
14
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age 77
Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.
15
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age 44
Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.
16
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Dec. at 75 (1925-2000)
Picked up four Tony Awards in her career.
17
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Dec. at 77 (1913-1990)
Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.
18
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Dec. at 89 (1925-2014)
Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.
19
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age 43
Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.
20
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age 61
Played Velma in Chicago.
21
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age 92
Earned a Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man.
22
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age 66
Played Ado Annie in a revival of Oklahoma!
23
Laura Benanti is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
looksharp added age 40
24
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age 60
Well-known for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I.
25
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Anna Wray added