Culture The Greatest Female Broadway Stars  

Buster McDermott
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24.4k votes 3.1k voters 44.9k views 43 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
1,355 647
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age 84
Well-known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
888 698
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age 48
Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.
387 470
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age 51
Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
534 565
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age 86
Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.
358 266
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age 98
Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
296 484
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age 49
Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.
336 492
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age 71
Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.
337 476
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age 94
Well-known for starring in Mame.
304 403
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age 70
Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.
199 377
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Dec. at 76 (1908-1984)
Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."
437 504
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age 48
Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.
330 473
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age 86
Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).
242 465
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age 73
Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.
278 378
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age 44
Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.
338 714
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age 77
Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.
134 377
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Dec. at 77 (1913-1990)
Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.
103 347
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Dec. at 75 (1925-2000)
Picked up four Tony Awards in her career.
146 343
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age 43
Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.
127 282
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Dec. at 89 (1925-2014)
Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.
119 345
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age 61
Played Velma in Chicago.
60 257
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age 66
Played Ado Annie in a revival of Oklahoma!
96 268
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age 60
Well-known for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I.
75 241
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age 92
Earned a Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man.
87 190
Laura Benanti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
looksharp added age 40
105 188
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Anna Wray added