Broadway The Greatest Female Broadway Stars  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
19.8k votes 2.9k voters 43.3k views 56 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
1,332 543
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age 83
Well-known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

2
866 594
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age 47
Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.

3
368 368
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age 50
Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

4
523 467
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age 85
Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.

5
282 381
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age 48
Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.

6
319 392
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age 70
Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

7
323 377
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age 93
Well-known for starring in Mame.

8
284 306
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age 69
Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.

9
249 258
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age 97
Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

10
188 278
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Died at 76 (1908-1984)
Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."

11
418 403
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age 47
Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.

12
320 374
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age 85
Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).

13
269 282
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age 43
Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.

14
231 368
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age 72
Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.

15
322 615
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age 76
Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

16
128 280
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Died at 77 (1913-1990)
Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

17
142 246
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age 42
Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.

18
92 253
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Died at 75 (1925-2000)
Picked up four Tony Awards in her career.

19
118 186
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Died at 89 (1925-2014)
Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.

20
82 95
Laura Benanti is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
looksharp added age 39

21
109 251
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age 60
Played Velma in Chicago.

22
99 93
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Anna Wray added

23
55 162
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age 65
Played Ado Annie in a revival of Oklahoma!

24
90 171
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age 59
Well-known for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I.

25
68 146
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age 91
Earned a Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man.