Culture

The Greatest Female Broadway Stars 

Buster McDermott
Originally by
Updated July 4, 2020 26.2k votes 3.4k voters 49.3k views 53 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: 86
Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.
3
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Age: 48
Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.
4
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Age: 98
Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
5
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Age: 71
Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.
6
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Age: 51
Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
7
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Age: 70
Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.
8
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Age: 48
Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.
9
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Age: 94
Well-known for starring in Mame.
10
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Age: 49
Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.
11
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Age: 44
Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.
12
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Age: 86
Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).
13
Judy Kuhn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Sheila Cecil added Age: 61
14
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Dec. at 76 (1908-1984)
Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."
15
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Age: 73
Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.
16
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Age: 77
Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.
17
Kerry Butler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
DeborahTragasz added Age: 48
18
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Dec. at 89 (1925-2014)
Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.
19
Laurie Beechman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Sheila Cecil added Laurie Beechman Dec. at 45 (1953-1998)
20
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Age: 43
Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.
21
Laura Benanti is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
looksharp added Age: 40
22
Krysta Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
DeborahTragasz added Age: 35
23
Laura Osnes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
DeborahTragasz added Laura Osnes Age: 34
24
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Anna Wray added
25
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Dec. at 77 (1913-1990)
Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.