Theater The Greatest Female Broadway Stars  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
17.1k votes 2.8k voters 41.8k views 55 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
1,313 499
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age 83 - Well-known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.

2
851 548
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age 47 - Acclaimed for her performance on Broadway in Miss Saigon.

3
514 421
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age 85 - Remembered for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story.

4
348 325
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age 50 - Captured a Tony Award for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

5
270 338
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age 48 - Had won three Tony Awards by the age of 28.

6
303 348
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age 70 - Earned a Tony nomination for her performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

7
316 336
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age 93 - Well-known for starring in Mame.

8
268 265
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age 69 - Debuted on Broadway in Three Sisters.

9
400 357
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age 47 - Originated the role of Maureen Johnson in Rent.

10
182 237
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Died at 76 (1908-1984) - Debuted many Broadway standards, including "Anything Goes" and "Friendship."

11
311 334
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age 85 - Nominated for a Tony Award after her first Broadway role (in Once Upon a Mattress).

12
254 238
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age 43 - Won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.

13
209 256
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age 97 - Originated the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

14
222 325
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age 72 - Won a Tony Award for her performance in Flora the Red Menace.

15
80 53
Laura Benanti is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
looksharp added age 39

16
87 48
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Anna Wray added

17
137 207
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age 42 - Starred in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick.

18
311 573
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age 76 - Performed in both Funny Girl and I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

19
111 147
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Died at 89 (1925-2014) - Debuted on Broadway in 1946 in Loco.

20
125 242
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Died at 77 (1913-1990) - Originated the role of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

21
91 214
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Died at 75 (1925-2000) - Picked up four Tony Awards in her career.

22
88 131
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age 59 - Well-known for her portrayal of Anna in The King and I.

23
121 122
Sierra Boggess is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
mercedesr added age 36

24
34 42
Marin Mazzie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
age 58

25
65 107
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age 91 - Earned a Tony Award for her performance in The Music Man.

26
54 123
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age 65 - Played Ado Annie in a revival of Oklahoma!

27
107 212
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age 60 - Played Velma in Chicago.

28
93 120
Megan Hilty is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
age 37 - Well-known for portraying the character Doralee in 9 to 5: The Musical.

29
29 45
Patina Miller is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
age 34

30
49 103
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Died at 78 (1925-2003) - Introduced the tunes "Easy Street" and "Little Girls" in Annie.

31
106 159
Sarah Brightman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
age 58 - Acclaimed for her performance as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.

32
41 13
Renée Elise Goldsberry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Mandy L. K. Yu added age 47

33
74 188
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Died at 54 (1898-1952) - Portrayed Eliza Doolittle in a revival of My Fair Lady.

34
44 97
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age 57 - Replaced Sarah Brightman in as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.

35
45 109
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age 44 - Introduced the role of Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King.

36
13 16
Donna McKechnie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
Ekir75 added age 78

37
27 9
Laura Osnes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
yours_truly added age 33

38
50 97
Alice Ripley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
age 55 - Nominated for a Tony Award for her work in Side Show.

39
35 103
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age 45 - Remembered for her portrayal of Tracy in Hairspray.

40
20 4
Barrett Wilbert Weed is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added

Actress, Mean Girls

41
70 102
Jane Krakowski is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
age 50 -

Garnered a Tony Award for her work in Nine.

42
16 3
Jessie Mueller is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added age 32 -

Waitress, Beautiful.

43
9 4
Sara Bareilles is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
anita2 added Sara Bareilles

Actress and singer-songwriter who wrote original score for the Tony Award nominated broadway musical 'Waitress'

44
6 4
Kerry Butler is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added age 47

45
5 3
LaChanze is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added age 57

46
5 4
Lena Hall is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added Lena Hall

Tony Award-winner for Yitzhak in the 2014 revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch & Nicola in Kinky Boots.

47
5 4
Susan Egan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added age 48

48
4 3
Leslie Uggams is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added age 75

49
3 3
Andrea McArdle is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added age 55

50
3 3
Barbara Harris is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female Broadway Stars
JenME3 added age 83