New Delhi: Barbara Bryne, the British actress who portrayed mothers in the original Broadway productions of Stephen Sondheim`s Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods, has passed away. She was 94. Her death was confirmed by the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Hollywood Reporter reported.
“Barbara was a cherished member of the Guthrie family,” theatre reps said in a statement, “and we`re grateful she shared her artistry with us for so many seasons. Her legacy will live on at the Guthrie and in our hearts forever.”
The first of her more than 60 plays there was Arsenic and Old Lace in 1970, and she performed in 20-plus productions from 1998-2013, including a memorable turn in 1999 as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.
Bryne was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1982 for her off-off-Broadway performance as Kath in a revival of the Joe Orton-written Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Three years later, she starred with Rosemary Harris in a Broadway revival of Noel Coward`s family comedy Hay Fever.
She played George`s mom alongside Mandy Patinkin in Sunday in the Park With George in 1984-85 — they sang the wistful “Beautiful” together — and was Jack`s mom opposite Ben Wright and Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods, which premiered in 1987.
At the Kennedy Center in 2002, she was another Sondheim matriarch, Madame Armfeldt, in A Little Night Music. Born in London on April 1, 1929, Bryne trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and, starting in 1966, took on more than 30 roles at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. She is survived by her daughter Susan.