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Actress and dancer Paula Kelly

Paula Kelly (1943–2020), actress and dancer starred on Broadway and in movies

by Linnea Crowther

Paula Kelly was an actress, dancer, and singer known for movies including “Sweet Charity,” “Soylent Green,” and “Uptown Saturday Night.” On Broadway, she debuted in 1964 in “Something More!” and appeared in other shows including “The Dozens,” “Ovid’s Metamorphoses,” and “Sophisticated Ladies.” In addition to appearing in Bob Fosse’s movie adaptation of “Sweet Charity,” she starred in the show on the London stage, where she won the London Variety Award for Best Supporting Actress. A frequent TV guest, Kelly was Emmy nominated for her recurring role on the first season of “Night Court” as Liz Williams. Her other TV appearances include “The Carol Burnett Show,” ”Sanford and Son,” “Police Woman,” “The Golden Girls,” and the miniseries “The Women of Brewster Place.”

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Died: February 9, 2020 (Who else died on February 9?)

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Details of death: Died at the age of 76.


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What people said about her: “Farewell to a talented genius, Paula Kelly. She was everything — Broadway star, movie star, TV star, dancer, model, there was nothing she couldn’t do. She was also a hardcore jazz fan! She was always hanging out listening to the music. RIP Paula.” —jazz musician Christian McBride

“RIP Paula Kelly. She always brought charisma and energy to her performances. Whether it was TV, Broadway or film. You could see her range in KOJAK as an undercover call girl, GOOD TIMES, her one season on NIGHT COURT, or UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT, she was always special.” —voice actor Lee Sanders

Full obituary: Broadway World

Related lives:

  • Cyd Charisse (1922 – 2008), actress and dancer
  • Bob Fosse (1927 – 1987, dancer and choreographer directed “Sweet Charity”
  • Rita Hayworth (1918 – 1987), actress and dancer

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