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Rebecca Luker (1961–2020), Broadway star

by Linnea Crowther

Rebecca Luker was a Tony-nominated Broadway star known for her roles in productions including the 1994 revival of “Showboat” and the 2000 revival of “The Music Man.”

Ingenues and leading ladies

Luker made her Broadway debut in “The Phantom of the Opera,” beginning as understudy to Sarah Brightman playing the female lead, Christine, and taking over the role in 1989. She continued playing sweet ingenues and leading ladies through much of her career, earning Tony nominations for three of her performances: Magnolia in “Show Boat,” Marian in “The Music Man,” and Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins.” Luker’s other notable roles include Lily in “The Secret Garden,” Maria in “The Sound of Music,” and the fairy godmother in “Cinderella.” She also made appearances on TV shows including “Boardwalk Empire” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”

Notable quote

“When I sing, I think it heals me. It helps me feel like I’m still a part of something.” —from a 2020 interview with the New York Times

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Tributes to Rebecca Luker

Full obituary: The New York Times

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