Jan Maxwell, a five-time
Tony-nominated actor whose performances spanned stage and screen, comedy and
drama, died February 11 at 61 following a longtime battle with cancer. She became
the fourth performer in Tony Awards history to be nominated in all four
possible acting categories. She won Drama Desks for both Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang and The Royal Family. Ms. Maxwell made her Broadway
debut in 1989’s City of Angels in her early 40s.She would go on to
celebrate a 25-year career on the Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional stage. Her
myriad accolades include five Tony nominations, with two in the same
season: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang(2005), Coram
Boy (2007), Lend Me a Tenor (2010), The
Royal Family (2010), and Follies (2012). and
Off-Broadway’s House and Garden, Entertaining Mr. Sloane,
Victory: Choices in Reaction, Wings, The City of Conversation.
In 2015, after Scenes
From an Execution she announced that she intended to retire from theatre. “The
kinds of roles I was being offered were just…I’d been the and done that, and I
just didn’t want to do that anymore... I think theater saves people’s lives and
it’s wonderful. This is just a personal choice for me.” On TV after Law
& Order, in which she played four different characters over nine years
she said "If you see me, you can turn it off... I did it”.
Note from the Publisher:
Jan Maxwell was a classy lady as well
as a talented actress. My heart sank when I saw her twice in 2015 when she was
nominated for a Drama Desk award for City of Conversations at the Drama Desk Nominees party and later at the Awards.
She appeared very much alone in the crowd and seemed grateful for the attention
I paid her.
was shortly after that she announced she was withdrawing from the stage.
pain I felt then I feel anew at this permanent departure.