Barbara Cook, Broadway legend, cabaret artist, dies at 89


Rest in peace, Barbara Cook.

Barbara Cook has passed away after battling respiratory failure at the age of 89. She would continue with similar performances, including 2001's Mostly Sondheim at Carnegie Hall, Barbara Cook's Broadway! in 2004 and again on Broadway with 2010's Sondheim on Sondheim.

Over the course of a six-decade career, Cook soared, fell and rebounded, in recent years as one of the most celebrated cabaret stars of her time.

Born in Atlanta in 1927, Cook never had a vocal coach yet had an effortless skill of creating beauty by just opening her mouth. "I think I breathed and I sang". It led to Cook's first original musical success, a yearlong Broadway run in "Plain and Fancy" (1955) as an innocent, unworldly Amish girl.

The Broadway legend is most famous for her leading performances in some of the biggest musicals of the 1950s, including Candide, and The Music Man.

She also originated the role of Marian the librarian in Meredith Wilson's The Music Man, for which she won a Tony for in 1957.

In the statement released to The Post, Barbara's son Adam revealed in a touching note: 'Vanilla ice cream was the last thing she ate - the God's honest truth'.

But she gave up drinking in the 1970s and reinvented herself as a solo artist, working in small NY clubs and finally Carnegie Hall. Cook put together a 1975 Carnegie Hall concert that launched a successful live album.

Cook Wednesday acting teacher David LeGrant in 1952, but they were divorced in 1965.

Adam LeGrant, her son and only immediate survivor, said the cause was respiratory failure.