Broadway Star Marin Mazzie, 57, Dies Three Years After Being Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer
The three-time Tony Award nominee died surrounded by friends and family on Sept. 13.
Marin Mazzie, the three-time Tony Award nominee best known for her roles in Ragtime and Passion, died Thursday morning after suffering from ovarian cancer for three years. She was 57.
The Illinois native had recently been inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in November 2017, alongside Audra McDonald and Matthew Broderick, according to Playbill. She had also starred in the Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of The King and I, playing the role of Anna Leonowens during spring 2016, which was reportedly her final Broadway appearance.
Mazzie’s publicist, Kim Correro, released a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday confirming the sad news.
“Incredible human being, loving wife, dedicated family member, devoted friend and Broadway star, Marin Mazzie passed away this morning at 10:10am in the comfort of her New York City apartment surrounded by family and close friends,” Correro shared.
According to Correro, Mazzie was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer in May 2015.
“Over that time, while fighting her own fight, she took it upon herself to help spread awareness of Ovarian Cancer, and to help find an early detection for the disease, of which, currently, there is none,” Correro wrote.
Mazzie began her career with off-broadway productions and in 1985, made her Broadway debut in Big River, Playbill reports.
Her big voice and natural stage presence quickly advanced her career, as her personal website indicates, leading her to play Rapunzel in 1987 during the original Broadway run of Into the Woods. Soon after, Mazzie earned her first Tony Award nomination for her role as Clara in Stephen Sondheim’s 1994 musical, Passion.
She then went on to star in Ragtime and Kiss Me, Kate, earning two more Tony nominations in the process. Her performance in Kiss Me, Kate also won her a 2000 Outer Critics Circle Award.
Over the years, as Mazzie’s long list of Broadway credits grew, so did her accolades, earning two Outer Critics Circle Awards and multiple Drama Desk, Drama League, and Olivier Award nominations.
In 1996, during a production of The Trojan Women: A Love Story, Mazzie met fellow actor Jason Danieley, who would eventually become her husband. The pair married a year later and have since been inseparable, often performing at cabaret concerts across the nation together.
Throughout 2015, Mazzie reportedly was treated at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital in New York, where she received surgery and months of chemotherapy. According to Playbill, in January 2016, Mazzie had announced that she had beaten the disease.
One of her last on-stage appearances was earlier this year when she performed in Terrence McNally’s Fire and Air. She was also honored with the first Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative “Dame” Award in 2016.
Following her passing on Thursday, the Broadway community, including Frozen star Patti Murin and stage veteran Harvey Fierstein, expressed their condolences on social media and remembered Mazzie to be a “bright shining light” and “beautiful, brave, and inspiring.”
In July 2017, Mazzie told The New York Times that her singing career — which she referred to as “healing” — helped her deal with her cancer diagnosis.
“Singing involves the interconnection of mind and body. It has always been healing for me,” she explained to the publication. “It makes me feel extremely alive, whether I am playing a character or in concert. ‘Live in the moment’ or ‘life is a gift’: I always believed that, but never before felt the power of life and love, of an outpouring from my husband, family and community.”
A private gathering and a fuller Celebration of Life for Mazzie is in the works and expected to occur in the next few weeks.