Memoriam Stephanie Lawrence: Actress, Singer, Dancer

Stephanie Lawrence

Actress, Singer, Dancer

a life well lived

Gone but never forgotten — Stephanie Lawrence a pillar of British musical theatre playing lead roles in EVITA, STARLIGHT EXPRESS, CATS, MARILYN and BLOOD BROTHERS.

Stephanie Lawrence was born on December 16, 1949 in Hayling Island, Hampshire, into a performing family. Her father was a musician and her mother, Gladys Kent, was a classically trained dancer who later formed a children’s dance troupe, the Kent Babes. The young Stephanie went to the Arts Educational School in Hertfordshire and made her West End debut as a roller-skating tap-dancer in Peter Nichols’s FORGET-ME-NOT LANE (1971): a prophetic move since she spent a good part of her later musical career on skates.

Stephanie Lawrence in EVITA posterThe glamorous blonde star, accompanied by a fine voice shot to fame when she took over the lead role of Eva Peron in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s EVITA from February 1980 until 1983 and made no less an impression than Elaine Page as the Argentinian icon.

In 1983 she played the reformed prostitute, Mary Magdalene, in an ITV play called DOUBTING THOMAS.

The actress took the lead in the Monroe life story show MARILYN! which opened at the Adelphi Theatre on March 17th 1983.

In 1984, she was back on roller-skates to star as Pearl in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s STARLIGHT EXPRESS on both sides of the Atlantic.

She was a veteran of the Royal Variety Performance and was commissioned for a one woman show for the BBC.

Stephanie Lawrence remained a popular figure on the musical scene. Succeeding Barbara Dickson and Angela Richards, she spent 4 years playing Mrs Johnson, the leading role in Willy Russell’s BLOOD BROTHERS at London’s Phoenix Theatre. As well as starring in the West End, she also led the cast of the company that took the production to Liverpool, then Toronto and then onto Broadway in New York in 1993 where, she was honored with a Tony nomination.

She then starred as Grizabella in the West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS in 1997.

         – The Independant

She was a renowned animal lover and someone who put her career before long-term relationships although she married Laurie Sautereau only two months before her death.

Stephanie Lawrence, whose body was found by Mr. Sautereau at their apartment in Fulham, west London, died on November 4th 2000. Her death certificate showed the cause of death was “alcoholic liver disease”.

Stephanie Lawrence profile Stephanie Lawrence headshot Stephanie Lawrence at home Stephanie Lawrence in Starlight Express Stephanie Lawrence in Marilyn 2 Stephanie Lawrence in Marilyn 1 Stephanie Lawrence in Marilyn 3 Stephanie Lawrence in Blood Brothers 1 Stephanie Lawrence in Blood Brothers 3 Stephanie Lawrence in Blood Brothers 2 Stephanie Lawrence in Blood Brothers at Toronto Stage Door in snow (courtesy of Lesley Drury) Stephanie Lawrence in CATS 1 Stephanie Lawrence in CATS 2

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I had the distinct pleasure of working with Stephanie in the UK, Canada and on Broadway when I was Production Supervisor for BLOOD BROTHERS

Blood Brothers Liverpool UK Blood Brothers in Toronto Blood Brothers on Broadway

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