US Actress Dies at 76

US Actress Dies at 76

( – Actress Rita McKenzie has died at the age of 76. Best known for her performance in the one-woman show Ethel Merman’s Broadway, McKenzie died at her home in Los Angeles following a long illness, her husband announced. The longest-running one-woman show in history, Ethel Merman’s Broadway was popular all over the world, where audiences loved McKenzie’s performances of classics, including “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

Throughout her long career, McKenzie worked with work stage legends, including Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and Norm Crosby, and had TV and film roles in “Unauthorized: Brady Bunch – the Final Days,” “Caroline in the City,” and “Frasier.” She also starred in the “Ruthless! The Musical” premiere in Los Angeles and toured the US in “Anything Goes” and the 50th Anniversary tour of “Annie Get Your Gun.” One of her most recent roles was as associate producer in “All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

Born in Woodridge, New Jersey, in 1946, she began her show business career at 15 in a school production of Camelot. McKenzie later trained as a teacher and worked at a high school in her hometown, though she continued performing in local theatre.

Her close friend and fellow performer Barbara Eden left a warm tribute to her pal on X, formerly Twitter. Eden toured the US with McKenzie for Neil Simon’s “Odd Couple (Female Version)” and described her co-star as a “dear friend.”

Eden called McKenzie a “larger than life, magnanimous woman” with a warm heart and compassion that “flowed with abundance.” She also expressed her condolences to Rita’s husband, Scott Stander, and thanked him for his part in producing a show that allowed the two friends to perform together for the last time in 2023.

Rita McKenzie married twice and is survived by her husband Scott, her daughter Jennifer, her son Derek, and her three grandchildren. She died just days before her 77th birthday.

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