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Russell Nype, star of 'Call Me Madam,' dies at 98

Ksenia Novikova
Jun 06, 2018
09:34 A.M.

Russell Nype passed away last month. He was best-known for his role in the musical Call Me Madam which opened in October 1950.

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According to The New York Times, Nype was 98-years-old. He had many movie and Broadway credits to his name including the film Goldilocks.

Nype was born in Zion, Illinois. He earned his bachelor's degree from Lake Forest College and served in the US Army during World War II.

Nype went to New York where he worked as an instructor at an Arthur Murray dance studio. In 1949, he was cast in the Broadway musical drama Regina

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His signature look was his horn-rimmed glasses which he’d wanted to trade for contacts when he started in the industry. Call Me Madam ran for 644 performances and Nype received the Tony for best featured actor in a musical in 1951.

In 1959, he got his second Tony, this time for his role in Goldilocks. Nype appeared in an off-Broadway production called Private Lives in 1968.

In 1970, he starred in Hello, Dolly! as its long original run was winding down. In the same year, he appeared in Love Story.

"All the professors said, what do you mean, you're going into the theater, with the glasses — I never could see — and the buck teeth and all. But in New York, I was the only person who looked the way I looked. Everybody else was so glamorous. First thing I did was go out and buy contact lenses."

Russell Nype, The Hollywood Reporter, June 4, 2018

The following year he played a boss in the Village People's Can't Stop the Music which was directed by Nancy Walker. Nype also appeared on Broadway in revivals of Carousel, Brigadoon, Morning's at Seven, and in the original 1967 production of The Girl in the Freudian Slip.

He featured in TV adaptations of One Touch of Venus and Kiss Me, Kate. Later on, he appeared on shows including Fantasy Island, One Day at a Time, The Cosby Show, and Who's the Boss?

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Nype died May 27 in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to his son, Russell Jnr. In 1953 the actor married Diantha Lawrence who died in 2015.

Including his son, he is survived by a stepson, Richard Mander; a stepdaughter, Melanie Mander; and two grandchildren. For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa.

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