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Constance Carpenter

Constance Carpenter, 87, a Broadway actress who starred opposite Yul Brynner in “The King and I,” died Dec. 26 in Manhattan of a stroke.

A native of Bath, England, she made her Broadway debut in 1924 as a dancer in “Charlot’s Revue.”

Later in the 1920s, she was cast as the ingenue in “A Connecticut Yankee.”

During World War II she toured Europe and Asia entertaining U.S. troops.

Carpenter became an understudy to Gertrude Lawrence in the role of Anna in “The King and I,” which opened on Broadway in 1951.

When Lawrence died in 1952, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II named Carpenter to the lead role, in which she starredn for 621 performances.

She was married four times, including twice to songwriter James Kennedy, who wrote “Red Sails in the Sunset.”

Carpenter had no immediate survivors.

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