Vivian Blaine, who played Miss Adelaide, the long-suffering, perpetually engaged chorus girl, in both Broadway and film versions of “Guys and Dolls,” has died at the age of 74.
Her friend Edwin Meyers said she died of pneumonia at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.
Blaine also starred on Broadway in such shows as “Say, Darling” (1958) and “Enter Laughing” (1963), but it was as Miss Adelaide, the role she originated in the 1950 Frank Loesser musical, that she was best known.
Blaine stopped the show each night with her rendition of “Adelaide’s Lament,” in which the chorine complains about having a bad, bad cold because of her long engagement to gambler Nathan Detroit.
In “Guys and Dolls,” which was her Broadway debut, Blaine also introduced such songs as “A Bushel and a Peck” and “Take Back Your Mink.” She also appeared in the 1955 film version of “Guys and Dolls” with Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons.
Blaine began her stage career at age 3, when she performed in a vaudeville act in Newark, N.J.
She was signed by 20th Century Fox in the early 1940s, and appeared in more than a half-dozen films for the studio. Her best-known movie role was as Emily Edwards in the first version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “State Fair” in 1945. Among her other pics were “It Happened in Flatbush” (1942), “Girl Trouble” (1942), “Something for the Boys” (1944) and “If I’m Lucky” (1946).
Blaine was married three times – to Manuel George Frank, a talent representative; Milton Rackmil, a film executive, and Stuart Clark.
She had no children and there are no survivors, Meyers said.