Betsy Friday, Broadway actress, producer, director and fund-raiser, died July 16 at the New York Hospital/Cornell U. Medical Center as a result of complications from a bone marrow transplant. She was 44.
Friday earned a B.F.A. in ballet and modern dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. As an actress, she appeared in the Broadway productions “She Loves me,” “The Secret Garden,” “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “Bring Back Birdie.” Friday also danced professionally and appeared in many commercials.
She organized concert group the Broadway Tenors as well as directed Horton Foote’s “Laura Dennis” for the Actor’s Repertory Company in Washington D.C., the 40th anniversary gala for the Lincoln Center and other benefits. She had worked as a fund-raising consultant with the North Carolina School of the Arts, the U. of North Carolina, Georgetown U., London’s Almeida Theater Company, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, Santa Clara U., North Carolina State U. and the New York’s Professional Children’s School.
She was president of a company that invested in and/or co-produced such shows as Broadway’s “Hamlet,” starring Ralph Fiennes; “How to Succeed in Business…,” starring Matthew Broderick;” and many others.
At the start of her career, she served as an aide to Broadway producer-director Joe Layton and was a member of major dance companies.
She is survived by her parents, two sisters, a niece, and a nephew.
Donations can be made to the Betsy Friday Scholarship Fund, Attn.: Bill Porter, c/o North Carolina School of the Arts, 1533 South Main St., Winston Salem, NC 27127-2188,; or The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative of the Actors’ Fund, 729 Seventh Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10019.