Time covers in the 1950s featured Broadway’s dramatic actors in equal proportion to musical performers. Profiles of Carol Channing, Gwen Verdon, Rex Harrison and Robert Preston were interspersed with ones on Julie Harris, Barbara Bel Geddes, Shirley Booth and Anne Bancroft.
Time preferred the theater’s women, as it did female movie stars. But imagine Cherry Jones, coming up in “Doubt,” landing the cover in 2005.
From 1960 on, only three Broadway performers have nabbed the newsweekly’s cover: Barbra Streisand (1964), Lauren Bacall (1966) and the last one, Alexis Smith (1971) for “Follies,” that poisoned valentine to yesteryear’s theater. The ensemble of “Nicholas Nickleby” made Time in 1981, and there was an “Ice Follies” cover in 1994.