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Janet Fox

Broadway Thesp

Veteran Broadway actress Janet Fox died April 22 in Palm Beach, Fla., at 89.

Niece of playwright-author Edna Ferber made her Broadway debut in 1932 as Tina, the conniving maid in the Kaufman-Ferber comedy “Dinner at Eight,” Nurse Preen in USO tours of the Kaufman-Hart comedy “The Man Who Came to Dinner” with playwright Moss Hart in the title role, and recreated the role of the bedpan-wielding nurse in the 1969 musical version, “Sherry!.”

Fox’s other Broadway credits include “Between Two Worlds”(1934),” “Fools Rush In (1934), “Cross Ruff “(1935), “Life’s Too Short” (1935), “Tomorrow’s a Holiday!” (1935), Kaufman and Ferber’s long-running “Stage Door” (1936),” “Having Wonderful Time” (1937, later musicalized as “Wish You Were Here”), Kaufman and Hart’s “The American Way” (1939), Rodgers and Hart’s 1940 musical “Higher and Higher,” 1941’s “Two Story House,” Kaufman and Ferber’s “Bravo,” Lindsay and Crouse’s 1959 “Tall Story,” “The Tattooed Countess (1961) and “Once for the Asking (1963).

Fox also toured with George Hamilton, Susan Watson and Jan McArt in “Gigi” and was a frequent player at the Bucks County Playhouse, where she was the replacement for Eileen Heckart as Dolly Levi in “The Matchmaker”with one week’s notice.

She appeared in the 1940 film version of “They Knew What They Wanted” starring Charles Laughton and Carole Lombard, and portrayed Ferber in the 1963 film version of Moss Hart’s autobiography, “Act One.”

Fox performed extensively on both radio and television: She had recurring roles on the Phil Silvers “Sgt. Bilko” show and the first television soap opera, which was broadcast live, “Valiant Lady.” She appeared in many commercials as well as hour-length plays for “Studio One,” “The Alcoa Hour” and others.

She is survived by her husband, publisher Henry Goldsmith; two daughters, playwright-author Julie Gilbert Daniel; and son-in-law, film sound engineer and architectural acoustician Francis Daniel.

A memorial will be held in Palm Beach on Sunday, May 12. For further info contact Julie Gilbert Daniel jd@fdcainc.com or 561-835-8843. New York contact, Frank Evans 212 691-2767 or FEvans123@aol.com.

Fox, who spent her latter years in Palm Beach and Shelter Island, frequently joked about “being carted off to Englewood.” Although she never was placed in that New Jersey retirement home for showbizzers, her family suggests she would appreciate donations to the Actors’ Fund.

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