Broadway musical performer and voice teacher Joan Kobin died May 30 of natural causes in New York. She was 88.
Among her voice students were film actors including Van Johnson, Farley Granger, Robert Stack, Jane Powell, Arlene Dahl, Broadway performers Tovah Feldshuh, Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Eileen Brennan as well as opera’s Patrice Munsel and pop singer Carly Simon.
At the time of her death, she was working on a documentary about her performing and teaching activities entitled “The Singing Teacher,” as part of “Rick McKay’s Broadway: The Golden Age Trilogy” series.
Born Joan Bartels in Germany, she emigrated to New York as a child.
Among her Broadway appearances were “Call Me Mister,” “Polonaise,” “Ballet Ballads” and “Firebrand of Florence.”
After understudying Kaye Ballard in the Broadway production of “Carnival,” in 1960 she invested in Pennsylvania’s Newfoundland Theater and became a performer in and supporter of regional theater throughout the country, among them the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey and Casa Manana Theater in Texas.
She took over her husband, Robert Kobin’s vocal coaching business after his l968 death, utilizing her own Broadway vocal techniques along with her husband’s method based on experiments with cow larynxes and human cadavers.
Donations may be made to The Actors Fund, 729 Seventh Ave., l0th Fl., New York, New York 10019.