Marian Seldes, the legendary US stage actress, has died in New York at the age of 86 following a lengthy illness. Seldes famously set a Guinness World Record for appearing in every performance of Deathtrap on Broadway during its four year run.

Marian SeldesMarian Seldes was a much loved member of the theatre community

Seldes made her stage debut in 1947, appearing in a production of Medea. She won a Tony Award in 1967 for her performance in A Delicate Balance. In 2010, Seldes received an honorary Tony for her long career, having been nominated five times for Broadway’s leading theatre. The actress was a muse to US playwright Edward Albee, who wrote A Delicate Balance. Seldes also collaborated with Albee in The Play About The Baby and Three Tall Women

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However, it was for her record breaking run in Deathtrap for which Seldes will be most fondly remembered. She cemented her place in Broadway history after appearing in 1,809 consecutive shows between 1978 and 1982 without taking any holidays or sick leave. That record was actually eclipsed by the actress Catherine Russell, who appeared in more than 11,000 performances of a New York theatre production of Perfect Crime.

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As well as her exploits on the stage, Seldes also had success in television and appeared in Frasier, Nurse Jackie and famously as Mrs Big in Sex and the City. She also appeared opposite Dame Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote, which represented her final Broadway appearance in 2007.

Announcing her death, Seldes’ brother Timothy said: “She was an extraordinary woman whose great love of the theatre, teaching and acting was surpassed only by her deep love for her family.”

We here at send our condolences to Seldes’ family and friends.

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