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Martha Wright

  • Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
  • Birthday: March 23
Date of passing: 
March 01, 2016

Obituary

Obituary: 

Martha Wright was an actress and singer who was best known for replacing Broadway star Mary Martin in the Tony-winning Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals South Pacific and The Sound of Music. Wright would appear in more than 1,200 Broadway performances in a leading role.

In 1951, for South Pacific, she took over for Martin as nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush and sang “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “I’m in Love With a Wonderful Guy.” She was spotted by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II while performing in Chicago, and would go on to appear in the Broadway staging of South Pacific for nearly three years, followed by the touring company. Seven years later, she took over the role of Maria Rainer in The Sound of Music.

The soprano began performing on radio, and in 1947 earned a spot in the chorus of Up in Central Park. She made her Broadway debut the same year in Music in My Heart and starred in Great to Be Alive! in 1950.

Wright also appeared on television, including starring in her own 15-minute musical show, The Martha Wright Show, on Sunday nights on ABC. She also had roles on the series Goodyear Playhouse, The Bell Telephone Hour, and in the 1962 telefilm Arias and Arabesques. She also performed on The Saturday Night Revue with Jack Carter, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Jack Paar Tonight Show. Later, for several years, she had a daily radio show on WCBS.

Martha Wright was an actress and singer who was best known for replacing Broadway star Mary Martin in the Tony-winning Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals South Pacific and The Sound of Music. Wright would appear in more than 1,200 Broadway performances in a leading role.

In 1951, for South Pacific, she took over for Martin as nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush and sang “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” and “I’m in Love With a Wonderful Guy.” She was spotted by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II while performing in Chicago, and would go on to appear in the Broadway staging of South Pacific for nearly three years, followed by the touring company. Seven years later, she took over the role of Maria Rainer in The Sound of Music.

The soprano began performing on radio, and in 1947 earned a spot in the chorus of Up in Central Park. She made her Broadway debut the same year in Music in My Heart and starred in Great to Be Alive! in 1950.

Wright also appeared on television, including starring in her own 15-minute musical show, The Martha Wright Show, on Sunday nights on ABC. She also had roles on the series Goodyear Playhouse, The Bell Telephone Hour, and in the 1962 telefilm Arias and Arabesques. She also performed on The Saturday Night Revue with Jack Carter, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Jack Paar Tonight Show. Later, for several years, she had a daily radio show on WCBS.

Wright died March 1, 2016, in Newburyport, Kent's Island, Massachusetts. She was 92.

 

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