Tony winner Phyllis Newman has died at 86

Rachel Yang

Phyllis Newman, who won a Tony Award for Subways Are for Sleeping, has died at 86. Deadline first reported the news.

Her son, Vogue theater critic Adam Green, confirmed his mother’s death Sunday on Twitter. “My sister Amanda Green and I had to say goodbye to our beautiful mother today. I’ll miss her more than I can say,” Green wrote.

Newman won a Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical in 1962 for her portrayal of Martha Vail in the musical Subways Are For Sleeping, and received a Tony nod for her role in Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound, which debuted in 1986. She appeared in a bevy of other Broadway productions, such as The Apple Tree, On the Town, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Awake and Sing, and more. Newman also co-wrote her one-woman musical, The Madwoman of Central Park West. 

She also received a Drama Desk nomination for starring in the off-broadway production of James Lapine’s The Moment When… Her other off-broadway credits include The Food Chain, Shyster, and the revival of A Majority of One.

While she’s best known for her theater career, Newman appeared in many television and film projects as well. She had multiple appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and guest-hosted The Johnny Carson Show. Her other TV credits include One Life to Live; 100 Centre Street, Oz; Murder, She Wrote; thirtysomething; and The Jury. 

She appeared in films like The Human Stain, It Had To Be You, For the Time Being, Fish in the Bathtub, A Price Above Rubies, The Beautician and the Beast, Only You, Mannequin, To Find a Man, Bye Bye Braverman, and Picnic.

Newman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1983 and started writing her autobiography Just in Time: Notes from My Life after she received the news. The experience led to her activism surrounding the disease and women’s health issues in entertainment. She founded the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative of The Actors’ Fund of America in 1993, and her work earned her the inaugural Isabelle Stevenson Award from the Tony Awards in 2009.

She was married to the late composer and screenwriter Adolph Green for 42 years. She is survived by her two children, Adam and Amanda.

Representatives for Newman did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.