Ann Crumb, the stage’s Aspects of Love star who became the first American actress chosen by Andrew Lloyd Webber to originate a starring role, died yesterday of ovarian cancer at her parents’ home in Pennsylvania. She was 69.
Her death, which followed a nearly five-year battle with the disease, was announced by her press spokesman Kevin McAnarney.
The musical theater actress and singer created numerous leading roles on Broadway and London’s West End, including roles in The Goodbye Girl, Nine, Les Miserables, Chess, and, in a 1992 Broadway performance that earned her a Best Actress Tony Award nomination, Anna Karenina.
Lloyd Webber had personally chosen Crumb, born in Charleston, West Virginia, to originate the lead role of Rose Vibert when his musical Aspects of Love opened in London in 1989 and on Broadway a year later. She would also star opposite John Cullum in the National tour of Man Of La Mancha and appear in such Off Broadway productions as Inside Out, Johnny Guitar and an acclaimed 1991 Off Broadway revival of Rags.
Off stage, Crumb was devoted to animal rescue and adoption, and in 2009 coordinated a rescue of more than 50 dogs slated for euthanasia at various shelters, transferring them to no-kill shelters. She co-founded The Rescue Express, a non-pro
Crumb was the daughter of the Pulitzer-Prize winning modern classical and avant-garde composer George Crumb, who survives her, as does her mother, the violinist Elizabeth Crumb, and brothers Peter Crumb and composer David Crumb.
An Ann Crumb Foundation for Animals is being planned in her honor.