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Joan Roberts dies at 95; female lead in original 'Oklahoma!'
Joan Roberts dies at 95; female lead in original 'Oklahoma!'

Joan Roberts, who originated the female lead role of Laurey in the 1943 Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's long-running hit musical "Oklahoma!" and made a final return to Broadway after a more than five-decade absence in a 2001 revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies," has died. She was 95. Roberts died Monday of congestive heart failure at her home in Stamford, Conn., said her son, John Donlon. A New York native with a strong, distinctive soprano voice, Roberts was 25 when Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II cast her as Laurey, the high-spirited young farm girl in "Oklahoma!," their first professional collaboration. During...

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