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Biography

Jump to: Overview (1)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (1)

Born in Detroit, Michigan, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Donna McKechnie was born on November 16, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She is an actress, known for Dark Shadows (1966), The Little Prince (1974) and Fame (1982).

Spouse (2)

Michael Bennett (4 December 1976 - 1977) ( divorced)
Al Schwartz (? - ?) ( divorced)

Trivia (14)

1958 Graduate of Troy High School, Troy, Michigan, USA.
Bob Fosse died shortly before the curtain went up on his last successful musical venture, the revival of "Sweet Charity", starring Donna in the title role.
Has performed her one-woman singing/dancing show "Inside the Music" since 1997.
In the late 70s she was forced to abandon the limelight when she became nearly paralyzed by rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors told her she may never walk again, let alone dance. Thanks to intense physical therapy and proper nutrition, she battled back and miraculously returned to perform the "Chorus Line" role of Cassie again in 1983 at age 43.
Made her Broadway debut in 1961 in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
Married once very briefly in 1965.
Met second husband, Michael Bennett, when both were dancers on the Hullabaloo (1965) variety show in the mid-60s. After he turned into a famous choreographer and director, she became a major Michael Bennett dancer, utilizing her talents in "Promises, Promises", "Company" and, of course, "A Chorus Line" in which she won both the Tony and Drama Desk awards as the over-the-hill dancer "Cassie" who gets to sing the show-stopping "The Music and the Mirror".
Trained in ballet at age 7, she ran away from home at the age of 15 to New York to become a dancer. She got a show on her very first audition.
Won Broadway's 1976 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for "A Chorus Line."
The character of Maggie in "A Chorus Line" is partially based on her childhood.
The night her father died, Sir Laurence Olivier was in the audience of a performance of "A Chorus Line". Donna went on, claiming that the only way she could cope was to go on with the show. When she was doing a production of "Sweet Charitiy", she learned that longtime friend and former husband Michael Bennett had died of AIDS. Again, she went on for the performance, claiming it helped her deal with his death and Michael would have wanted her to.
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Release of her autobiography, "Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life". [September 2006]
Appearing with Carol Lawrence in the play "Girl's Room" at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, California. [October 2008]

Personal Quotes (2)

I was terribly shy, but I was always in harmony when I was dancing.
"Once, I was out of a job and I was really scared because I couldn't pay the rent...I was cleaning the apartment, crying and feeling sorry for myself...The game show Jeopardy! (1964) was on [and] I heard my name. I looked up and I was the answer to a question. It was so ironic".

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