ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Broadway and film actress Grace Stambaugh Keagy, 87, died Oct. 4, 2009, from ovarian cancer.
She was predeceased by her husband, Robert B. Keagy, and brother William Stambaugh.
She is survived by her children, Katherine (John) Nananosky of Arizona, Michael (Michele) Keagy of Austintown, Ohio Elizabeth (Kim) Kowalke of New York, Claudia Brewington of Minnesota and David (Kelly) Keagy of California; 12 grandchildren, including Courtney Keagy of Austintown, Shaddick (Brandy) Keagy of Texas and Carla (Don) Ferree of Austintown; 11 great-grandchildren; a sister, Adelaide Love of Nevada; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
After eventually settling in Minneopolis, she returned to the stage in character roles with Center Opera Company, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, and then in 1967 with the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, where she worked with Sir Guthrie himself.
In 1973, after moving to New York, she immediately landed the Ethel Merman role in the production of “Call Me Madam.” She made her Broadway debut in 1975 in “Goodtime Charley” with Joel Grey and Ann Reinking. In 1996, she came out of retirement at Jerry Herman’s request to play a featured part in the Christmas television special “Mrs. Santa Claus,” starring Angela Lansbury.
Grace had an extensive career on Broadway, which included feature roles with Lauren Bacall, Debbie Reynolds, Patrick Swayze, Joel Grey, Lonnie Anderson, Raquel Welch and Liv Ullman. Her career included Broadway, several films, commercials and soap operas.
She was a classical pianist and graduated from New England Conservatory of Music, where she received training as an opera singer. Keagy made a number of national commercials, including a Cleo-winning one for Dunkin Dounuts.
Grace was born in Youngstown, Ohio and is a descendant of the Stambaugh family.
She performed her first piano concert at the age of 12 at the Stambaugh Auditorium.
There will be no calling hours.
Service and interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice.
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