Pamela Blair Dies: ‘A Chorus Line’ Star, ‘All My Children’ Daytime Emmy Nominee Was 73

Pamela Blair Dies: ‘A Chorus Line’ Star, ‘All My Children’ Daytime Emmy Nominee Was 73

Pamela Blair, who originated the role of the surgically enhanced “Valerie Clark” in the Broadway smash A Chorus Line, died Sunday at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, following a lengthy illness. She was 73.

Her death was reported by friends on social media, including her A Chorus Line co-star Baayork Lee. “I am very sad to say my Sagittarian sister Pam Blair has gone to play with her [A Chorus Line] colleagues among the clouds,” wrote Lee in a Facebook post. Sharing a Dec. 5 birthday, the two actors “always wrote to one another no matter where we were on that day,” Lee said, recalling how Blair ” brought the house down every night” with the showstopping performance of “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three.”

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“You are free now Pammie so dance, dance, dance among the stars,” Lee wrote.

Blair’s signature song, a paean to the show-biz benefits of plastic surgery, is perhaps more commonly known as “T&A,” due to its repeated reference to the body parts – explicitly stated – so enhanced.

The actual title of the comic song referred to the scores given to the Val character by a Broadway casting director after an audition. “I was ugly, homely, skinny, unattractive and flat as a pancake,” Blair-as-Val said in the song’s introduction. “Get the picture?” The character was loosely based on Blair’s own story, minus the plastic surgery.

She “was a part of the musical from the very first workshop,” tweeted the official account of the late Chorus Line composer Marvin Hamlisch. “Our thoughts are with her loved ones and fans.”

Blair had already appeared on Broadway in Promises, Promises, Wild and Wonderful, Sugar and Seesaw when she was cast as “Curly’s Wife” in an Of Mice and Men revival starring James Earl Jones. Michael Bennett, who had choreographed Promises, Promises, then invited Blair to participate in the creation of A Chorus Line.

Following that show’s success, Blair went on to originate the stage role of “Amber/Angel” in 1978’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She later appeared on Broadway in King of Hearts, The Nerd and A Few Good Men, directed by her then-husband Don Scardino.

On television, Blair appeared in, among other shows, Ryan’s Hope, Loving, Another World, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and, in a guest role that earned her a 1987 Daytime Emmy nomination, All My Children. Film credits include Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, Annie, and 21 Grams.

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