Joan Copeland dead: Broadway star and former sister-in-law of Marilyn Monroe dies aged 99

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Joan Copeland, best known for her performances on Broadway, has sadly died at the age of 99. The actress passed away in her sleep on Wednesday at her home in New York City.

Her death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by her son Eric.

Joan’s successful acting career began in the 1940s and spanned six decades.

She made her professional debut in 1945 as the female lead in a production of Romeo and Juliet.

She then went on to appear in numerous TV shows, such as the 1976 revival of Pal Joey and in the 1980 premiere of The America Clock, written by her brother, playwright Arthur Miller, who was also married to Hollywood sweetheart Marilyn Monroe for five years.

They wed in 1956 and later divorced in 1961.

Joan was also one of the first members of The Actors Studio, and worked on several daytime soap operas.

In the 1950’s, she made her debut on the small screen where she enjoyed years of success.

She portrayed twins Maggie and Kay on CBS’ Love of Life from 1960-63, starred in Search for Tomorrow from 1967-72, The Edge of Night, NBC’s How to Survive a Marriage, As the World Turns and ABC’s One Life to Live.

The Hollywood icon also served as Katharine Hepburn’s standby as Coco Chanel in the musical Coco, which had over 320 shows during its year-long run in 1969.

But she found her greatest fame on Broadway, alongside Ralph Bellamy and Edward Binns in Sidney Kingsley’s Detective Story.

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Telling the New York Times in 1981, she said: “It was like a big dream, like kids who want to fly to the moon today.

“Perhaps I was unconsciously influenced by my brother. He had made it.

“I was desperate to get out of the dreariness I was living in.”

With multiple TV credits to her name, she also guest featured in E.R., All In The Family, NYPD Blue and had a recurring stint as Judge Rebecca Stein on Law & Order from 1991 to 2001.


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