Lynn Kellogg, who starred in the original 1968 Broadway production of the musical “Hair,” died Nov. 12 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 77.
According to her publicist, the cause of death was COVID-19, the New York Times reported. Her husband, John Simpers, said she reportedly got infected recently at a large theater gathering in Branson, Missouri, at which most attendees were maskless.
“She had a non-life-threatening Leukemia, so that was the big problem when she got COVID,” Simpers told KTVI Fox 2 in St. Louis. “Coupled with that, Leukemia is disastrous.”
“She is probably one of the most modest people I’ve ever met,” John said of his wife, who played the “Hair” character Shiela. “She knew a lot of people. I was five hours on the phone on Saturday. Five hours. People calling me, people upset, just all over the place, all over the country. It’s amazing and it’s still happening now.”
Among those paying tribute on social media were “Brady Bunch” star Maureen McCormick, who played eldest daughter Marcia. McCormick tweeted, “Rest In Peace Sweet Lynn Kellogg,” including praying hands and heart emojis. “Love you so very much.” In a response to a commenter, McCormick added, “Hopefully the vaccine will be here soon.”
Actress Dana Delaney (“NYPD Blue”) also tweeted a succinct, “Wear your damn mask,” along with a broken-heart emoji.
“The Ghosts of Terrence McNally, Nick Cordero, Mark Blum, Adam Schlesinger, and Lynn Kellogg have entered the chat,” wrote another commenter who retweeted a controversial Nov. 15 post by Broadway actor Chad Kimball (“Come From Away”). In it he said he would “respectfully disobey” governmental orders to limit indoor religious services and restrict how church choirs could perform. “I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God,” he wrote, calling it an “overreach.”
“It’s hard to sit in the house when she’s not there,” Simpers said. “It’s a nasty disease we’re dealing with, this virus.”
Early in her career, Kellogg made television appearances in shows including “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “It Takes a Thief” and “Mission: Impossible,” as well as the daytime soap opera “The Edge of Night.” On the big screen, she had a role in the 1969 film “Charro!” which starred Elvis Presley film.
Kellogg won both a Daytime Emmy and a Peabody Award for her work on the 1976 to 1981 series “Animals, Animals, Animals,” (1976-81), starring Hal Linden.
In the 1960s and ’70s, she also made numerous appearances on talk shows including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and “The Mike Douglas Show.”
According to KTVI, later in her career, Kellogg was involved in the Christian music industry in the Ozarks. “She came out here and she enjoyed singing Christian music all the time,” her husband said.
Kellogg is survived by her husband, a sister, two brothers, a stepson and a grandchild.
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