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John Raitt
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    (January 29, 1917-February 20, 2005)
    Born in Santa Ana, California
    Musical theater star
    Appeared on Broadway in 'Carousel' (1945), 'Magdalena' (1948), 'Three Wishes for Jamie' (1952), 'Carnival in Flanders' (1953), 'The Pajama Game' (1954), 'A Joyful Noise' (1966) and 'A Musical Jubilee' (1976)
    Performed in touring companies of 'Oklahoma,' 'South Pacific,' 'Annie Get Your Gun,' 'Man of La Mancha,' 'Fiddler on the Roof,' 'Zorba,' '1776' and 'Kismet'
    Appeared in the film 'The Pajama Game' (1957)
    Frequent performer on 'The Bell Telephone Hour'
    Father of singer Bonnie Raitt
    His stage success never really translated to the screen, with 'The Pajama Game' his only leading role in a movie.
    He was married three times and divorced twice.
    He said, 'Mostly what people say when they hear my name is, 'Oh, John Raitt. Is he still alive?' Either that or 'John Raitt. Isn't that Bonnie Raitt's father?' Sometimes I get both lines in combination.'
    In high school, he won a state title in shot put, and was named 'Athlete of the Meet' at the California State High School Track and Field Championship (1935).
    Richard Rodgers' daughter Mary said, 'John Raitt had the most glorious voice in the world, and he was a great big handsome sexy hunk.'
    Bonnie Raitt said, 'He treats every show with the same thrill and passion. He puts the same into it, no matter whether it's a charity breakfast for 50 people or opening night of a Broadway show.'
    He kept performing into his 80s, including singing 'Soliloquy' from 'Carousel' at the 2002 Tony Awards.

Credit: C. Fishel

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