Barbara Bryne Dies: Actress in Sondheim’s ‘Sunday In The Park With George’ Was 94

Barbara Bryne, a British actress who worked in stage, television, and film during a decades-long career, died Tuesday at age 94. Her death was confirmed by the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, but no cause was given.

Bryne’s best-known stage roles were in the original Broadway productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George and Into the Woods. She played mothers in both shows.

“Barbara was a cherished member of the Guthrie family,” theater reps said in a statement, “and we’re grateful she shared her artistry with us for so many seasons. Her legacy will live on at the Guthrie and in our hearts forever.”

Bryne was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1982 for her off-off-Broadway performance as Kath in a revival of the Joe Orton-written Entertaining Mr. Sloane.

Her theater resume includes a revival of Noël Coward’s Hay Fever, working with Mandy Patinkin in Sunday in the Park With George, and playing opposite Ben Wright and Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods. She was also in the Kennedy Center’s 2002 production of A Little Night Music.

In television, Bryne was nosy neighbor Mrs. Gaffey on the 1981-83 NBC sitcom Love, Sidney, starring Tony Randall. She also voiced the gnome Urgl on the 1995-96 HBO animated series, The Neverending Story.

For film, she was in Milos Forman‘s Amadeus as Mozart’s mother-in-law, and also in James Ivory’s The Bostonians.

Survivors include her daughter, Susan. Her husband of 65 years, Denny Spence, died in 2018.


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