NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tony-winning actress Marian Seldes, regarded as one of the great ladies of the American stage and famous for never missing a single performance during an entire four-year Broadway run of "Deathtrap," died at her Manhattan home on Monday at age 86.
Her death, which followed a prolonged illness, was announced by her brother, Timothy Seldes, in a statement issued through a her longtime publicist, Sam Rudy.
In a career spanning six decades, Seldes performed in film, television and radio but was most celebrated for her theater work, making her Broadway debut in 1948 in the Robinson Jeffers adaptation of "Medea," directed by John Gielgud and starring Judith Anderson in the title role.
Seldes earned five Tony nominations, winning the award her first time out in 1967 for her supporting role in "A Delicate Balance" by the playwright Edward Albee, with whom she had a long association. She also appeared in productions of Albee's "The Play About the Baby," "Tiny Alice" and "Three Tall Women."
A native New Yorker and lifelong denizen of the city, Seldes secured a place in the Guinness World Records book for appearing in Ira Levin's "Deathtrap" on Broadway from 1978 until late 1982 without missing a single show.
The comedy-thriller play within a play also earned Seldes a Tony nomination in 1978, her third, following a nod for "Father's Day."
Other notable stage acting credits include "Equus," "Painting Churches," "the Chalk Garden," and Tony-nominated turns in "Ring Around the Moon" and a revival of "Dinner at Eight."
Her final appearance on Broadway was in the 2007 in Terrence McNally's "Deuce."
(Reporting by Alicia Powell in New York; Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles)