Lisa Kirk, the brassy Broadway performer who sang "The Gentleman Is a Dope" in "Allegro" and "Why Can't You Behave?" in "Kiss Me, Kate," has died of lung cancer at age 64.
Kirk died Sunday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, said her husband, Robert Wells.The singer, born in Brownsville, Pa., made her Broadway debut in 1945 in "Good Night, Ladies" but became a star two years later when she stopped Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Allegro" with her sassy rendition of "The Gentleman Is a Dope."
In 1948, Kirk originated the role of Bianca in Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate," co-starring with Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison and Harold Lang in the long-running musical.
She toured in many shows including "Show Boat," "Panama Hattie," "Say, Darling," "Riverwind" and "Applause."
In 1964, she replaced Janis Paige in the Meredith Willson musical "Here's Love" on Broadway and appeared in the Los Angeles company. Ten years later, she appeared in Jerry Herman's "Mack and Mabel" which starred Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters.
She is survived by her husband.