Ann Crumb, who created the role of Rose Vibert in the London and Broadway productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love and subsequently earned a Tony nomination for her title performance in Anna Karenina, passed away October 31 at the age of 69 of ovarian cancer.
Born in Charleston, West Virginia, May 25, 1950, Ms. Crumb had originally planned to be a concert violinist, but a horse-riding accident prevented that career. She later found acting and singing while preparing for a career in clinical medicine; in fact, it was while working as a clinician in Philadelphia that she took a job in the national tour of El Grande de Coca Cola and decided to pursue theatre.
In addition to Aspects of Love and Anna Karenina, Ms. Crumb appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and Chess. Her other theatre credits included London’s The Goodbye Girl and Nine, the national tour of Man of La Mancha opposite Tony winner John Cullum, Off-Broadway’s Inside Out, Johnny Guitar, and Rags, and regional productions of Wings, Other Desert Cities, Spamalot, and Sunset Boulevard.
Ms. Crumb performed classical and jazz concerts throughout the United States and Europe. Her first jazz recording, A Broadway Diva Swings, with Harry Allen and his All Star Jazz Band, was on the national charts, and her recording of her composer father’s “Three Early Songs” was on the Grammy-winning George Crumb’s 70th Birthday Album.
Ms. Crumb was also committed to the cause of animal rescue and adoption. In December 2009, she coordinated a “doglift” of over 50 dogs, all slated for euthanasia at shelters in the Midwest, to no-kill rescues in the Northeast, where homes could be found for them. She co-founded and was president of The Rescue Express, a non-profit animal rescue organization.
Ms. Crumb is survived by her father, Pulitzer-Prize winning composer George Crumb; her mother, the violinist Elizabeth Crumb; and her two brothers, composer David Crumb and Peter Crumb.
Donations can be made to to the Rescue Express; visit TheRescueExpress.org. There will soon be an Ann Crumb Foundation for Animals in her honor.