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Who was Joan Copeland? Tributes pour in as Broadway star dies aged 99

Joan Copeland recently died at the age of 99 (Image via Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
Joan Copeland recently died at the age of 99 (Image via Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
Anupal Sraban Neog

Actress Joan Copeland recently passed away on January 4. She was 99 years old at the time of death and was well-known for her appearances on stage and screen.

The news was first reported by Broadway World, and Deadline later confirmed that she died at her home in New York City.

"You know that story you told about John and Fred writing that song at the dinner party? THAT WAS MY DINNER PARTY. Now how did you know that?"A real NYC dame...not to mention sharp as a tack. ty @TheOtherSelby for the pic and #JoanCopeland for an impressive life. #rip 💔

Copeland is survived by her son, Eric Kupchik, and niece and actress Rebecca Miller.


Joan Copeland’s journey as an actress

Born on June 1, 1922, Joan Copeland started her career by appearing in theater during the mid-1940s. She played the role of Juliet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1945.

Copeland made her Broadway debut as Nadine in the 1948 production of Bessie Breuer’s Sundown Beach. Her other Broadway credits include The Price, Checking Out, Wit & Wisdom, Not for Children, Something More, and others.

Jason Robards pumps fist as Joan Copeland looks the other way in a scene from the film 'The Iceman Cometh,' in 1973 (Image by 20th Century Fox/Getty Images)
Jason Robards pumps fist as Joan Copeland looks the other way in a scene from the film 'The Iceman Cometh,' in 1973 (Image by 20th Century Fox/Getty Images)

The Laser Man actress received a Drama Desk Award nomination for the 1976 production of Pal Joey. She was also the recipient of a Drama Desk Award in 1981 for her work on The American Clock.

Joan Copeland started working on television in the early 1950s as a guest actress on several TV shows. She then appeared in many soap operas and was mostly known for her performance as Andrea Whiting on CBS' Search for Tomorrow.

The Brother Bear star was mostly remembered for her role as Judge Rebecca Stein on the NBC legal drama series Law & Order from 1993 to 1997.

Copeland made her film debut with The Goddess in 1958, which was directed by John Cromwell. The film was based on the life of a lonely girl who became a movie star and was loved by millions. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Following her appearance in The Goddess, she began playing secondary roles in other films like Happy New Year, The Peacemaker, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Middle of the Night, and more.


Public and popular personalities pay tribute to Joan Copeland on Twitter

Joan Copeland was always praised for her performances on stage and screen. Fans and other celebrities expressed their grief on Twitter when they heard about her death:

#RIP Joan Copeland, 99; the sister of famed playwright Arthur Miller did lots of soaps and made it to Broadway 13 times, including in 'Detective Story,' 'Pal Joey' and, in a turn as their mother, 'The American Clock.' bit.ly/3zsqFfp
RIP Joan Copeland — a great actress, and the younger sister of Arthur Miller, sister-in-law of Marilyn Monroe. She shared a June 1 b'day with Monroe, who was four years younger. bit.ly/3FUGu0x https://t.co/e2Og9roVOR
#RIP: Joan Copeland Dead At 99, The Broadway Star & Law & Order Actress Passes Peacefully In Her Sleep At Home. She Played Judge Rebecca Stein on Law & Order. She Had Roles On Soaps Search For Tomorrow, As The World Turns And Others.▼tinyurl.com/2y3a4x32.#CelebrityDeath https://t.co/rSYP3mWUeR
rip actress Joan Copeland at the age of 99
#RIP Joan Copeland Dies: Broadway Actress, Sister Of Playwright Arthur Miller Was 99 deadline.com/2022/01/joan-c… via @Deadline
RIP Joan Copeland. I remember her best on the soaps, especially #SearchforTomorrow and #HowtoSurviveaMarriage. Her character on Search was such a great villainess (and mother-in-law from hell). twitter.com/BroadwayWorld/…
Oh I’m so sorry to hear this. RIP lovely Joan, who I knew since I was a young girl. She brightened every room she entered. Another hard goodbye. #JoanCopeland broadwayworld.com/article/Joan-C…
#JoanCopeland #RIP. So many #Hollywood legends passing away these days We just lost #BettyWhite too. God must be mightily entertained in heaven right now ! hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/arts…
RIP Joan Copeland

Copeland’s cause of death is still a mystery. People have reached out to her brother Arthur Miller’s estate for further information, although they have not yet commented on anything.


Edited by Shaheen Banu

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