(William Grimes’s article appeared in The New York Times, 7/7; via Pam Green.)

John McMartin, one of the most recognizable actors on Broadway and television, who played a meek tax accountant in the musical “Sweet Charity” on both stage and screen and had a starring role in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Follies,” died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 86.

The cause was cancer, said Charlotte Moore, his companion and the artistic director of the Irish Repertory Theater.

Mr. McMartin, a versatile actor and singer, was a favorite of the director and choreographer Bob Fosse, the producer and director Harold Prince and Mr. Sondheim — who, asked by the critic Frank Rich in 2000 to name his favorite star performances in a musical, unhesitatingly singled out two: Alfred Drake in “Kismet” and Mr. McMartin in “Follies.”


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