Singer and actress Dorothy Loudon enthralled audiences with her versions of songs from the Roaring Twenties. Aside from singing in nightclubs, Loudon appeared on-stage, in concerts and recitals, on television, and in films. She claimed her greatest inspiration during her career was her husband, Norman Paris, whom she married in 1971. Dorothy Loudon was born in Boston to James E. and Dorothy Helen Loudon. Her interest in singing and acting was piqued at an early age. Both parents encouraged Dorothy's talent. She attended both Syracuse University and Emerson College before entering a school specifically for the arts. In 1952 she attended the Alviene School of Dramatic Arts, and in 1953 went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. During her college years she appeared in the television comedy It's a Business and was a panelist on the quiz show Laugh Line.
The 1960s brought Loudon even more success as a singer and actress. She performed in numerous Broadway productions including Luv, Anything Goes, Sweet Potato, and Fig Leaves Are Falling. She received a Theatre World Award for her acting in Nowhere to Go But Up and a Dramatic Desk Award for the 1969 show Three Men on a Horse. Appearing on both stage and television, Loudon was a regular on the 1960s variety program The Garry Moore Show. Although the '60s brought fame and fortune, the '70s proved even more successful. Following the 1971 marriage of Loudon and composer, arranger, and conductor Norman Paris, the singer/actress' new husband instantly became her inspiration and confidant in her professional career. She credited Paris for her winning of a Tony Award for her portrayal of Miss Hannigan in the 1976 production of Annie. She was also awarded the Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance.
Sadly, Paris died in July 1977 from complications of a stroke, but Loudon found the strength to continue in her career for the next two decades, as her husband most assuredly would have wanted. In 1979 she played Dorothy Banks on the television comedy show Dorothy, and her successes and awards continued on into the '80s as she divided her time between television and the stage. She performed in the Broadway shows Sweeney Todd, West Side Waltz, Noises Off, and Jerry's Girls, a collection of Broadway songs by lyricist Jerry Herman. She portrayed Sonya Apollinar in the 1984 film Garbo Talks, performed in nightclubs, and made guest appearances on television and variety shows. In 1996 she took on the role of Parthy in the Chicago production of Showboat and she appeared in the 1997 film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. With a slew of credits and accomplishments, Loudon said she couldn't have succeeded without the help of her husband. She died in New York City in November of 2003; Dorothy Loudon was 70 years old. ~ Kim Summers