BARBARA COOK, 89, from respiratory failure on August 8 in New York City. A singer and actress who first came to prominence in the 1950s as the lead in the original Broadway musicals Plain & Fancy (1955), Candide (1956) and The Music Man (1957), winning a Tony Award for the latter. She continued performing mostly in the theatre until the mid-1970s, when she began a second career as a cabaret and concert singer.
During her years as Broadway’s leading ingenue, she was lauded for her excellent lyric soprano voice. In her later years, she was widely recognized as one of the premier interpreters of musical theatre songs and standards, especially those composed by Stephen Sondheim.