b. 8 August 1938, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Raised in Cincinnati, through three decades Lewis has been very popular with club and theatre audiences as a singer and comedienne. Her Broadway debut was in Hello, Dolly!, playing with both Phyllis Diller and Ethel Merman in the lead role. Other theatrical appearances include the drama The Time Of Your Life, staged at Lincoln Center, and she appeared in Roza with Georgia Brown in 1987, Orpheus Descending with Vanessa Redgrave in 1989 (also appearing in the television version the following year), Fiddler On The Roof with Topol in 1990/1, Tommy Tune’s production of Bye Bye Birdie in 1991, and a national tour of Cabaret with Joel Grey. Lewis also appeared on Broadway and on tour as Miss Hannigan in Annie. On television she has appeared in series including Legs, Who’s Watching The Kids?, The Goodtime Girls, and the TV movies The Night They Took Miss Beautiful, How To Survive A Happy Divorce, and When She Was Bad. She also appeared in individual episodes of 70s and 80s shows including The Bob Newhart Show, Happy Days, Kate & Allie, and Sesame Street. Her work on the big screen includes roles in Night Warning (1981) and The Ice Pirates (1984).
Lewis has performed her cabaret act at numerous prestigious venues in New York and elsewhere and has also performed her one-woman concert at Carnegie Hall. Her 1986 role in Rags, with Teresa Stratas, brought her a Drama Desk nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Lewis was nominated for a Tony Award as the school principal, Miss Lynch, in Grease, 1994, and in 1997 she received another Tony nomination for her role as Mama Morton in the Broadway re-staging of Chicago. Her awards include the Backstage magazine’s Bistro Award for Best Musical Comedy Performance, a Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award, and the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award. Lewis has appeared on several records including the original cast recording of Rags (1986), Grease: The New Broadway Cast Recording (1994), and Chicago: The Musical, by the Broadway revival cast (1996). A vibrant and versatile performer, in the late 90s and early 00s, Lewis appeared on television and radio, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Theatre Talk, in the theatre and concert halls, including Jule Styne’s Broadway with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. Following her second marriage, her billing was amended to Marcia Lewis Bryan.