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Last Updated: Monday, 21 February, 2005, 16:31 GMT
Broadway baritone John Raitt dies
Bonnie and John Raitt
Raitt and his daughter Bonnie often appeared on stage and TV together
Broadway star John Raitt - the father of singer Bonnie Raitt - has died at the age of 88.

Raitt, who created the role of Billy Bigelow in the original New York production of Carousel, was suffering from pneumonia and died on Sunday.

The baritone's long Broadway career saw him star in Man of La Mancha, Fiddler on the Roof, Zorba, South Pacific and Kiss Me Kate, among many others.

In later years he joked he had become better known as Bonnie Raitt's father.

Big screen

The Grammy-award winning country blues singer often sang with her father on television and at her own concerts.

Raitt continued touring with his one-man show - An Evening with John Raitt - throughout his 80s.

He first rose to fame in 1944 he was invited to New York from California to try out for the role of Curly in the road company of Oklahoma!

It assured Raitt's star status, and after the long run in Carousel, he appeared in Magdalena, Three Wishes for Jamie and Carnival in Flanders.

In 1954 he made the crossover to the big screen when he starred in the film version of The Pajama Game with Doris Day.

But despite good reviews, it was Raitt's only starring movie.

In his later years, Raitt was overshadowed by the fame of his daughter.

He delighted in her success and approved of her campaigning for civil rights, peace and other causes. "She used to be known as John Raitt's daughter; now I'm known as Bonnie Raitt's father," he said.


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