Pearl Bailey passed away at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She was 72.
Following an autopsy, Dr. Emanuel Rubin, professor and chairman of the Department of Pathology at Jefferson Medical College, announced the cause of death as arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease with significant narrowing of the coronary artery.
She is buried at Rolling Green Memorial Park in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Pearl Mae Bailey was an actress and singer. After appearing in vaudeville, she made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946.
She won a Tony Award for the title role in the all-black production of Hello, Dolly! in 1968.
In 1986, she won a Daytime Emmy award for her performance as a fairy godmother in the ABC Afterschool Special, Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale.
Her rendition of “Takes Two to Tango” hit the top ten in 1952.
IN POP CULTURE: Seth MacFarlane, creator of television’s Family Guy and American Dad! paid tribute to Pearl Bailey in American Dad!, where the high school that Steve Smith attends is called Pearl Bailey High School.