"Love's What We'll Remember" After the Passing of 'A Chorus Line' Star Pamela Blair

Jamie Lerner - Author
By

Jul. 25 2023, Published 9:26 a.m. ET

A 5-6-7-8! Those famous words lead us to A Chorus Line’s iconic opening number. The show went to Broadway in 1975 with a cast who inspired the characters’ stories. While some are still active and performing today, others have long since passed away. Now, another star joins some fellow cast members in the afterlife: Pamela Blair.

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Some people may not think of Pamela as a Broadway actor — they might associate her more with her Daytime Emmy-nominated role in All My Children or as Sabrina’s mom in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. But her influence on A Chorus Line and A Chorus Line’s influence on her career made her the legendary star she is now. Sadly, she passed away on July 23, 2023, at 73 years old. What was her cause of death?

'A Chorus Line' Original Cast
Source: Getty Images
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Pamela Blair’s cause of death was related to a lengthy illness.

According to her Broadway World obituary, Pamela died in her Phoenix, Ariz. home. The obit said that Pamela’s friend Scott Withers first broke the news on his private social media. "This is posted with a heavy heart,” he wrote. “Pamela Blair has passed away. Pam was at home, surrounded by loved ones. Thank you for all of your prayers and support over the years. We will post information on when and where she will be buried tomorrow."

Upon Deadline’s report of Pamela’s passing, it was added that she passed after a “lengthy illness,” the details of which have yet to be disclosed. This could mean anything from a type of cancer to Parkinson’s or some other chronic illness. Luckily, Pamela was in the midst of friends and family at the time of her passing and has clearly lived a legendary life.

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Pamela’s A Chorus Line original cast co-star Baayork Lee, who originated the role of Connie and later choreographed and cast the 2006 revival (as seen in Every Little Step), also shared her condolences. “I am very sad to say my Sagittarian sister Pam Blair has gone to play with her ACL colleagues among the clouds,” Baayork wrote on Facebook.

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“Walt Disney, Pammie, and I shared the same birthday. We always wrote to one another no matter where we were on that day. What a colorful character she was, as depicted in the Val monologue in the show. She brought the house down every night as well as a woman standing at the edge of the orchestra shouting, ‘Wash your mouth out.’ You are free now Pammie so dance, dance, dance among the stars.”

Pamela Blair was famous for originating the role of Val in ‘A Chorus Line,’ which led to a successful career on Broadway, film, and television.

Pamela grew up in Bennington, Vt., where she dreamed of becoming a Radio City Rockette, just like her character, Val. The song she’s famous for singing, “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three,” references her dream to become a professional dancer but getting turned away for her looks. While the plastic surgery bit of the character was based on another dancer, Val’s scrappiness, determination, and dreams were based on Pamela’s life.

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She started moving up in the Broadway world thanks to her collaborations with choreographer and director Michael Bennett, who created the concept of A Chorus Line. In 1984, Pamela married actor and film director Don Scardino, although they divorced in 1991. She then moved to Hollywood, where she was cast in various roles in series such as All My Children, Law & Order, The Last Dance, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

But she left acting behind after 2009 and moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she opened her own Therapeutic and Myofascial Massage Studio for athletes. She leaves behind a legacy like no other, and she joins fellow A Chorus Line original cast members Bobby LuPone, Michael Stuart, Clive Clerk, Thommie Walsh, Ronald Dennis, and Sammy Williams beyond life.

Our condolences go out to Pamela’s friends, family, and fans.

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