Julie Andrews Dirty With Soot And With A Sullen Expression

5 Broadway Icons: Vintage Photos

They've got an incredible 26 Tony nominations among them.

Raise the curtain! The 72nd Tony Awards, honoring Broadway's best and brightest, are right around the corner. To celebrate, FOTO looks back at five greats of the Great White Way. (Pictured: Julie Andrews in "My Fair Lady," 1945)

ETHEL MERMAN Edward Steichen/Conde Nast via Getty Images ETHEL MERMAN Merman made her Broadway debut in the Gershwin musical "Girl Crazy" in 1930 (pictured above) and would go on to become one of the biggest musical theater stars of her generation. During the course of her five-decade career, Merman earned three Tony nominations and one win in 1951 for the musical "Call Me Madam." She was also awarded a special Tony in 1972. Merman and Bob Hope in the 1936 stage production of "Red, Hot and Blue." Florence Vandamm/Getty Images Merman and Bob Hope in the 1936 stage production of "Red, Hot and Blue."

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Cole Porter came calling in 1939, when Merman starred as Madame Du Barry (opposite Bert Lahr&#39;s Louis XV) in &quot;Du Barry Was a Lady.&quot; George Karger/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images Cole Porter came calling in 1939, when Merman starred as Madame Du Barry (opposite Bert Lahr's Louis XV) in "Du Barry Was a Lady." The Irving Berlin standard &quot;There&#39;s No Business Like Show Business&quot; from 1946&#39;s &quot;Annie Get Your Gun&quot; would become Merman&#39;s signature song. Eileen Darby/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images The Irving Berlin standard "There's No Business Like Show Business" from 1946's "Annie Get Your Gun" would become Merman's signature song. Merman makes a sweeping entrance for her Tony-winning turn in &quot;Call Me Madam&quot; in 1950. Eliot Elisofon/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Merman makes a sweeping entrance for her Tony-winning turn in "Call Me Madam" in 1950. JULIE ANDREWS Bettmann/Bettmann Archive JULIE ANDREWS She found worldwide acclaim starring in classic films like "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music," but the English actress got her start on the stage. She began in London's West End, eventually hopping the pond and making her Broadway debut in 1954's "The Boy Friend." Andrews has been nominated three times for a Tony, but has yet to win one. (Pictured: Andrews alongside Rex Harrison in 1956's "My Fair Lady.") Andrews plays Queen Guinevere opposite Richard Burton&#39;s King Arthur in the 1960 musical &quot;Camelot.&quot; Bettmann/Bettmann Archive Andrews plays Queen Guinevere opposite Richard Burton's King Arthur in the 1960 musical "Camelot." CAROL CHANNING Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images CAROL CHANNING Known for her expressive face and unique voice, Channing broke out on Broadway in 1949's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." She'd receive her first of three Tony nominations a few years later, playing a farm girl in 1955's "The Vamp." (She wouldn't win that year, but would go on to earn three Tony Awards, including a special Tony and a lifetime achievement award.) Channing&#39;s most memorable role — and the role for which she won her first Tony — is that of Dolly Levi in &quot;Hello, Dolly!&quot; She returned to the character numerous times throughout her career, racking up some <a href="http://mentalfloss.com/article/74540/12-facts-about-carol-channing-her-95th-birthday" target="_blank">5,000 performances</a> in the musical. Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images Channing's most memorable role — and the role for which she won her first Tony — is that of Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!" She returned to the character numerous times throughout her career, racking up some 5,000 performances in the musical. CHITA RIVERA John Springer Collection/Corbis via Getty Images CHITA RIVERA As legend has it, a 17-year-old Rivera (then an aspiring ballerina) accompanied a friend to an audition of "Call Me Madam" in 1951 and, well, the rest is history. Rivera's defining role would come in 1957 with "West Side Story" (pictured above) in which she played Anita. (Rita Moreno would be cast in the role for the 1961 film adaptation.) In 1960, Rivera originated the role of Rose in &quot;Bye Bye Birdie&quot; (pictured above), starring alongside Dick Van Dyke. She received a Tony nomination for her performance, but wouldn&#39;t win her first trophy until 1984&#39;s &quot;The Rink.&quot; (She also won about a decade later for &quot;Kiss of the Spider Woman.&quot;) Pictorial Parade/Getty Images In 1960, Rivera originated the role of Rose in "Bye Bye Birdie" (pictured above), starring alongside Dick Van Dyke. She received a Tony nomination for her performance, but wouldn't win her first trophy until 1984's "The Rink." (She also won about a decade later for "Kiss of the Spider Woman.") ANGELA LANSBURY Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images ANGELA LANSBURY Already a film star with two Oscar nominations to her name, Lansbury transitioned to stage in the 1960s, earning a Tony in 1966 for her lead role in "Mame." Lansbury with Joan Plowright in the 1960 play &quot;A Taste of Honey.&quot; Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Lansbury with Joan Plowright in the 1960 play "A Taste of Honey." The actress won her third Tony for the 1973 revival of &quot;Gypsy.&quot; Central Press/Getty Images The actress won her third Tony for the 1973 revival of "Gypsy."

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