NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Broadway actress Marin Mazzie died from ovarian cancer nearly one year ago, and now her husband, Broadway actor Jason Danieley, is holding a benefit concert to celebrate Mazzie and her commitment to cancer awareness.
In 2016, Mazzie performed in her final Broadway role, playing Anna in “The King And I.” The Tony Award nominee was in remission when she took on that role in a production she called healing and enjoyable.
Mazzie wanted to put a face on ovarian cancer. For nearly three years after her 2015 diagnosis, she candidly shared what she was going through with her treatments and what she learned to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and to encourage early detection.
Along with her husband, she met with congressional members in Washington, seeking more funding for ovarian cancer research. Mazzie’s attitude and efforts were as bright and powerful as the soprano’s remarkable stage performances.
Mazzie died on Sept. 13, 2018, at age 57.
Danieley, who performed alongside his wife in Broadway shows and concerts, joined CBSN New York’s Dana Tyler to talk about Mazzie’s advocacy and his upcoming concert and tribute to her.
“She wasn’t a Pollyanna. She wasn’t like, everything’s great and happy. She was a realist, if anything, but she did have this power of positive thinking. She called her chemotherapy ‘healing therapy’ to put a positive … title on it, so it wasn’t so negative and she went into it joyously,” Danieley said. “So when we would perform at 54 Below, she called that her healing therapy as well, because she was not only doing it for herself, she was doing it for the audience.”
Tony Award winners David Hyde Pierce, Karen Ziemba and Debra Monk, who all costarred with Danieley in the 2006 musical “Curtains,” will appear at the Sept. 22 concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below, along with Victor Garber, Susan Stroman, Liz Callaway and Howard McGillin.
Danieley is calling the concert “Marin Mazzie’s Sunflower Power Hour,” in tribute to Mazzie’s positive energy and her favorite flower.
The concert is also fundraiser for the nonprofit organization Cancer Support Community.
Danieley says the CEO of CSC approached the couple in 2016 to give them an award, which is now called the Marin Mazzie Award For Empowerment.
The organization gives over $50 million annually to offer free services all over the world to people who are living with cancer and their families.