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In Memoriam: James M. Nederlander


James M. Nederlander

Son of Detroit theater owner/operator David T. Nederlander, “Jimmy”, as he became known in the industry, began his theatrical career in the box office, working for $25 a week. He soon started producing and, after the Second World War, began to purchase theatrical real estate in earnest, making the move into New York in the early sixties. Today, the Nederlander Organization, of which he was Chairman, owns and operates nine theaters on Broadway, as well as venues in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Tucson and London. Among the recent hit shows that are currently playing or have played in Nederlander Theaters on Broadway are: Hamilton, Wicked, The Lion King, An American in Paris, Waitress, In the Heights and RENT.

Jimmy was a prolific producer as well. Among the attractions he produced or co-produced were: Annie, The Will Rogers Follies, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Noises Off, La Cage aux Folles, Nine, Sweet Charity, Copenhagen, Applause, Benefactors, Me and My Girl, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Shadowlands, Nick and Nora, Tommy Tune Tonite!, Legs Diamond and many others. He was the recipient of numerous Tony Awards including, in 2004, a Tony for Lifetime Achievement. He also received the Actors Fund Medal of Honor in 2002, was memorialized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame – which he founded – in 1992. The “Jimmy Awards”, which recognize exceptional musical theater talent in high school students, were named after him in 2009.

Jimmy is survived by brothers Joseph and Robert, wife Charlene, son James L. and daughter-in-law Margo M., step-daughter Kristina, two grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street in New York City on Thursday, July 28 at 1pm.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made either to: The Nederlander Foundation for Stroke Research c/o Dr. J.P. Mohr, 710 West 168th Street, Room 616, New York, NY 10032 or to The Actors Fund, 729 Seventh Avenue – 10th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

He will be missed.

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