When she was 31, New Bedford native Carol Haney won the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theater, commonly known as the Tony Award.

The Tony, presented annually in Manhattan by the American Theater Wing and the Broadway Theater League, recognizes excellence in live Broadway Theater.

Haney won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 1955 for her portrayal of Gladys Hotchkiss in The Pajama Game. Haney received three more Tony Award nominations before her untimely death at age 39 in 1964.

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Haney's final Tony nomination in 1964 was posthumous for Best Choreography for the musical Funny Girl, which starred a young Barbra Streisand.

As a choreographer, Haney created the dance elements for the show and taught them to the performers, including Streisand.

New Bedford Woman Taught Streisand To Dance
Getty Images

Haney was born in New Bedford on December 24, 1924, to Norman and Iris Haney. The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Historic Women of the South Coast reports that when Carol was a young child, "A Portuguese fortune teller in New Bedford predicted her stardom."

The site says, "This prediction prompted her mother to enroll Carol in as many dance lessons as possible, building in her a foundation and love for dance."

"At age 15, while a student at New Bedford High School, Carol opened her own dance studio, 'Miss Haney's School of Dance,'" according to the site.

Upon graduating from New Bedford High School in 1942, Haney moved to Hollywood, where she became a dancer and choreographer. Haney was an uncredited dancer in at least five films before receiving credit for her work in Kiss Me Kate and From This Moment On.

Haney's other two Tony Award nominations were for choreography for Flower Drum Song (1959) and Bravo Giovanni (1963).

Haney died on May 10, 1964, in Saddle River, New Jersey. The cause was reportedly pneumonia, complicated by diabetes and alcoholism. She is buried at Old Landing Cemetery in Marion, Massachusetts.

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