Beyond the Barricades: Les MisÚrables' Fantine

By Playbill Staff
March 1, 2014

The Tony Award-winning, international hit musical Les Misérables by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg will officially open on Broadway in a new revival March 23.



In celebration of the new production, starring West End actor Ramin Karimloo as Jean Valjean, Andy Mientus as Marius, Samantha Hill as Cosette, Tony Award nominee Will Swenson as Javert, West End and Broadway actress Caissie Levy as Fantine, Tony Award winner Nikki M. James as Eponine, Kyle Scatliffe as Enjolras, Canadian actor Cliff Saunders as Thenardier and Tony Award nominee Keala Settle as Madame Thenardier, Playbill.com will look back at a selection of Les Miz leading players who came before.

This week we look at Les Misérables' Fantine.

Click through for a tour of actresses who previously stood behind the barricades.

Patti LuPone
Photo by Michael Le Poer Trench
Two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone took on the role of Fatine for the original London cast in 1985 but chose not to re-create the role when the musical opened on Broadway, saying her London run was the "perfect theatrical experience." LuPone, most recently seen on Broadway in The Anarchist, is a Tony winner for her performances in Gypsy and Evita. She has been Tony-nominated for her performances in The Robber Bridegroom, Anything Goes, Sweeney Todd and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Randy Graff
Randy Graff originated the role of Fantine on Broadway in 1987. The actress, who is a Tony Award winner for her performance in City of Angels, is a Tony nominee for A Class Act and has also been seen on Broadway in Grease, Saravá, Falsettos, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Moon Over Buffalo, High Society and Fiddler on the Roof.

Ruthie Henshall
Ruthie Henshall was cast as Fantine in the West End at the age of 25. She later recreated the role in the 10th Anniversary Concert performance of Les Misérables at the Royal Albert Hall. Henshall has been seen on Broadway in Miss Saigon, Chicago and Putting It Together.

Daphne Rubin-Vega
Daphne Rubin-Vega was cast as Fantine in the first Broadway revival of Les Miz in 2006. The actress is a two-time Tony Award nominee for her performances in Rent and Anna in the Tropics and has also been seen on Broadway in The Rocky Horror Show and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Lea Salonga
Tony Award winner Lea Salonga was the first Asian actress to play the roles of Eponine and Fantine in Les Misérables on Broadway. The actress, a Tony winner for Miss Saigon, replaced Rubin-Vega in the Broadway revival March 6, 2007. On Oct. 10, 2010, she played Fantine in the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Misérables, 15 years after appearing in the 10th Anniversary as Eponine. She has also been seen on Broadway in Flower Drum Song.

Laurie Beechman
Laurie Beechman began performances as Fantine in the original Broadway production in January 1990. The late actress, a Tony Award nominee for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, was also seen on Broadway in Annie, The Pirates of Penzance and Cats.

Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman
Anne Hathaway won a 2013 Academy Award for her portrayal of Fantine in the star-studded film adaptation of Les Misérables, which featured Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. The actress, Oscar-nominated for "Rachel Getting Married," has also been seen in "The Devil Wears Prada," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Princess Diaries" films, among others.

Andrea McArdle
Andrea McArdle, a Tony Award nominee for her performance in the title role in Broadway's Annie, was a replacement in the original Broadway production of Les Miz. She has also been seen on Broadway in Starlight Express, Beauty and the Beast and State Fair.

Alice Ripley
Alice Ripley played Fantine in the original Broadway production of Les Miz. The actress, a Tony winner for Next to Normal and a Tony nominee for Side Show, has also been seen on Broadway in The Who's Tommy, Sunset Boulevard, King David, James Joyce's The Dead and The Rocky Horror Show.

Melba Moore
Melba Moore, a Tony winner for Purlie, played Fantine in the original Broadway production of Les Miz. She has also been seen on Broadway in Hair, Timbuktu! and Inacent Black.

Lauren Kennedy
Lauren Kennedy, who most recently starred as Fantine in the North Carolina Theatre production of Les Miz opposite her daughter Riley Campbell as Fantine's child, Cosette, also played the role in the original Broadway production. She has also been seen on Broadway in Sunset Boulevard, Side Show and Spamalot.

Judy Kuhn
Judy Kuhn, who received a Tony nomination for her performance as Cosette in the original Broadway cast of Les Misérables, took on the role of Fantine in the 2006 Broadway revival. She was also Tony-nominated for her performances in Chess and She Loves Me. Her other Broadway credits include King David, Two Shakespearean Actors, Rags and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.