Famed Broadway hoofer Gwen Verdon, who lit up such shows as "Damn Yankees," "Sweet Charity" and "Chicago" before she went on to star in the movie "Coc oon" and its sequel and as Tom Selleck's mother on TV's "Magnum, P.I.," died in her sleep yesterday at the Woodstock, Vt., home of her daughter, Nicole Fosse. She was 75. In tribute to the much-admired Verdon, who was also the keeper of the flame of her late husband, the great choreographer and director Bob Fosse (who died in 1987), Broadway dimmed its marquee lights last night in her honor. A winner of four Tony awards, Verdon rose to fame in 1954 when she stole the Cole Porter show "Can-Can" out from under its star, Lilo. Moviegoers will never forget her one chance to reprise one of her stage roles (Shirley MacLaine landed her "Sweet Charity" role when it came time to transfer the show to the screen): that of Lola the seductress -- who always got what she wanted -- in 1958's "Damn Yankees."
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