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'When Harry Met Sally' Actress Dies After 10-Year Battle With Cancer

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Michelle Nicastro, an actress, singer and the wife of "The Event" producer Steve Stark, died Nov. 4 after a 10-year battle with cancer. She was 50.

Nicastro introduced Harry to Sally in "When Harry Met Sally …" and was the actress behind the swan in the animated feature "The Swan Princess" (1994) and its three sequels. She also appeared in the films "Body Rock" (1984) and "Bad Guys" (1986).

On television, Nicastro guest-starred on such series as "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Wings," "Coach," "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," "Murder, She Wrote," "Full House," "Who's the Boss?" and "Simon & Simon."

Nicastro had a two-year run as Sasha on the Emmy-winning soap opera "Santa Barbara," and for "It's Garry Shandling's Show," she won ACE & BMI awards for an original song she co-wrote and performed on the series.

Her first solo recording, "Toonful," led to a recording contract with Varese Sarabande Records, and she followed with three more CDs, one featuring contemporary songs from Broadway.

Nicastro also can be heard on such recordings as "Lady Be Good" and "Pardon My English" for the Gershwin Estate.

Placido Domingo introduced her to concert audiences as a featured soloist at the Hollywood Bowl, and she later toured Japan as a soloist with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri.

Nicastro also co-starred opposite Barry Manilow in his international Showstoppers tour.

On stage, Nicastro in 1988 originated the role of Eponine in the original Los Angeles production of "Les Miserables" (winning the DramaLogue Critics Award and the Robby Award), and, soon after graduating from Northwestern, starred in "Merlin" on Broadway with Chita Rivera & Doug Henning.

Other memorable theater credits include "A Little Night Music," "Leave it to Jane," "The Boys from Syracuse" — co-produced by Lucille Ball & Carole Burnett at the Doolittle Theatre — and the original production of "Blame It on the Movies" at the Coast Playhouse.

Not long after Nicastro was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 40th birthday, she and three friends started a company called Truly Mom that specializes in planners and custom stationery. Their motto is "Live Life!" Last year, Country Living Magazine named them Women Entrepreneurs of the Year.

In addition to Stark, her husband of 24 years, survivors include daughters Callie and Cady and sisters Beth Ann & Kristin.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles for the Kling Street Kids — an annual fundraiser created by her daughters to benefit kids less fortunate than themselves — and the Michelle Nicastro Memorial Musical Theatre Fund, which is in the works to benefit undergraduates studying theater & music at Northwestern University. Inquiries about the fund can be directed to niliyelin@aol.com.

The Hollywood Reporter 



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