Carmel Quinn, an entertainer whose Irish songs and stories made her a Carnegie Hall staple on St. Patrick’s day for a quarter century, died from pneumonia March 6 at her home in Leonia, N.J. She was 95 and her death was confirmed by her family.
Born and raised in Dublin, Quinn won an audition Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, a star-making vehicle of the 1950s whose alumni included Pat Boone, Tony Bennett and Connie Francis. She later moved to the television show Arthur Godfrey and His Friends, and also appeared on The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Mike Douglas Show and other top variety programs of the day. Much later, she showed up on Live With Regis and Kathie Lee.
Quinn was famous for her songs and tales of the auld sod, with a snappy patter of anecdotes about her relatives and life. Quinn became a Carnegie Hall regular beginning in 1955. She gave sold-out benefit performances each St. Patrick’s Day for more than two decades, later joined by such genre staples as the Clancy Brothers and the Chieftains.
In addition to television and concerts, she starred in several musicals on the road and in summer stock, including The Sound of Music, Finian’s Rainbow and The Boy Friend. She also presented revues of her own work at the Irish Repertory Theater in Manhattan.
Quinn is survived by daughters Jane and Terry Fuller, and a son, Sean Fuller; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Another son, Michael, died of a heart problem in 1988.
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