A product of Juilliard and John Houseman's Acting Company, Patti LuPone is best known for her magnificent musical performances as the title character in Evita (1979), as Nancy in the 1984 revival of Oliver!, as Fantine in the original RSC London production of Les Miserables (1985) and as Reno Sweeney in the 1987 Lincoln Center revival of Anything Goes, although she is equally at home in the classics. LuPone made her film debut in King of the Gypsies (1978) and appeared as Harrison Ford's helpful sister in Witness (1985) and as Dan Aykroyd's wife in Driving Miss Daisy (1989). She won critical praise for her portrayal of Lady Bird Johnson in the TV biopic LBJ: The Early Years (NBC, 1987) opposite Randy Quaid. LuPone then starred as the mother in the TV series, Life Goes On (ABC, 1989-93).
When the well-received family drama petered out after four seasons, LuPone returned to the musical drama stage in London in Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of Sunset Boulevard (1993). After undergoing surgery to remove nodes on her vocal cords, she made a triumphant return to performing in a limited run concert version of Pal Joey in May 1995 and her own one-woman show Patti LuPone on Broadway in October 1995. When she replaced Zoe Caldwell as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Master Class in 1996. She returned to the London stage in the same role the following year.