Ellen Greene

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Ellen Greene
Photo of Ellen Greene from film Glory! Glory! (1989)
In Glory! Glory! (1989)
Born(1951-02-22) February 22, 1951 (age 63)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Years active1973-present
Spouse(s)Tibor Hardik (1990-1997; divorced)
Christian Klikovits (2003–2007; divorced)
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Ellen Greene
Photo of Ellen Greene from film Glory! Glory! (1989)
In Glory! Glory! (1989)
Born(1951-02-22) February 22, 1951 (age 63)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Years active1973-present
Spouse(s)Tibor Hardik (1990-1997; divorced)
Christian Klikovits (2003–2007; divorced)

Ellen Greene (born February 22, 1951) is an American singer and actress. Greene has had a long and varied career as a singer, particularly in cabaret, as an actress and singer in numerous stage productions,[1] particularly musical theatre, as well as having performed in many films—notably Little Shop of Horrors—and television programs. She most recently starred as Vivian Charles on the ABC series Pushing Daisies.

Personal life[edit]

Greene was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother was a guidance counselor, and her father was a dentist.[2] Greene is Jewish.[3] She attended W. Tresper Clarke High School, in Westbury, New York. She spent summers at Cejwin Camps in Port Jervis, New York, where she performed in musical theatre productions, including the role of Tzeitel in a 1966 production of Fiddler on the Roof. She was first married to Tibor Hardik. She also had a relationship with Martin P. Robinson.[4] She married Christian Klikovits on September 25, 2003; they have since divorced.[5]


Greene’s career began as a nightclub singer in clubs such as The Brothers and Sisters, Grand Finale and Reno Sweeney. She received rave reviews from critics such as Rex Reed, George Bell and John S. Wilson. Around this time, she befriended the late Peter Allen. Her first starring role was as the lead in the notorious Broadway bomb, Rachael Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It) (1973), which co-starred Anita Morris.

She then won the starring role of Chrissy in Joseph Papp's production of In the Boom Boom Room. Her reviews brought her to the attention of Paul Mazursky who was at that time casting Next Stop, Greenwich Village; she got the role of Sarah, her first starring role in a film. Continuing her work with Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, Greene next essayed the role of Jenny in The Three Penny Opera at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center for which her performance was nominated for a Tony Award.

In addition to a number of other productions with the New York Shakespeare Festival, as well as numerous other companies, Greene formed a close working relationship with the WPA Theatre, where she met Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, which led to a close, long-lasting friendship. This led, in turn, among other productions, to the role for which she is perhaps most-widely known, that of the hapless Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, a role she reprised in the film version opposite Rick Moranis.

Greene has worked extensively in theater, such as the part of Suzanne/The Little Rose in The Little Prince and the Aviator, as well as in films such as I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, Léon, Talk Radio, and Pump Up the Volume. She has appeared on television in Miami Vice, Glory! Glory!, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Cybill, Law & Order, Suddenly Susan, The X-Files, Mystery Woman: Sing Me a Murder, Fielder’s Choice and Heroes. In 1983 she was the voice of Creeping Ivy in the animated TV special The Magic of Herself the Elf.

Greene released an album in 2004 entitled In His Eyes, on which she was accompanied by her husband and musical director, Christian Klikovits. Her latest work includes the recurring role of Vivian Charles in the television series Pushing Daisies and the voice of Dolly Gopher in the animated Out of Jimmy's Head. Greene was also the voice of the Priscilla Presley type of character Goldie in the Don Bluth film, Rock-A-Doodle.

In the summer of 2009, Greene starred as Miss Adelaide in a concert version of the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, which had a 3-day engagement at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Her co-stars included Scott Bakula as Nathan Detroit, theatre veteran and Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell as Sky Masterson, and Jessica Biel as Sarah Brown. In 2011, she appeared in five episodes of the soap opera The Young and the Restless as Primrose DeVille.[6]

Greene performed in the musical Betwixt! at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End from July 26 to August 20, 2011. She also recently appeared in two episodes of the new ABC Family show, Bunheads, alongside Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop. She also recently portrays Doctor Gale Macones in The Walking Dead Webisodes: The Oath[7]


Greene (left) with fellow Pushing Daisies star Swoosie Kurtz
1976Next Stop, Greenwich VillageSarah Roth
1978The Rock RainbowJessTV movie
1982I'm Dancing as Fast as I CanKaren Mulligan
1983The Special Magic of Herself the ElfCreeping Ivy (voice)TV movie
1986Little Shop of HorrorsAudrey
1988Superman 50th AnniversaryAriel DickensonTV documentary
1988Me and HimAnnette Uttanzi
1988Talk RadioEllen
1989Glory! Glory!RuthTV movie
1989Dinner at EightKitty PackardTV movie
1990Pump Up the VolumeJan Emerson
1991Rock-a-DoodleGoldie (voice)
1991Stepping OutMaxine
1992Fathers & SonsJudy
1994Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final InsultLouise
1994Wagons East!Belle
1994Léon: The ProfessionalMathilda's Mother
1995Killer: A Journal of MurderElizabeth Wyatt
1996An Occasional HellDella
1996One Fine DayMrs. Elaine Lieberman
1997States of ControlCarol
1998JadedLouise Smith
2001Alex in WonderClarice Markov
2003The CoolerDoris
2003Love ObjectTyping Supervisor
2005Mystery Woman: Sing Me a MurderCarlyTV movie
2005Fielder's ChoiceJillTV movie
2006Re-AnimatedDolly Gopher (voice)TV movie
2010PrivilegedMrs. Rothman
1977Seventh AvenuePaulaTV mini-series
1985Miami ViceDarleneEpisode: "Made for Each Other"
1989CBS Summer PlayhouseSally MaggioEpisode: "Road Show"
1994The Adventures of Pete & PeteAbilene JonesEpisode: "Time Tunnel"
1995CybillSharon2 episodes
1995Law & OrderKaren GainesEpisode: "Bitter Fruit"
1997DellaventuraElizabeth BrodkinEpisode: "Above Reproach"
2000Suddenly SusanHarriet GrahamEpisode: "The Break Up"
2002The X FilesVicki Louise BurdickEpisode: "Improbable"
2002Crossing JordanMrs. DunhamEpisode: "Secrets & Lies: Part 2"
2007–08Out of Jimmy's HeadDolly Gopher / Golly Gopher (voice)13 episodes
2007–09Pushing DaisiesVivian Charles22 episodes
2007-09HeroesVirginia Gray3 episodes
2009Batman: The Brave and the BoldMrs. Manface (voice)Episode: "Night of the Huntress!"
2011The Young and the RestlessPrimrose DeVille11 episodes
2011Pound PuppiesGertrude Washburn (voice)Episode: "Olaf in Love"
2012BunheadsUnknown2 episodes
2013HannibalMrs. KomedaEpisode: Sorbet
2013-2014The OathDoctor Gale MaconesEpisode: Parts 2 and 3

Stage work[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardCategoryNominated WorkResult
1977Tony AwardBest Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical[8]The Threepenny OperaNominated
1983Drama Desk AwardOutstanding Actress in a Musical[9]Little Shop of HorrorsNominated


External links[edit]