Linda Lavin (born October 15, 1937) is an American singer and actress. She is best known for playing the title character in the sitcom Alice and for her Broadway performances.
Lavin was born in Portland, Maine, the daughter of Lucille (née Potter), an opera singer, and David J. Lavin, a businessman. Her family was musically talented, and Lavin has been onstage since the age of five. Upon her graduation from the College of William and Mary, she had already received her Actors' Equity Association card. She was a member of the Compass Players in the late 1950s. By the early 1960s, Lavin made a name for herself in New York City on Broadway and appeared on the (both 1966) cast recordings of The Mad Show (on which her performance of Stephen Sondheim's "The Boy From..." gained note) and "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman" (from which one of her numbers, "You've Got Possibilities," was the album's best-received song and, years later, was featured on a Pillsbury commercial).
In 1967, Lavin made an appearance as Gloria Thorpe in a television version of the musical Damn Yankees with Phil Silvers. In 1969, Lavin married actor Ron Leibman, and by 1973 the couple had arrived in Hollywood.