Elizabeth Ann Crumb

  • Born: May 25, 1950
  • Died: October 31, 2019
  • Location: Media, Pennsylvania

Cavanagh Patterson Family Funeral Homes

43 E. Baltimore Ave
Media, PA 19063

Tel. (610) 566-3400

Tribute & Message From The Family

Actress, Musician, Humanitarian, Lover of Animals, Woman of the World

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Ann by adding your memories and photos.

Ann Crumb, actress, musician, woman of the world, humanitarian, champion of the lost, and friend to all, died at age sixty-nine, surrounded by her family, her friends, and her beloved dogs. Although she was successful in every endeavor she attempted in life, she was humble and thankful for the talents and opportunities that she had. In the later years of her life, she dedicated all of her energies to saving the lost and discarded animals that needed her.
It was not the acclaim or awards, the accolades or the praise that came as a natural reaction to her talents, that made Ann a success in life; it was her kindness. It would be easy to miss who she was as a person when one considers the amount and quality of her contribution to the Arts. She was born into a family that was not impressed with what they would eventually accomplish or earn. She was not swayed by wealth or status. She was taught that hard work, in the service of the most valuable human endeavors, was the mark of true success in life. She exemplified every aspect of that creed.

It was her family and her loving friends that were the center of Ann's life, cut short, but not wasted on the frivolities and excesses of the day. Her qualities were many but her love for her family, friends, and the animals that enlivened her life were her treasures.

Ann Crumb was the daughter of piano teacher and loving mother Liz Crumb and composer George Crumb, sister of composer David Crumb, and loving friend to her brother Peter (Pete) Crumb, who was her shining light and foundation. Her family rose from humble beginnings in West Virginia guided by a love for music, family, and hard work. They may have been short on the niceties of life but they provided each other with the qualities of character that marked their family, and each of them, individually, as special.

Ann's early years in music were dedicated to the violin, at which she excelled from an early age, until a fall from a horse and a broken bowing arm ended her hopes of a career as an instrumentalist. But that tragedy in her life did not stop her. She earned a degree in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Michigan, where she began her acting studies. After college she moved to New York, as many aspiring actresses do, to make a living while dreaming of greatness in the American theatre.

Ann starred as Rose Vibert in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ASPECTS OF LOVE, first in London's West End and subsequently on Broadway. She received a Tony nomination for her performance in the title role in the musical version of ANNA KARENINA at Circle in the Square, and co-starred in the Off-Broadway musicals INSIDE OUT and JOHNNY GUITAR. In London, in addition to ASPECTS OF LOVE, she starred as Louisa in the concert version of NINE (with Jonathan Pryce) and as Paula in THE GOODBYE GIRL. Her numerous regional appearances included EVITA (title role), SUNSET BOULEVARD (Norma Desmond), CHESS (Florence), MASTER CLASS (Maria Callas), SOUVENIR (Florence Foster Jenkins), OTHER DESERT CITIES (Silda), and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Maggie). For the past several years, in addition to her theatre work, she sang vocal music composed by her father, Pulitzer Prize-winning George Crumb, all over the world, recorded under the Bridge Music label.

Throughout her life Ann was a tireless dog rescuer, saving hundreds of dogs from kill shelters,
and spearheaded the effort to place the dogs orphaned by Hurricane Katrina into homes all over the country. She founded and was president of The Rescue Express, placing more than 2500 abandoned animals in safe, secure, and loving homes. She considered this her life's work. She will be sorely missed.

A memorial is planned for Sunday, Dec. 29, at 5 p.m. at the Media Theatre, 104 E. State St. Media, PA 19063. Information is available at 610-891-0100.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to:
Rescue Express
240 Kirk La, Media, PA 19063


Condolence & Memory Journal

Ann and her family lived in Boulder, CO for at least 4 years in the late 1950s to early 1960s, and Ann and I were classmates in elementary school and junior. I took piano lessons from Ann's mother Elizabeth in their home, and I became acquainted with the family's pet dachshund.

Posted by Lance Williams - Boulder, CO - Friend   December 28, 2019

Ann, dear Ann. I miss you and your work, on stage and off stage. May your relatives and friends feel good about the article I wrote about you. It was published may be an hour ago and already it's the most widely read article on Phindie, Philadelphia's popular theater arts publication. If only we had more people with your talents, your discipline, your sense of humor, your sense of balance in life that made you more than an international star on stage. Countless children and dogs all were blessed by your active support for those who cannot help themselves. Be in peace.

Henrik Eger, editor, Drama Around the Globe


Posted by Henrik Eger - Upper Darby, PA - Friend   December 28, 2019

There are so many things about Ann. Ann and my (late) sister Helen met in the fall of 1963, at Indian Land Junior High School. The hijinks and relationship(s) between our families sprouted from that encounter, and have lasted for some 55 years and counting. She had a great heart; she was such a good friend to Helen, and a de facto big sister to me more than once. A sign of the great love she had for her brother Peter (?): I went in the summer of 2001 with Liz, Peter, and Ann to a local annual fair at Riddle Memorial Hospital. There were rides, crafts, fair food, and..... rides, many rides. One in particular had swings dangling on chains, that when spinning at speed, caused the chains to stick out straight, almost parallel to the ground. Well, of course that's the ride that Peter wanted, so Ann (who disliked that kind of thing about as much as I do) gamely got in the flying chair next to Peter. I have always wished I had a snapshot of the moment they came around the bend - Peter's face was total joy and enthusiasm; Ann's was a total mask of abject horror. She loved her family, her friends, and of course, the animals. In all of Ann's performances, with due respect to Evita, Les Miserables, Aspects of Love, and all the rest, I have to say that there are two instances closest to my heart. The first was during a performance of The Pajama Game, (cited elsewhere here); Ann belted out "Hernando's Hideaway" and "Steam Heat" - it was maybe the first time she stopped a show, but it wasn't the last. The second time: Ann produced a performance of "Peter and the Wolf" at Swarthmore College; the crowning glory of that was her starring her big black dog (Angie) as the wolf. All the kids in the audience went "ooohhh" in chorus. Brilliant. There is so much more about Ann. She is greatly missed.

Posted by Alice Stewart Newhouse - Ripton, VT - Family Friend   December 03, 2019

There was always something so dreamy about Ann as I remember her in high school, smiling gently and moving smoothly through hallways. I guess she was in her mind 'on stage' in life. A funny thing when we were all getting ready for the Pajama Game play was when I came upon her backstage and she is ironing her hair to smooth her natural curls! So ahead of everyone else was she. I sure am sad to know she was suffering with cancer as it must've dimmed her glow a bit. I missed getting over to speak with her at our 50th reunion and regret that chance being lost forever. Ann, I did view you in awe and send my love. Martha

Posted by Martha Grieco - Whitefish, MT - Classmate   November 05, 2019

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