Andrea McArdle made her professional debut at the age of 13 on the Broadway stage in Annie. Since her stellar performance, McArdle has performed in numerous Broadway shows, recorded albums and has appeared on film and television.
Born in Philadelphia, Andrea McArdle is the oldest of two children. Her father was a statistician and her mother followed her daughter's career. Andrea McArdle's interests in entertaining was encouraged by her parents who gave her both singing and dancing lessons at an early age. She was entered in talent shows where New York producers and agents were present. It was after she signed with an agent that her career took off.
Her first role came in 1974 when she played Wendy Wilkens on the daytime soap opera Search For Tomorrow. The role lasted three years during which she won an award for television's best daytime juvenile actress. After her television debut she performed in The King and I and The Sound of Music dinner theatres. Then in 1977 Andrea McArdle received her break in show business. A 13-year-old all-American kid, she was cast as the 11-year-old Little Orphan Annie. She was originally cast as one of the "tough girls" but soon replaced the original Annie for the Connecticut, Washington and New York shows. For the part Andrea McArdle had to don a wig and shoes too large for her feet. During her performances she began to get a feel for audiences. She determined an audience in New York is much different than a laid-back audience in Washington. It was observances such as these that led to a long-lasting successful career for Andrea McArdle. Her career has been based on this role and she received film, stage and television roles after her performance. In 1978 she portrayed Judy Garland in the television movie, Rainbow.
After Annie Andrea McArdle did several other Broadway shows during the '80s. This included several concerts and performances. Stardom at 13 did not hinder her career. In 1995 she recorded a CD titled On Broadway. The album included "Never, Never Land" from Peter Pan, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" from Meet Me In St. Louis and "Tomorrow" from Annie. In 1996 she starred as Margy Frake in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Broadway production of State Fair. She sang "It Might As Well Be Spring" to a rousing audience. Even today Andrea McArdle is thrilling and entertaining audiences as successfully as she did when she was 13. Her latest project was another CD of Broadway hits which was produced by her husband, Edd Kalehoff. ~ Kim Summers, Rovi