LOS ANGELES: Nanette Fabray, the vivacious actress, singer and dancer who became a star in Broadway musicals, on television as Sid Caesar’s comic foil and in such hit movies as The Band Wagon, has died at age 97 of natural causes.

Fabray died Thursday at her home in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., her son, Dr. Jamie MacDougall, said.

“She was an extra­ordinary woman. Many people referred to her as a force of nature, and you could feel it when she walked into the room,” her son said Friday. “She just exuded warmth, wit, charm, love, and she touched so many people in so many ways.”

Fabray was just 3 when she launched her career as vaudeville singer-dancer Baby Nanette.

She went on to star on Broadway in such musicals as Bloomer Girl, High Button Shoes and Mr. President, playing first lady to Robert Ryan’s commander in chief.

Love Life, a 1948 show with songs by Alan Jay Lerner and Kurt Weill, won her a Tony in 1949 as best actress in a musical.

After another musical, Make a Wish, MGM brought her to Hollywood to co-star with Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Jack Buchanan in the 1953 film The Band Wagon.

The Comden and Green musical features such classic numbers as That’s Entertainment and Triplets, in which Fabray, Astaire and Buchanan dress up as babies.

“Unfortunately, I was coming in when big musicals were going out,” Fabray would say later. “So the buildup didn’t go anywhere except to lead me back to New York.”

Back on the East Coast, she found her biggest audience as a co-star in the pioneering television show Caesar’s Hour, which brought her three Emmy awards.

She won them despite a hearing disability that had plagued her from childhood into her late 40s, when she had surgery.

Fabray made her way to Northeast Ohio during her theater career, including a 1977 stint at the now- defunct Carousel Dinner Theater in Ravenna, where she made a special performance in a play catering to deaf people.

Fabray also appeared in Stark County in 1981, performing in The Oscar Ladies at the Canal Fulton Dinner Theatre.

Her later TV roles included that of Bonnie Franklin’s mother in the hit 1980s sitcom One Day at a Time. And in the 1990s, Fabray played mother to Shelley Fabares, her real-life niece, in the hit sitcom Coach.