Elaine Paige as Grizabella

An old, dilapidated cat who was once beautiful and part of the Jellicle tribe, but is now an outcast, Grizabella is (arguably) the star of the musical, and she certainly is the source of the plot thread that allows the musical to function. When she first appears, interrupting the end of "The Rum Tum Tugger," she and Demeter sing about her sorry state in "Grizabella the Glamour Cat." Later in the musical, after the Jellicle Ball, she attempts to dance herself, but is saddened and frustrated and sings a preview to "Memory." At the end of the musical, she reappears and sings "Memory," which moves the cats to reaccept her and allow her to go to the Heaviside Layer, or cat heaven.

The four kittens (Jemima, Victoria, Etcetera, and Electra) are all openly sympathetic to her, although Jemima and Victoria more actively help her to be reaccepted. The other cats, especially Jennyanydots and Jellylorum, are hostile to her, except Demeter, who appears somewhat sympathetic, and Old Deuteronomy, who also shows sympathy but does not actively reaccept her until the end of the musical. Munkustrap's response to her is ambiguous, and could be interpreted as sympathetic or nonsympathetic.


Grizabella is portrayed by Elaine Paige in the 1998 film, as well as the original London production.