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Nancy Marchand Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jun 19, 1928
  • Died: Jun 18, 2000

Following extensive dramatic training at Carnegie Tech, American actress Nancy Marchand did some stage work, then entered the infant TV medium with a 1950 production of Little Women. One year later she appeared on Broadway for the first time; for the rest of the '50s she fluctuated between on-stage classics (Shakespeare, Euripedes) and TV anthologies and soap operas. In later years, Nancy explained that she retreated to contemporary characters on TV because she was "tired of being a queen or a poor put-upon Greek" on stage. A handsome woman, but not voluptuously beautiful in the then-fashionable [[Performer~P50065~Marilyn Monroe~marilynmonroe]] tradition, Ms. Marchand was usually cast in character roles: she was the dateless "dog" with whom lonely Bronx butcher [[Performer~P67882~Rod Steiger~rodsteiger]] fell in love in the original 1953 telecast of Paddy Chayefsky's [[Feature~V20360~Marty~goodyeartvplayhouse:marty]]. Marchand made her movie bow in another Chayefsky work, [[Feature~V72866~The Bachelor Party~thebachelorparty]] (1957). In 1960, Ms. Marchand won an Obie for her stage performance as the Madam of a fantasy-granting brothel in Genet's The Balcony (also in the cast were future TV stars [[Performer~P219357~Michael Conrad~michaelconrad]] and [[Performer~P19454~Jack Dodson~jackdodson]]). From 1977 through 1982, Ms. Marchand played Mrs. Margaret Pynchon, a powerful newspaper executive said to be patterned after the [[Feature~V53502~Washington Post~washingtonparksandforests]]'s Katherine Graham, on the TV series Lou Grant; she won four Emmies, one for each year of the series' existence. When at one point her character suffered a stroke and spent several weeks recovering, Ms. Marchand was besieged with get-well cards from fans who believed that the actress' fictional stroke was genuine. Recent film appearances for Nancy Marchand include the role of the long-suffering mayor in [[Feature~V64938~The Naked Gun~thenakedgun]] (1988). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi