Emmy-Winning Director, Producer and Broadway Actress Nancy Malone Passes Away
Celebrated, ground-breaking and Emmy Award winning Director/Producer, Emmy and Sarah Siddons nominated Actress, Co-Founder of Women In Film and the first woman VP at a major studio, Nancy Malone, passed away at City of Hope on May 8th, 2014, as the result of pneumonia that arose from complications attributed to her recent battle with leukemia.
Nancy began her career at age seven as a model for ads ranging from Kellogg's Cereal to Ford cars and Macy's. At ten she was chosen for the cover of Life Magazine's 10th Anniversary issue: "The Typical American Girl."
William Morris signed her and she began her acting career, in a show broadcast live on DuMont TV Network. She appeared in hundreds of guest starring roles on TV and theater (including the Broadway stage). She appeared in TV's first Soap Opera, "The First Hundred Years" and extensively on live radio. She joined the Actors Studio and studied with Stella Adler as well as David Craig, and Milton Katselas and studied ballet with Nora Kaye.
At fifteen she made her Broadway debut as 'Ginger,' co-starring Melvyn Douglas in Time Out for Ginger. After the Broadway run, she then toured the USA with the play for a year and received a nomination as Best Actress from the Sarah Siddons Society in Chicago. When she returned to New York, Charles Laughton chose her to play Jenny Hill in the "All Star" production of Shaw's Major Barbara, followed by "The Seven Year Itch," "A Place for Polly" (a pre-Broadway tryout); "Requiem for a Heavyweight," "The Chalk Garden" with Judith Anderson and "A Touch of the Poet" with Helen Hayes, and "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine."
Commenting on Malone's passing, fellow actress Tyne Daly said: "Nancy Malone was a very favorite colleague. She brought the most energetic and enthusiastic spirit to the set and managed to keep it through all of the long, long days. Plus she was one of the funniest known human beings. With her unfailing good taste and a heart of Irish gold, I loved working and playing with her. We worked on a favorite play of hers 'Big Maggie' in the hope of it's finding a place in Los Angeles theatre, which in and of itself was a knee-slapper for Nancy. She was a true believer but she was nobody's fool. I loved her. Many, many people loved her. And Linda loved her the most. If there is a heaven, Nancy has arrived by limousine and the first word out of her mouth was her personal favorite code word for the 'innkeeper'.... NURSE!!!!"
Along with her work in theater, she also starred in the ground breaking and award winning television series, Naked City, where she received an Emmy Award Nomination for Best Actress, followed by the role of Clara Varner in the TV series "The Long Hot Summer," "The Killing of Randy Webster "and "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Nancy continued her guest starring roles in "Bonanza," "The Fugitive," "The Partridge Family," "Big Valley," "The Rockford Files," "Outer Limits," "Run for Your Life," "Dr Kildare," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Hawaii Five-0," "The Twilight Zone," "Lou Grant" and other leading programs. In addition, she co-starred with Burt Reynolds in the movie, "The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing."
In 1971 Nancy Malone was invited to join Tomorrow Entertainment as a story analyst, which led to a position as Director of Motion Pictures. After leaving Tomorrow Entertainment, she produced her first TV Movie, "Winner Take All," starring Shirley Jones, for NBC, before joining the 20th Century Fox's TV department as Director of TV Development. Shortly thereafter she was appointed Vice President of Television, the first woman VP at a major studio. During her time at Fox, Nancy co-founded Women in Film. She served as Chair of the WIF Foundation and established the Crystal Award, the Dorothy Arzner Award, the Norma Zarky Award, and the Founders Award. The named the Nancy Malone Directors Award after her for her contributions to the Film Finishing Fund.
In 1975 she established Lilac Productions to produce television films. Her producing credits include: "Sherlock Holmes in New York" with Roger Moore and John Huston; "Like Mom," "Like Me," with Linda Lavin; "The Great Pretender," with Billy Dee Williams, "I Married a Monster" and The Violation of Sarah McDavid, with Patty Duke. She developed and produced a one-hour comedy for CBS - "Husbands, Wives and Lovers." "The Nurses" pilot followed, and a season of "The Bionic Woman." Nancy won an Emmy for co-producing, "Bob Hope: The First 90 Years."