Place of Death
Bel Air, California, USA
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Arleen Whelan, Nancy Coleman, Gertrude Lawrence
Claim to Fame
Most photographed Child star in America
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Film Actress and Leading Lady / Radio
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Nancy Kelly (March 25, 1921 â€“ January 2, 1995) was an American actress. A child actress and model, she was a repertory cast member of CBS Radio's The March of Time and became a movie leading lady in the late 1930s, while still in her teens. She made 36 movies between 1926 and 1977, including portraying Tyrone Power's love interest in the classic Jesse James (1939), which also featured Henry Fonda, and playing opposite Spencer Tracy in Stanley and Livingstone later that same year. She had her greatest success in a character role, the suicidal mother in the The Bad Seed, receiving a Tony Award for the 1955 stage production and an Academy Award nomination for the 1956 film adaptation.
Profile Bio Text
Nancy Kelly (March 25, 1921 – January 2, 1995) was an American actress, who was a movie leading lady in the late 1930s, making 36 movies between 1926 and 1977, including portraying Tyrone Power's love interest in the classic Jesse James (1939), which also featured Henry Fonda, and playing opposite Spencer Tracy in Stanley and Livingstone later that same year.
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, she was the older sister of actor Jack Kelly, who played "Bart Maverick" alongside James Garner and Roger Moore in the 1957 television series Maverick. Kelly began her career as a child actress, whose image had appeared in so many different advertisements by the time she was nine years old that Film Daily called her "the most photographed child in America due to commercial posing." She also played Dorothy Gale in a 1933 to 1934 radio show based on the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
As an adult, she was a leading lady in twenty-seven movies in the 1930s and '40s, including director John Ford's Submarine Patrol, the comedy He Married His Wife with Joel McCrea, Frontier Marshal with Randolph Scott as Wyatt Earp, and Tarzan's Desert Mystery with Johnny Weismuller. Kelly was subsequently a two-time winner of the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre as well as a Tony Award winner for her performance in The Bad Seed, which she followed up by starring in the film version in 1956 and receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also starred on television, including leading roles in "The Storm" (1961) episode of Thriller and "The Lonely Hour" (1963) episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1957, Kelly was nominated at the 9th Primetime Emmy Awards#Best Single Performance by an Actress for an Emmy Award for Best Single Performance by an Actress for TV episode "The Pilot" in Studio One.
On her death in 1995 from complications of diabetes, Nancy Kelly was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Nancy Kelly has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
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