Nancy Kelly: actress (1921 - 1995) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Nancy Kelly

Nancy Kelly

Nancy Kelly
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro actress
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor Television actor Model
From United States of America
Field Fashion Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 25 March 1921, Lowell
Death 2 January 1995, Bel Air (aged 73 years)
Star sign Aries
Politics California Republican Party
Spouse: Edmond O'Brien
The details (from wikipedia)


Nancy Kelly (March 25, 1921 – 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 distraught mother in The Bad Seed, receiving a Tony Award for the 1955 stage production and an Academy Award nomination for the 1956 film adaptation.


Of Irish descent, Kelly was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, into a theatrical family. Her mother was silent film actress Nan Kelly, who coached her and managed her career. As a child actress, Kelly appeared in 52 films made on the East Coast by the age of 17. Her younger brother was actor Jack Kelly, most noted for playing the role of Bart Maverick, one of the two leads, alongside James Garner or Roger Moore from 1957 to 1962 in the television series Maverick. Nancy Kelly and Jack Kelly bore an obvious family resemblance to each other but never worked together in film or television.

As a child model, her image had appeared in so many different advertisements by the time she was nine years old that Film Daily commented, "Nancy has been referred to as 'the most photographed child in America,' largely because of her commercial posing."

Kelly worked extensively in radio in her adolescent years. She played Dorothy Gale in a 1933–34 radio show, The Wizard of Oz, based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Kelly was the first ingenue on CBS Radio's The March of Time series, with a vocal versatility that made it possible for her to portray male parts as well as female. She also portrayed Eleanor Roosevelt.

As an adult, she was a leading lady in 27 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 Weissmuller. 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 1956 film version, 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 Hours" (1963) episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1957 she was nominated at the 9th Primetime Emmy Awards for an Emmy Award for Best Single Performance by an Actress for the episode "The Pilot" in Studio One.

Kelly was a Republican who supported Dwight Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election.


Kelly was married to actor Edmond O'Brien briefly from 1941–1942, and then to Fred Jackman, Jr. son of silent Hollywood cameraman and director Fred Jackman from 1946 to 1950. She was married to theater director Warren Caro from 1955 to 1968. She and Caro had a daughter, Kelly Caro, in 1957.


Kelly died at her Bel Air, California, home on January 2, 1995, from complications of diabetes at the age of 73. She was survived by a daughter and three granddaughters. She was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Walk of Fame

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. She was inducted on February 8, 1960.

Radio appearances

1945Suspense"A Week Ago Wednesday" 
1946Suspense"Dark Journey" 

Suspense Episode 169 "A Week Ago Wednesday" Aired November 29, 1945


1949Leave It to the GirlsTV Series  Maggi McNellisPeggy Ann Garner
1951Showtime, U.S.A.TV Series  Henry FondaEva GaborThomas Mitchell
1951Wonderful Town, U.S.A.TV Series  Skitch HendersonFaye Emerson
1955The 27th Annual Academy AwardsTV Special  Bob HopeBuddy AdlerAnna Maria Alberghetti
1956Hollywood PreviewTV Series  Conrad NagelLinda DarnellFrank Borzage
1957The 29th Annual Academy AwardsTV Special documentary  Jerry LewisCeleste HolmCarroll Baker
1957The 11th Annual Tony AwardsTV Special  Edie AdamsPeggy CassSydney Chaplin (actor)
1958The 12th Annual Tony AwardsTV Special  Ralph BellamySydney Chaplin (actor)
1963Girl TalkTV Series  Virginia GrahamJoan CrawfordDody Goodman
1963The 17th Annual Tony AwardsTV Special  Elizabeth AshleyJean-Pierre AumontOrson Bean
1962-1963The Mike Douglas ShowTV Series  Mike Douglas
1985All-Star Party for 'Dutch' ReaganTV Special  Edie AdamsSteve AllenJune Allyson
1996The 68th Annual Academy AwardsTV SpecialJeff MargolisStephen PouliotBruce VilanchWhoopi GoldbergKareem Abdul-JabbarJames Acheson
1939Jesse Jamesperformer: "Oh Susanna" 1846  Tyrone PowerHenry Fonda
1940One Night in the Tropicsperformer: "Your Dream"A. Edward SutherlandGertrude PurcellCharles Grayson (writer)Allan Jones (actor)Robert Cummings
1943Tornadoperformer: "I'm Afraid of You", "There Goes My Dream"William BerkeMaxwell ShaneJohn GuedelChester MorrisWilliam Henry
1944Gambler's Choiceperformer: "The Sidewalks of New York", "Hold Me Just a Little Closer"Frank McDonald (director)Maxwell ShaneIrving ReisChester MorrisRussell Hayden
1944Show Businessperformer: "You May Not Remember" 1944Edwin L. Marin Eddie CantorGeorge MurphyJoan Davis
1945Song of the Sarongperformer: "Camptown Races", "Lovely Luana" - uncreditedHarold Young (director) William GarganEddie Quillan
1926The Untamed LadyMovieFrank TuttleJames Ashmore CreelmanFannie HurstGloria SwansonLawrence GrayJoseph W. Smiley
1926MismatesMovieCharles BrabinSada CowanMyron Coureval FaganDoris KenyonWarner BaxterMay Allison
1926The Great GatsbyMovieHerbert BrenonF. Scott FitzgeraldElizabeth MeehanWarner BaxterLois Wilson (actress)Neil Hamilton (actor)
1926The Pig's Curly TailShortWalter LantzWalter LantzClyde GeronimiWalter Lantz
1929The Girl on the BargeMovieEdward Sloman Jean HersholtSally O'NeilMalcolm McGregor
1929Glorifying the American GirluncreditedMillard WebbJ. P. McEvoyMillard WebbMary EatonEddie CantorHelen Morgan
1938Submarine PatrolMovieJohn FordRian JamesDarrell WareRichard GreenePreston Foster
1939Jesse JamesMovie  Tyrone PowerHenry Fonda
1939Tail SpinMovieRoy Del Ruth Alice FayeConstance Bennett
1939Frontier MarshalMovieAllan DwanStuart N. LakeRandolph ScottCesar Romero
1939Stanley and LivingstoneMovie Philip DunneJulien JosephsonSpencer TracyRichard Greene
1940He Married His WifeMovieRoy Del RuthDarrell WareJoel McCreaRoland Young
1940Sailor's LadyMovieAllan DwanFrederick Hazlitt BrennanLou BreslowJon Hall (actor)Joan Davis
1940Private AffairsMovieAlbert S. RogellCharles Grayson (writer)Robert CummingsHugh Herbert
1940One Night in the TropicsMovieA. Edward SutherlandGertrude PurcellCharles Grayson (writer)Allan Jones (actor)Robert Cummings
1941Scotland YardMovieNorman FosterJohn L. BalderstonDenison CliftEdmund GwennJohn Loder (actor)
1941A Very Young LadyMovieHarold D. SchusterLadislas FodorElaine RyanJane WithersJohn Sutton (actor)
1941Parachute BattalionMovieLeslie GoodwinsJohn TwistRobert PrestonEdmond O'Brien
1942Fly-By-NightMovieRobert SiodmakJay DratlerF. Hugh HerbertRichard Carlson (actor)Albert Bassermann
1942To the Shores of TripoliMovieH. Bruce HumberstoneLamar TrottiSteve Fisher (writer)John Payne (actor)Maureen O'HaraRandolph Scott
1942Friendly EnemiesMovieAllan DwanAdelaide HeilbronCharles WinningerCharlie RugglesJames Craig (actor)
1943Women in BondageMovieSteve SekelyHouston BranchFrank WisbarGail PatrickWilliam Henry
1943Tarzan's Desert MysteryMovieWilhelm ThieleEdward T. Lowe Jr.Johnny WeissmullerJohnny Sheffield
1943TornadoMovieWilliam BerkeMaxwell ShaneJohn GuedelChester MorrisWilliam Henry
1944Gambler's ChoiceMovieFrank McDonald (director)Maxwell ShaneIrving ReisChester MorrisRussell Hayden
1944Show BusinessMovieEdwin L. Marin Eddie CantorGeorge MurphyJoan Davis
1944Double ExposureMovieWilliam BerkeMaxwell ShaneChester Morris
1945Betrayal from the EastMovieWilliam BerkeAubrey WisbergLee TracyRichard Loo
1945Song of the SarongMovieHarold Young (director) William GarganEddie Quillan
1945Woman Who Came BackMovieWalter ColmesJohn KafkaJohn Loder (actor)Otto Kruger
1945Follow That WomanMovieLew Landers William GarganRegis Toomey
1946Murder in the Music HallMovieJohn English (director)László Görög (writer)Vera RalstonWilliam Marshall (bandleader)Helen Walker
1950The Silver TheatreTV Series  Conrad NagelGeorge ReevesDon DeFore
1950Starlight TheatreTV Series  Mary SinclairDurward KirbyVirginia Gilmore
1951The Bigelow TheatreTV Series  Don DeForeWilliam FrawleyJeffrey Silver
1951Faith Baldwin Romance TheatreTV Series  Russell NypeWalter AbelLuther Adler
1953-1954Lux Video TheatreTV Series  Ken Carpenter (announcer)Jay JacksonOtto Kruger
1954Medallion TheatreTV Series  Jackie CooperClaude RainsEddie Albert
1954SuspenseTV Series  Rex MarshallRobert EmhardtJohn Baragrey
1954Ponds TheaterTV Series  Harry TownesMildred Dunnock
1954Repertory TheatreTV Series  Bert LytellJay Jackson
1956Crowded ParadiseMovie Marc ConnellyHume CronynFrank Silvera
1956The Kaiser Aluminum HourTV Series  Alexander ScourbyWilliam ShatnerLarry Gates
1956The Bad SeedMovieMervyn LeRoyJohn Lee MahinMaxwell AndersonPatty McCormackHenry Jones (actor)
1953-1956Studio One in HollywoodTV Series  Betty Furness
1957Playhouse 90TV Series  Dick JoyCharles BickfordKim Hunter
1957Climax!TV Series  William LundiganArt GilmoreMary Costa
1957SuspicionTV Series  Dennis O'KeefeMike Ragan
1958Alcoa TheatreTV Series  Jack LemmonDavid NivenRobert Ryan
1959The Ed Sullivan ShowTV Series  Ed SullivanJohnny WayneFrank Shuster
1962ThrillerTV Series  Boris KarloffHenry Daniell
1962Sam BenedictTV Series  Edmond O'BrienRichard RustJoan Tompkins
1963The Alfred Hitchcock HourTV Series  Alfred Hitchcock
1974Medical CenterTV Series  James Daly (actor)Chad Everett
1975The ImpostorTV MovieEdward M. Abroms Paul HechtMeredith Baxter
1975BronkTV Series  Jack PalanceHenry BeckmanTony King
1977Murder at the World SeriesTV MovieAndrew V. McLaglen Lynda Day GeorgeMurray HamiltonKaren Valentine
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Jul 2019. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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