Lois Nettleton Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (12)

Overview (4)

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, USA
Died in Woodland Hills, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameLois June Nettleton
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Consummate and versatile, Lois Nettleton established a distinguished reputation as a star character actress on the stage, in films and on TV during her lengthy career. The former Miss Chicago of 1948 beauty pageant winner and Miss America semifinalist was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Her family was impoverished and her parents divorced early on. Young Lois used make-believe to escape her reality by creating small plays in her backyard which led to an affinity with the idea of acting. At the age of eleven she joined a community theatre and first appeared on local radio and television. Later, she continued her training at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and then studied 'the method' at the Actors' Studio in New York City, eventually making her Broadway debut in Dalton Trumbo's "The Biggest Thief in Town" (1948) using the stage moniker "Lydia Scott" (her given name, she felt, was too plain and sounded "schoolmarmy").

Nettleton was understudy to Barbara Bel Geddes in the role of "Maggie the Cat" in the original 1955 Broadway production of Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer-Prize winning "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", staged by Elia Kazan. Occasionally, she got to play "Maggie", herself. Of her (own personal favourite) role as Blanche DuBois in the 1973 stage production of "A Streetcar Named Desire", New York Times critic Clive Barnes wrote: ""Miss Nettleton plays Blanche as a woman of nearly unshatterable courage." Williams himself called her one of the greatest actresses with whom he had ever worked. Not surprisingly then, that the self-confessed method actress went on to win the prestigious Clarence Derwent Award for her performance in "God and Kate Murphy".

Lois Nettleton was married for seven years to Jean Shepherd, the radio host and television humorist. Nettleton and Shepherd clicked when she called the humorist's nightly radio show at WOR in the 1950s; the beguiled Shepherd broadcast their telephone conversations on the air. They appeared together in Shepherd's off-Broadway play "Look Charlie" in 1959.

While her official film debut came in 1962's adaptation of Tennessee Williams's "Period of Adjustment", Nettleton previously had played a bit part in Elia Kazan's classic A Face in the Crowd (1957), scripted by Budd Schulberg. Nettleton acted in many movies, but most of her major work was on stage and in television, where she appeared in everything from sitcoms to soap operas. In a 1985 interview she referred to herself as 'a gypsy actress', saying "I always wanted to be as different in everything as possible". Consistently selective, on the lookout for 'interesting' characters and mature roles to play, she tackled pretty much every genre -- even playing one of Londo Mollari's wives in Babylon 5 (1994) . She gave a particularly fine performances in the classic 1961 "Midnight Sun" episode of The Twilight Zone (1959). Her own personal favourite screen role was as an Israeli prosecutor (opposite Maximilian Schell) in the American Film Theater production of The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) . Roger Ebert for the New York Times wrote "She has a steadiness and intelligence and doesn't back down. She's the closest thing the film has to a moral center." A charming and gracious actress, Nettleton was six-times nominated for Emmy Awards. She won twice for her TV work: for the daytime special The American Woman: Portraits of Courage (1976), and for "A Gun for Mandy" (1983), an episode of the syndicated religious anthology Insight (1960).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Jean Shepherd (3 December 1960 - 1967) ( divorced)

Trivia (12)

She was the first caller to Jean Shepherd's late-night radio program on WOR-AM. He answered the call on the air and she became a frequent guest, known to listeners as "The Caller". Together, they created the call-in radio show.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1976 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for "They Knew What They Wanted."
Miss Chicago 1948
Semi-finalist at the 1948 Miss America Pageant
Attended the 2006 Twilight Zone Convention at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, August 12-13, 2006.
Was making up her own mini-plays and acting them out in her backyard at age 7.
Attended the 2007 Twilight Zone Convention at the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, August 4-5, 2007.
Daughter of Edward and Virginia Nettleton.
In 1959, Lois won a Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Performance by a non-featured actress for "God and Kate Murphy".
Lois was a consummate theatrical performer, on record stating, that she would have preferred treading the boards of the New York stage to acting in television. However, the need to looking after her ailing mother in Los Angeles in the end overrode all personal concerns.
She is buried at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.
She was a lifelong liberal Democrat.

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