||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
Dusay (left) in a still from the TV series Star Trek
|Born||Marjorie Ellen Pivonka Mahoney
February 20, 1936
Russell, Kansas, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Thomas Perine (1967 - May 15, 1987; his death)
John Murray Dusay (1956-67; divorced); 2 children
Marj Dusay (/ /; born Marjorie Ellen Pivonka Mahoney on February 20, 1936, Russell, Kansas) is an American actress known for her roles on American soap operas. She is especially known for her role as Alexandra Spaulding on Guiding Light, a role she played on and off, from 1993 through the show's 2009 cancellation.
Dusay started her career with a small role as a waitress alongside Elvis Presley in the film Clambake in 1967. In 1968, Dusay played a special agent in the TV series Hawaii Five-O in an episode titled "Twenty-Four Carat Kill", as well as appearing three times as seductive temptresses on Hogan's Heroes.
She made numerous guest appearances on popular television shows in the late 1960s/1970s. She played alien "Kara" in "Spock's Brain", the first third-season episode of Star Trek. Dusay is a popular guest at Star Trek fan conventions, often appearing with personal friend and fellow Star Trek actor Michael Dante. She appeared on Daniel Boone in its 1969 episode "Benvenuto... Who?" as a beautiful French diamond thief named Eugenie. She starred as Jean MacArthur in the 1977 film MacArthur, and guest-starred as Blair Warner's mother, Monica Warner, on The Facts of Life. In 1982, she appeared as Kate Hanrahan, a madam/con artist, in several episodes of Bret Maverick, starring James Garner.
Already an established actress when she began her long career on daytime, she made her soap debut in April of 1983 replacing Carolyn Jones as the powerful Washington D.C. matriarch Myrna Clegg on Capitol which she played through the final episode in March of 1987. She then took over for Shirley Ann Field as the troubled "Pamela Pepperidge Capwell Conrad" on Santa Barbara from 1987–88 and in 1991. In 1993, she filled in for Louise Sorel as "Vivian Alamain" on Days of Our Lives while Sorel was on leave. After a nationwide search for an actress to take over for the enormously popular Beverlee McKinsey, Marj began as Alexandra Spaulding on Guiding Light in August of 1993, remaining on the show until March of 1997. She returned for a brief stint from November 1998-February 1999, but couldn't resist the chance to create her own part. Marj finally originated a soap role as the evil Vanessa Bennett on All My Children from 1999-2002. After Vanessa's supposed demise, Marj was convinced to come back to "GL", this time replacing Joan Collins. In late May 2005, Dusay was one of several cast members taken off contract on "GL" due to budget cuts. The show later asked her to remain with the show on recurring status. CBS announced that Guiding Light was being cancelled on April 1, 2009, with the last show set to air in September. She appeared in Guiding Light's final episode, which aired on September 18, 2009.
Partial TV and filmography
- Guiding Light as Alexandra Spaulding #2 (1993-1997, 1998-1999, 2002–2009)
- All My Children as Vanessa Bennett Hayward Cortlandt (1999–2002)
- Days of Our Lives as Vivian Alamain (1993) (temporary replacement)
- Replaced Louise Sorel while she was away
- Made in Heaven as Mrs. Packert (1987)
- Santa Barbara as Pamela Capwell Conrad (1987-1988, 1991)
- Dallas as Bernice Billings (29 March 1985)
- Capitol as Myrna Clegg (1983–1987)
- The Facts of Life as Monica Warner (1981–1987) (recurring)
- Stop Susan Williams! as Jennifer Selden (1979)
- MacArthur as Jean MacArthur (1977)
- Breezy as Betty Tobin (1973)
- McMillan and Wife episode "The Face of Murder" (1972)
- Pendulum as Liz Tennant (1969)
- Sweet November as Carol (1968)
- Clambake as Waitress (1967)
- The Wild Wild West episode "Night of the Turncoat" as Crystal Fair (1967)
- (2002) Special Fan Award America's Favorite Villain for playing Vanessa Cortlandt on All My Children
- (1995) Daytime Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Guiding Light
- (1995) Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Villainess for Guiding Light
- (1988) Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role: Daytime for Capitol
- (1986) Soap Opera Digest Award Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role on a Daytime Serial for Capitol