June 19, 1928|
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 18, 2000
Stratford, Connecticut, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Paul Sparer (1951–1999); 3 children|
Nancy Marchand (June 19, 1928 – June 18, 2000) was an American actress, whose career encompassed both stage and screen. Standing almost 6 feet tall, she began her career in theatre in 1951. She was perhaps most famous for her television portrayals of Margaret Pynchon on Lou Grant and Livia Soprano on The Sopranos.
A member of The Actors Studio, Marchand made her Broadway debut in The Taming of the Shrew in 1951. Additional theatre credits include The Merchant of Venice, Love's Labour's Lost, Much Ado About Nothing, Forty Carats, And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little, The Plough and the Stars, The Glass Menagerie, Morning's at Seven, Awake and Sing!, The Octette Bridge Club, Love Letters, Man and Superman, The Importance of Being Earnest, The School for Scandal, The Balcony, for which she won a Distinguished Performance Obie Award, and Black Comedy/White Lies, for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. She was nominated four times for the Drama Desk Award, winning for Morning's at Seven. She won a second Obie for her performance in A. R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour.
On daytime television, Marchand created the roles of Vinnie Phillips on the CBS soap opera, Love of Life and Theresa Lamonte on the NBC soap, Another World. She also starred as matriarch, Edith Cushing, on Lovers and Friends, a short-lived soap opera.
On prime time television, Marchand was known for her roles of autocratic newspaper publisher Margaret Pynchon on Lou Grant—winning four Emmy Awards as Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series for her performance —and matriarch Livia Soprano, mother of Tony Soprano, on the HBO series The Sopranos, which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. She appeared in many anthology series in the early days of television, including The Philco Television Playhouse (on which she starred in Marty opposite Rod Steiger), Kraft Television Theatre, Studio One, and Playhouse 90. Additional television credits include The Law and Mr. Jones, Spenser: For Hire, Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, Coach, and Night Court. She played Hester Crane, mother of Frasier Crane, on an episode of Cheers.
Marchand's feature film credits include Ladybug Ladybug, Me, Natalie, Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, The Hospital, The Bostonians, Jefferson in Paris, The Bachelor Party (1957), Brain Donors, Reckless, The Naked Gun, Sabrina, Dear God, and From the Hip (1986).
Marchand died from lung cancer and emphysema on 18 June 2000, the day before what would have been her 72nd birthday in Stratford, Connecticut. As a result, her character's death was written into the third season story line of The Sopranos. Her husband of 48 years, actor Paul Sparer (1923–1999), had died the previous year, also from cancer. The couple had three children, Katie, an actress who lives in Stratford; David (Rosebud) a lawyer, of Madison, Wis.; and Rachel Sparer Bersier, an opera singer of Manhattan.
|1950||Studio One in Hollywood||Jo March||2 episodes|
|1951||Lux Video Theatre||Joan||Episode: "Forever Walk Free"|
|1951–1958||Kraft Theatre||Abby||9 episodes|
|1953||Studio One in Hollywood||Miss Marmon||Episode: "The Hospital"|
|1953||The Philco Television Playhouse||Clara||Episode: "Marty"|
|1953||Lux Video Theater||Phyllis||Episode: "Two for Tea"|
|1954||Ponds Theater||Charlotte||4 episodes|
|1957||Studio One in Hollywood||Eleanor||Episode: "Rudy"|
|1957||The Bachelor Party||Mrs. Julie Samson|
|1957||The United States Steel Hour||Gen Arnold||Episode: "Windfall"|
|1957||Shirley Temple's Storybook||Queen||Episode: "The Sleeping Beauty"|
|1958||Playhouse 90||Sylvia Sands||Episode: "Free Weekend"|
|1959||Armstrong Circle Theatre||Mrs. Howard Jones||Episode: "Miracle at Spring Hill"|
|1959||The Bells of St. Mary's||Sister Michael||Television movie|
|1959||Playhouse 90||Mrs. Yarbrough||Episode: "The Hidden Image"|
|1959||Sunday Showcase||Mrs. Clegg||Episode: "The Indestructible Mr. Gore"|
|1959||R.C.M.P.||Gerta Boyd||Episode: "Little Girl Lost"|
|1960||Play of the Week||Margaret||2 episodes|
|1960||The Law and Mr. Jones||Dorothy||Episode: "The Long Echo"|
|1961||The Defenders||Mrs. Crile||Episode: "The Attack"|
|1962||Naked City||Esther Lindall||Episode: "The Multiplicity of Herbert Konish"|
|1963||Ladybug Ladybug||Mrs. Andrews|
|1964||The Defenders||Rhoda Banter||Episode: "Hollow Triumph"|
|1969||Me, Natalie||Mrs. Miller|
|1971||The Hospital||Mrs. Christie|
|1972||Look Homeward, Angel||Madame Elizabeth||Television movie|
|1977–1982||Lou Grant||Margaret Pynchon||114 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1978, 1980–1982)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
|1983||Sparkling Cyanide||Lucilla Drake||Television movie|
|1984||The Bostonians||Mrs. Burrage|
|1984||Cheers||Dr. Hester Crane||Episode: "Diane Meets Mom"|
|1986||Spenser: For Hire||Emily Garden||Episode: "In a Safe Place"|
|1986||North and South, Book II||Dorothea Dix||6 episodes|
|1987||From the Hip||Roberta Winnaker|
|1988||From the Files of Police Squad!||Mayor|
|1990–1992||Coach||Marlene Watkins||2 episodes|
|1992||Law & Order||Mrs. Barbara Ryder||Episode: "Blood Is Thicker"|
|1992||Night Court||Louise Cahill||2 episodes|
|1992||Brain Donors||Lillian Oglethorpe|
|1993||Crossroads||Aunt Dorothy||Episode: "The Nickel Curve"|
|1994||Homicide: Life on the Street||Lorraine Freeman||Episode: "All Through the House"|
|1995||Jefferson in Paris||Madame Abbesse|
|1999–2000||The Sopranos||Livia Soprano||22 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1999–2000)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
- Nancy Marchand at Find a Grave
- Nancy Marchand at the Internet Broadway Database
- Nancy Marchand at the Internet Movie Database
- Nancy Marchand at the Internet Off-Broadway Database