Nunn in 1965
|Born||Alice Elizabeth Nunn
October 27, 1927
|Died||July 1, 1988
West Hollywood, California
|Resting place||Old Jacksonville City Cemetery, Florida|
|Years active||1956 - 1987|
Alice Elizabeth Nunn (October 10, 1927 – July 1, 1988) was an American film and theatre actress. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida and died at her apartment in West Hollywood, California. Although she played many roles across her 31-year career, she is primarily remembered for her role as Large Marge, the scary truck driver, in Tim Burton's 1985 film Pee-wee's Big Adventure, which is number 5 on the IFC list of the 25 scariest moments in non-horror film history.
Life and career
Alice Nunn was born in Jacksonville in 1927. Her parents were N.G. Nunn and Alice Bush. She showed an early interest in the performing arts and took part in school productions of My Sister Eileen. She studied at the Wesleyan Conservatory and School of Fine Arts. Subsequently she attended the American Theater Wing. She did some radio work and she finally got an acting part in New Faces of 1956. She also played in the theatre alongside Shelley Berman and Nancy Walker.
She became a character actress and first appeared on television in episodes of Petticoat Junction...1967's episode "Shoplifter at the Shady Rest" (as Mrs. Benson), 1968's episode "Mae's Helping Hand", as well as 1969's episodes "The Other Woman" (as Mrs. Birdwell) and "Kathy Joe's First Birthday Party" (as the 'Lady with wallet').
She went on to appear in numerous sitcoms such as Camp Runamuck where she played Mahala May Gruenecker, the head counselor of Camp Divine, and the chief opponent of Commander Wivenhoe played by series star Arch Johnson. In her sitcom appearances during the 1960s, Nunn often played strong-willed and edgy women but in a humorous vein.
Nunn's first film appearance was in 1971 in Johnny Got His Gun, where she played the role of a nurse. She was a regular cast member of the Tony Orlando and Dawn variety show and played small parts in films such as the "Fat Lady" in Mame in 1974 and Airport 1975 where she appeared as the "Passenger with a Dog". In 1978, she appeared as Mrs. Callahan in Brian De Palma's The Fury. In 1980, she played the role of Duffy the Cook in Alan Beattie's slasher/mystery Delusion (Also known as The House Where Death Lives), with Patricia Pearcy and Joseph Cotten. In 1981, she played the role of the maid Helga in Mommie Dearest.
Her most memorable role was as Large Marge, a truck driver who frightens Pee-wee Herman in the 1985 film Pee-wee's Big Adventure, providing one of the scariest moments in non-horror film history. In the 1986 film Trick or Treat, she played Mrs. Sylvia Cavell, and in 1987, she appeared in Who's That Girl with Madonna. Her last role was that of Nurse Palmer in the 1987 film Three O'Clock High.
- Johnny Got His Gun (1971) - Third Nurse
- The Steagle (1971) - Mrs. Furst (uncredited)
- Mame (1974) - Fat Lady
- Airport 1975 (1974) - Passenger with Dog (uncredited)
- Snakes (1974) - Sis
- The Fury (1978) - Mrs. Callahan
- The Fifth Floor (1978) - Emma
- Delusion (1981) - Duffy
- Mommie Dearest (1981) - Helga
- Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) - Large Marge
- Thrashin' (1986) - Truck Driver (uncredited)
- Trick or Treat (1986) - Mrs. Sylvia Cavell
- Who's That Girl (1987) - Woman Parole Member
- Three O'Clock High (1987) - Nurse Palmer
- imdb bio
- by Bruce Eder critic of All Movie Guide via Hollywood.com
- "Large Marge": #5 scariest moment from the list of the "25 Scariest Moments in Non-Horror Movies" at IFC.com
- NY Times Movie Review The Fury (1978) March 15, 1978 Film: De Palma Mixes Genres in 'Fury': Psyching a Spy By Vincent Canby, March 15, 1978