Dorothy Stickney

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Dorothy Stickney
Dorothy Stickney.jpg
Born Dorothy Hayes Stickney
(1896-06-21)June 21, 1896
Dickinson, North Dakota, U.S.
Died June 2, 1998(1998-06-02) (aged 101)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Stage, film, television actress
Years active 1931-1977
Spouse(s) Howard Lindsay (m.1927-1968; his death)

Dorothy Stickney (June 21, 1896 – June 2, 1998) was a Broadway actress best known for appearing in the long running Life with Father.


Born in Dickinson, North Dakota, Stickney attended the North Western Dramatic School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She sang and danced as one of the four Southern Belles in vaudeville and began acting in summer stock companies including Atlanta's Forsyth Players in the early 1920s before she married Howard Lindsay, to whom she would stay married until his death, 41 years later.

Stickney made her Broadway debut in 1926 in The Squall and had a string of hits, frequently playing eccentric characters. She was Liz, the mad scrubwoman, in the original nonmusical version of Chicago, and Mollie Molloy, who dives out of the pressroom window, in The Front Page. With increasingly important roles, she moved on to Philip Goes Forth, Another Language, On Borrowed Time, The Small Hours, To Be Continued and The Honeys.

Stickney received the Barter Award for Best Performance of the Year in 1940 for her role as "Vinnie" in Life with Father, which had been written by her husband, Lindsay, who also co-starred. The award was presented to her by Eleanor Roosevelt.

She also appeared in some films and TV programs, and wrote several poems including "You're Not the Type" and "My Dressing Room". She played the Queen in the original 1957 TV production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, and later Aunt Abby in the 1962 Hallmark TV production of Arsenic and Old Lace, with Boris Karloff.

In 1961 she was the second inductee of the North Dakota Roughrider Award. On November 16, 1966, Stickney appeared on ABC's Stage 67 anthology program in Stephen Sondheim's macabre television musical, "Evening Primrose", as Mrs. Monday, the leader of the mannequins who come to life every evening in a department store. One of her last stage roles was as Berthe in the original Broadway run of Pippin in 1976-77. She took over the role from Irene Ryan who died during the run. She also created the role of Emily Baldwin, one of the Baldwin sisters, in the television film The Homecoming : A Christmas Story, which was the pilot for The Waltons TV series.

She died a few weeks before her 102nd birthday in New York City. She had no children and was survived by no immediate family members.[1]


  1. ^ Gussow, Mel. "Dorothy Stickney Dies at 101; Acted in Many Broadway Hits", The New York Times, June 3, 1998. Accessed December 1, 2007.

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