Lois Nettleton

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Lois Nettleton
Lois Nettleton 4 crop.jpg
Lois Nettleton at the 1989 Emmy Awards.
Born Lois June Nettleton
(1927-08-16)August 16, 1927
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
Died January 18, 2008(2008-01-18) (aged 80)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of death Lung cancer
Resting place Saint Raymond's Cemetery, Bronx, New York City
Other names Lydia Scott
Years active 1949–2008
Spouse(s) Jean Shepherd (1960–1967; divorced)

Lois June Nettleton (August 16, 1927 – January 18, 2008)[1] was an American film, stage, radio, and television actress.


Lois Nettleton was born on August 16, 1927 in Oak Park, Illinois to Virginia and Edward L. Nettleton. She was Miss Chicago of 1948 as well as a semifinalist at the Miss America 1948 Pageant.[2] Her professional acting career began in 1949. She understudied Barbara Bel Geddes in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and first appeared on television in a 1954 episode of Captain Video.[3]



Nettleton played Patsy in the radio soap opera The Brighter Day.[4]

Television/Emmy Award nominations[edit]

She performed in dozens of guest-starring roles on television shows. Early roles included The Twilight Zone (episode "The Midnight Sun", 1961); Naked City; Route 66; Mr. Novak; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (episode "The Dark Pool", 1963); The Eleventh Hour; Dr. Kildare; Twelve O'Clock High; The Fugitive; The F.B.I.; Bonanza; Gunsmoke; The Virginian and Daniel Boone.[5] In 1973 she appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Lou Grant'a new boss, Barbara Coleman, where she had a crush on Mr. Grant. She appeared in the pilot episode of The Eddie Capra Mysteries in 1978, as well as hit TV miniseries such as Washington: Behind Closed Doors and Centennial, as the murderous Maude Wendell.

In 1987, she portrayed the role of Penny VanderHof Sycamore on the TV series version of the classic Kaufman and Hart comedy play You Can't Take It with You with Harry Morgan and Richard Sanders. She was a regular celebrity guest on various versions of the game show Pyramid from the 1970s through 1991.[5]

Nettleton won two Emmy Awards during her career. She won one for her role as Susan B. Anthony in the television film The American Woman: Profiles in Courage (1977), and for "A Gun For Mandy" (1983), which was an episode of the religious anthology, Insight. She received an Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" for an episode of The Golden Girls. She also received Emmy nominations for her work in the TV movie Fear on Trial (1975) ("Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special") and for a recurring role on the series In the Heat of the Night, in 1989 ("Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series"). Nettleton appeared in a 2006 Christmas TV movie special, The Christmas Card.


A life member of The Actors Studio,[6] Nettleton made her Broadway debut in the 1949 production of Dalton Trumbo's play, The Biggest Thief in Town using the name "Lydia Scott."[7] She appeared in a 1959 off-Broadway production of Look Charlie, which was written by her future husband, humorist Jean Shepherd.

She received critical praise for her performance as Blanche DuBois in a 1973 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Nettleton was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as "Amy" in a 1976 revival of They Knew What They Wanted. Other stage credits include Broadway productions of Darkness at Noon and Silent Night, Lonely Night.[8] She continued to act onstage into her seventies. Her final stage performance was in 2004, in an off-Broadway play, How to Build a Better Tulip.


In her later years, she did several voice roles for Disney, such as Disney's House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains (as Maleficent), and Herc's Adventures. She appeared in episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1957 A Face in the Crowd Mr. Mason's Nurse (Uncredited)
1962 Period of Adjustment Dorothea Bates
1963 Come Fly with Me Hilda 'Bergie' Bergstrom
1964 Mail Order Bride Annie Boley
1968 The Bamboo Saucer Anna Karachev
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys Mary
1970 Pigeon Mildred
Dirty Dingus Magee Prudence Frost
1972 The Honkers Linda Lathrop
1975 The Man in the Glass Booth Miriam Rosen
1976 Echoes of a Summer Ruth Striden
1981 Deadly Blessing Louisa Stohler
Soggy Bottom, U.S.A. Molly
1982 Butterfly Belle Morgan
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Dulcie Mae
1994 Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance Sister Marion
2001 Mickey's House of Villains Maleficent Video


Year Title Role Notes
1949-56 Studio One in Hollywood Bertha Randall / Mona 3 Episodes: Flowers from a Stranger, The Willow Cabin, An Incident of Love
1953 Man Against Crime Ethel 1 Episode: Murder Mountain
1954 Captain Video and His Video Rangers 1 Episode: The Enemy from Within
1954-57 The Brighter Day Patsy Dennis
1955-58 Camera Three Emily Dickinson / Akulina 3 Episodes: The Forty-Niners, The Rendezvous, Emily Dickinson: Portrait of a Poet
1956 The Big Story Jean 1 Episode: Ex-Convict
1958 Armstrong Circle Theatre 2 Episodes: The Mummy Complex, Accused of Murder
Kraft Theatre Beth / Sarah 2 Episodes: Now Will You Try for Murder?, Presumption of Innocence
Decoy Lois Bergen 2 Episodes: Deadly Corridor, Ladies Man
1959 Meet Me in St. Louis Lucille Ballard TV Movie
Brenner 1 Episode: One of Our Own
The United States Steel Hour Jan Livingston 1 Episode: Seed of Guilt
True Story Sue Richards 1 Episode: 12 September 1959
Summer of Decision Receptionist TV Movie
Captain David Grief Rosita Molina 1 Episode: The Gun Runner
1960 Startime 1 Episode: Mr. Arcularis
Dow Hour of Great Mysteries Laura / Anne Catherick 1 Episode: The Woman in White
The Play of the Week Mary / Abigail Sarclet 2 Episodes: Duet for Two Hands, Emmanuel
1960-62 Naked City Sara / Marie Marianni / Fran Burney / Merissa Mori 4 Episodes: Debt of Honor, To Dream Without Sleep, Show Me the Way to Go Home, A Run for the Money
1961 Encounter Lise 1 Episode: The Neighbour
Great Ghost Tales 1 Episode: Mr. Arcularis
The Twilight Zone Norma 1 Episode: The Midnight Sun
1961-63 Route 66 Isabelle / Jahala West / Susan 3 Episodes: The Opponent; Some of the People, Some of the Time; Suppose I Said I Was the Queen of Spain
1961-67 Gunsmoke Amy Todd / Nina Sharkey 2 Episodes: Nina's Revenge, The Returning
1962 The DuPont Show of the Week Jennifer Graham 1 Episode: The Shadowed Affair
1963 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Dianne Castillejo 1 Episode: The Dark Pool
The Eleventh Hour Ruth 1 Episode: Oh, You Shouldn't Have Done It
East Side/West Side Ann Severson 1 Episode: No Hiding Place
1963-64 The Nurses Ella Johnson / Molly Kane 2 Episodes: The Guilt of Molly Kane, A Messenger to Everyone
1964-65 Dr. Kildare Lisa Dowling / Hildy Pochek 2 Episodes: Speak Not in Angry Whispers; My Name Is Lisa, and I Am Lost
1964-66 The Fugitive Marcia Stone / Susan Cartwright / Lucey Russell 3 Episodes: Man on a String, In a Plain Paper Wrapper, Death Is the Door Prize
1965 Mr. Novak Jean Corcoran 1 Episode: Where Is There to Go, Billie, But Up?
Twelve O'Clock High Susan Nesbit 1 Episode: Show Me a Hero, I'll Show You a Bum
1965-68 Bonanza Elizabeth Ann Clauson 2 Episodes: The Pursued: Part 1 & 2
1966-70 The F.B.I. Elizabeth Colling / Catherine Fossburg 2 Episodes: Vendetta, The Innocents
1967 Valley of Mystery Rita Brown TV Movie
1968 Daniel Boone Sulie 1 Episode: The Bait
Macbeth Lady Macbeth TV Movie
1968-70 The Name of the Game Laura Garver / Ruth Prochek 2 Episodes: The Taker, All the Old Familiar Faces
1969 Any Second Now Nancy Dennison TV Movie
The Outsider April Endby 1 Episode: Periwinkle Blue
Then Came Bronson Barbara Timmons 1 Episode: All the World and God
The Bold Ones: The New Doctors Laura Michaels 1 Episode: And Those Unborn
1970 Bracken's World Eva Sanders 1 Episode: Nude Scene
Weekend of Terror Sister Ellen TV Movie
1970-76 Medical Center Maj. Annie Malone / Katie Height / Dr. Annie Claymor 5 Episodes
1971 The Interns Jeanne / Jenny 1 Episode: Metamorphosis
The Forgotten Man Anne Wilson TV Movie
Terror in the Sky Janet Turner TV Movie
The Man and the City Jennifer Wilson 1 Episode: Jennifer
1972 Women in Chains Sandra Parker / Sally Porter TV Movie
Night Gallery Moira 1 Episode: I'll Never Leave You - Ever/There Aren't Any More MacBanes
Cannon Linda Dean 1 Episode: The Shadow Man
1973 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Barbara Coleman 1 Episode: What Do You Do When the Boss Says "I Love You"
1974 The ABC Afternoon Playbreak Jennifer Clifton 1 Episode: Last Bride of Salem
Movin' On Karen 1 Episode: Life Line
Marcus Welby, M.D. Mary Anderson 1 Episode: Child of Silence
Barnaby Jones Ellen Blazeford 1 Episode: Death on Deposit
1975 Kung Fu Delonia Cantrell 2 Episodes: Barbary House, Flight to Orion
Petrocelli Gloria 1 Episode: A Night of Terror
Fear on Trial Nan Claybourne TV Movie
Hawaii Five-O Chelsea Merriman 1 Episode: Sing a Song of Suspence
1976 The American Woman: Portraits of Courage Susan B. Anthony TV Movie
1977 All That Glitters Christina Stockwood 65 Episodes
The Streets of San Francisco Carolyn Blake 1 Episode: Interlude
Washington: Behind Closed Doors Linda Martin 6 Episodes
1978 The Eddie Capra Mysteries 1 Episode: Nightmare at Pendragon Castle
1978-79 Centennial Maude Wendell 10 Episodes
1980 The Love Boat Susan Stoddard 1 Episode: Celebration/Captain Papa/Honeymoon Pressure
Tourist Terry Carrell TV Movie
1982 Trapper John, M.D. Janet Weems 1 Episode: Three on a Mismatch
Insight Joanna / Mandy 2 Episodes: A Gun for Mandy, So Little Time
1984 Glitter Sister Abigail 1 Episode: A Minor Miricle
1984-91 Murder, She Wrote Ginny Blanchard / Deidre French / Amelia 3 Episodes: Lovers and Other Killers, Mourning Among the Wisterias, Terminal Connection
1985 Finder of Lost Loves Helen Sanderson 1 Episode: From the Heart
Hotel Cheryl Pomeroy 1 Episode: Lost and Found
Brass Claire Willis TV Movie
1986 Manhunt for Claude Dallas Dee Pogue TV Movie
The Golden Girls Jean 1 Episode: Isn't It Romantic?
1986-87 The Facts of Life Noreen Stickle / Radio Voice 2 Episodes: Ready or Not, Ex Marks the Spot
1987 Cagney & Lacey Faith Dewey 1 Episode: Divine Couriers
1987-88 You Can't Take It with You Penny Vanderhof Sycamore 3 Episodes: Like Mother, Like Son; The Trial of Martin Vanderhof; For Whom the Phone Rings
1988 Mr. Belvedere Barbara Collins 1 Episode: Black Widow
1988-89 In the Heat of the Night Joanne St. John 22 Episodes
1989 The Munsters Today Ms. Jessica Bowton 1 Episode: Eau de Munster
1990 The Flash Belle Crocker 1 Episode: Ghost in the Machine
1991 Full House Nedra Donaldson 2 Episodes: The Wedding: Part 1& 2
1993 Traveler's Rest Joanne TV Short
1994 Seinfeld Mrs. Enright 1 Episode: The Gymnist
Babylon 5 Daggair 1 Episode: Soul Mates
1995 The Cosby Mysteries Mrs. Adams 1 Episode: Last Tango
University Hospital Sarah McCormick 1 Episode: 'Til Death Do Us Part
Coach Lois 1 Episode: Fool for Lunch
Baywatch Nights Frances Sandreen 1 Episode: Bad Blades
1996 The Making of a Hollywood Madam Katherine TV Movie
Charlie Grace Sarah McCormick 1 Episode: I've Got a Secret
1996-98 General Hospital Virginia Benson
1997 Spider-Man Nora 2 Episodes: Partners in Danger Chapter 1: Guilty, Partners in Danger Chapter 2: The Cat
1999 The Pretender Gloria 1 Episode: Risque Business
2001 Crossing Jordan Evelyn 5 Episodes
2002 Disney's House of Mouse Maleficent 1 Episode: Halloween with Hades
2006 The Christmas Card Rosie Spelman TV Movie

Video Games[edit]

Year Title Role
1997 Herc's Adventures Athena

Personal life[edit]

She was the first caller to Jean Shepherd's late-night radio program on WOR, later becoming his third wife. She became a regular guest, known to listeners as "The Caller." They appeared together in Shepherd's off-Broadway play Look, Charlie in 1959, and married in 1960. They divorced seven years later. She never remarried or had children.

Her last public appearance was at the 2007 Twilight Zone Convention, in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, in August 2007.


Nettleton died at the age of 80, from lung cancer, in Woodland Hills, California on January 18, 2008. She was interred in New York City's Saint Raymond's Cemetery.


  1. ^ "Actress Lois Nettleton dies at 80", Variety (Associated Press), January 21, 2008 
  2. ^ Martin, Douglas (January 22, 2008), "Lois Nettleton, 80, Dies; Acted on Stage and TV", The New York Times 
  3. ^ "Captain Video and His Video Rangers: The Enemy from Within, Part 1". IMDb. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 120.
  5. ^ a b c Lois Nettleton at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 279. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. 
  7. ^ IMDB.com Biography of Lois Nettleton
  8. ^ Lois Nettleton at the Internet Broadway Database

External links[edit]