Nancy Lou Marchand
June 19, 1928
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 18, 2000 (aged 71)|
Stratford, Connecticut, U.S.
|Education||Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)|
(m. 1951; died 1999)
Nancy Lou Marchand (June 19, 1928 – June 18, 2000) was an American actress. She began her career in theatre in 1951. She was most famous for her television portrayals of Margaret Pynchon on Lou Grant and Livia Soprano on The Sopranos.
Marchand was born in Buffalo, New York, to Raymond L. Marchand, a dentist, and his wife, Marjorie Freeman Marchand, a pianist. She was raised Methodist. She graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949. She studied theatre at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York City.
An accomplished 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 Liars, 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 handily for Mornings 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 memorably starred as matriarch Edith Cushing on Lovers and Friends, a short-lived soap opera.
On prime time television, Marchand was renowned for her roles as patrician 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 The Bachelor Party (1957), Ladybug Ladybug, Me, Natalie, Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, The Hospital, The Bostonians, Jefferson in Paris, Brain Donors, Reckless, The Naked Gun, Sabrina, Dear God, and From the Hip (1987).
Marchand suffered from both lung cancer and emphysema and died on June 18, 2000, a day before her 72nd birthday, in Stratford, Connecticut. Her character's death was written into the third season story line of The Sopranos. Her husband, actor Paul Sparer, had died the previous year at 75, also from cancer. The couple had three children: Katie, an actress, David (Rosebud), a lawyer, and Rachel Sparer Bersier, an opera singer. Marchand was posthumously inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
|1957||The Bachelor Party||Mrs. Julie Samson|
|1963||Ladybug Ladybug||Mrs. Andrews|
|1969||Me, Natalie||Edna Miller|
|1970||Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon||Nurse Oxford|
|1971||The Hospital||Mrs. Christie|
|1984||The Bostonians||Mrs. Burrage|
|1987||From the Hip||Roberta Winnaker|
|1988||The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!||Mayor Barkley|
|1992||Brain Donors||Lillian Oglethorpe|
|1995||Jefferson in Paris||Madame Abbesse|
|1996||Dear God||Judge Kits Van Heynigan|
|1950||Westinghouse Studio One||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 Theatre||Phyllis||Episode: "Two for Tea"|
|1954||Pond's Theater||Charlotte||4 episodes|
|1957||Studio One in Hollywood||Eleanor||Episode: "Rudy"|
|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||Playhouse 90||Mrs. Yarbrough||Episode: "The Hidden Image"|
|1959||NBC Sunday Showcase||Mrs. Clegg||Episode: "The Indestructible Mr. Gore"|
|1959||R.C.M.P.||Gerta Boyd||Episode: "Little Girl Lost"|
|1959||The Bells of St. Mary's||Sister Michael||TV movie|
|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"|
|1964||The Defenders||Rhoda Banter||Episode: "Hollow Triumph"|
|1972||Look Homeward, Angel||Madame Elizabeth||TV movie|
|1975||Beacon Hill||Mary Lassiter||13 episodes|
|1976||Another World||Theresa Lamonte||Unknown episodes|
|1977–1982||Lou Grant||Margaret Pynchon||99 episodes|
|1977||Soldier's Home||Mrs. Krebs||TV movie|
|1983||Sparkling Cyanide||Lucilla Drake||TV movie|
|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|
|1990–1992||Coach||Marlene Watkins||2 episodes|
|1992||Law & Order||Mrs. Barbara Ryder||Episode: "Blood Is Thicker"|
|1992||Night Court||Louise Cahill||2 episodes|
|1993||Crossroads||Aunt Dorothy||Episode: "The Nickel Curve"|
|1994||Homicide: Life on the Street||Lorraine Freeman||Episode: "All Through the House"|
|1999–2000||The Sopranos||Livia Soprano||21 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|1978||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Lou Grant||Won|
|1994||Tony Awards||Best Actress in a Play||The White Liars & Black Comedy||Nominated|
|1999||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||The Sopranos||Nominated|
|1999||Viewers for Quality Televisions||Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series||Nominated|
|2000||Golden Globe Awards||Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film||Won|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Won|
- HB Studio Alumni
- 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.
- Kaplan, Don (June 20, 2000). "'Sopranos' mom loses her fight for life". New York Post. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- "Theater family comes together to celebrate Hall of Fame honorees". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 12, 2014.