Hope Lange

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Hope Lange

in Peyton Place (1957)
BornHope Elise Ross Lange
(1933-11-28)November 28, 1933
Redding, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedDecember 19, 2003(2003-12-19) (aged 70)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Resting placeCremated
Years active1942–1998
Spouse(s)Don Murray (1956–1961)
Alan J. Pakula (1963–1971)
Charles Hollerith, Jr. (1986–2003)
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Hope Lange

in Peyton Place (1957)
BornHope Elise Ross Lange
(1933-11-28)November 28, 1933
Redding, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedDecember 19, 2003(2003-12-19) (aged 70)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Resting placeCremated
Years active1942–1998
Spouse(s)Don Murray (1956–1961)
Alan J. Pakula (1963–1971)
Charles Hollerith, Jr. (1986–2003)

Hope Elise Ross Lange (November 28, 1933 – December 19, 2003)[1] was an American film, stage, and television actress.


Early life

A 15-year-old Hope Lange modeling the "Man-from-Mars, Radio Hat", 1949

Lange was born into a theatrical family in Redding, Connecticut.[2] Her father, John George Lange (1885–1942), was a cellist and the music arranger for Florenz Ziegfeld and conductor for Henry Cohen; her mother, Minette (née Buddecke) (1898–1970), was an actress.[3] They had three daughters, Minelda (1922–2004), Joy, (1927–2007), and Hope, and a son, David.[4][5][6] John worked in New York City and the family moved to Greenwich Village when Hope was a young child.

Hope sang with other children in the play Life, Laughter and Tears, which opened at the Booth Theatre in March 1942.[7] At age 9, Lange had a speaking part in the award-winning Broadway play The Patriots, which opened in January 1943.[8][9]

John Lange died in September 1942 but the family stayed in New York City.[10] Minette ran a restaurant on Macdougal Street near Washington Square Park from 1944 to 1956.[3] The name was "Minette's of Washington Square", although some sources confuse it with "Minetta Tavern", an Italian restaurant on Macdougal Street founded in 1937. The entire family worked in the restaurant; the oldest daughter, Minelda, ran the cash register while Joy and Hope waited on tables.[11][12]

While attending high school; Lange studied dance, modeled, and worked in the family restaurant. She sometimes walked the dog of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who had a nearby apartment.[13] When her photo appeared in the newspaper, she received an offer to work as a New York City advertising model.[14] She appeared on the June 1949 cover of Radio-Electronics magazine wearing the "Man from Mars" Radio Hat. This portable radio built into a pith helmet was a sensation in 1949.[15]

Lange attended college for two years at Reed College in Oregon and at Barmore Junior College in New York. She met her future husband, Don Murray, at Barmore.[16]


She began working in television in the 1950s with appearances on Kraft Television Theatre, which caught the eye of a Hollywood producer. Lange came to prominence in her first film role in Bus Stop with Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray, whom she married on April 14, 1956. Murray later said that Monroe grew jealous of another blonde being hired for the movie and asked the studio producers to dye Lange's blonde hair light brown.[2]

Hope Lange in Death Wish (1974).

As a result of favorable reviews, Lange landed a major role in the then-risqué 1957 film Peyton Place. Her strong performance earned her a nomination for a Golden Globe Award and another for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She would become a rather well-recognized supporting actress of ingénue roles. Lange later said that she became somewhat typecast in her ingénue film appearances and this is why her movie career was short-lived.[17]

She went on to appear in Nicholas Ray's 1957 film, The True Story of Jesse James as James' wife, opposite Robert Wagner. She appeared in The Young Lions alongside Montgomery Clift. She starred as the wife of Jeffrey Hunter's character in Anton Myrer's wartime drama In Love and War in 1958. These roles eventually led to Lange earning top billing in 1959's The Best of Everything, with Suzy Parker and Joan Crawford.[2]

Lange appeared as Elvis Presley's older psychologist love interest in Wild in the Country in 1961, despite being only 26 at the time (little more than a year older than Elvis). She then appeared in Frank Capra's final movie, A Pocketful of Miracles, alongside Glenn Ford. The next year, she appeared with Ford again in the romantic comedy Love Is a Ball.[2]

Lange returned to television for a 1966 role in the series The Fugitive (1963). She starred from 1968 to 1970 in the popular television series, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir for which she earned two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award nomination. This success was followed by three seasons on The New Dick Van Dyke Show as Dick Van Dyke's wife, Jenny Preston, from 1971 to 1974, declining to return for a fourth season of the show.[2] She also appeared in twelve television movies. In 1977, she returned to the Broadway stage where her acting career had originally begun. She also played the wife of Charles Bronson in the original Death Wish film. In 1985, she appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge and in 1986, she took a role as Laura Dern's mother in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. She took a Broadway role in Same Time, Next Year and then made appearances in the television movie based on Danielle Steel's Message from Nam and in 1994's Clear and Present Danger.

Lange made appearances in the Maine town in which Peyton Place had been filmed during the film's 40th anniversary celebrations in 1998.[2]

Personal life

Date of birth

Lange's year of birth is often reported as 1931, but the correct year is 1933. A possible source of this error is the Reader's Digest Almanac and Yearbook.[18] It has shown the 1931 date from as early as 1980 to the 2009 issue. The 1976 and earlier editions give the year of birth as 1933.[19] Other references such as Chase's Annual Events have always shown 1933,[1] as does her Social Security Death Index entry.

The 1933 year also matches the ages given in newspaper accounts of Lange in her youth. The New York Times covered the annual "Young People's Concert" awards given at Carnegie Hall. In April 1945, Lange was awarded [20] and again in April 1946, when her age was given as 12.[21] Lange's age of 12 in April 1946 would correspond to a birthdate in November 1933, not 1931.

Also, a short feature story was published in February 1951 about Hope Lange's culinary skills. The first paragraph gives the biography of a seventeen-year-old Hope Lange of Greenwich Village, New York. Her late father was "director of music for Florenz Ziegfield" and her mother had a catering business. In addition to modeling, acting, and dancing; Hope could make "terrific" sandwiches. The article gives her recipes for "Sardine Strips" and "Cheese Ribbon" sandwiches.[22] Born in 1933, Lange would have been 17 years old in February 1951.


Lange's first marriage was to actor Don Murray in 1956; they had two children,[2] actor Christopher Murray and photographer Patricia Murray. Lange left Don Murray in 1961 for actor Glenn Ford, associate producer and co-star of A Pocketful of Miracles. She and Ford never married.[2] She then left acting for three years after her October 19, 1963, marriage to producer-director, Alan J. Pakula, whom she divorced in 1971.

In 1972 she also dated Frank Sinatra and began a relationship with married novelist John Cheever.[23] In 1986, she married theatrical producer Charles Hollerith, with whom she remained the rest of her life.[2]


Lange was a lifelong Democrat and in 1960 she was in attendance at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, California.[24]


Lange died on December 19, 2003, at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, as a result of an ischemic colitis infection at the age of 70.[25]


1956Bus StopElma DuckworthAlternative title: The Wrong Kind of Girl
1957The True Story of Jesse JamesZeeAlternative title: The James Brothers
Peyton PlaceSelena Cross
1958The Young LionsHope Plowman
In Love and WarAndrea Lenaine Kantaylis
1959The Best of EverythingCaroline Bender
1961Wild in the CountryIrene Sperry
Pocketful of MiraclesElizabeth "Queenie" Martin
1963Love Is a BallMillicent "Millie" MehaffeyAlternative title: All This and Money Too
1968JigsawHelen Atterbury
1974Death WishJoanna Kersey
1983The ProdigalAnne Stewart
I Am the CheeseBetty Farmer
1985A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's RevengeCheryl Walsh
1986Blue VelvetMrs. Williams
1990Tune in TomorrowMargaret QuinceAlternative title: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter
1994Clear and Present DangerSenator Mayo
1995Just CauseLibby Prentiss
1956Kraft Television TheatreRandy1 episode
1957–1958Playhouse 90Raiya
Jessica Lovell
Alex Winter
3 episodes
1962–1975Hallmark Hall of FameRoxane
Mrs. Douglas
2 episodes
1966Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatreRachel Douglas1 episode
The FugitiveAnnie Johnson1 episode
1967CBS PlayhouseLois Graves1 episode
1968–1970The Ghost & Mrs. MuirCarolyn Muir50 episodes
1970Crowhaven FarmMaggie PorterTelevision movie
1971–1974The New Dick Van Dyke ShowJenny Preston72 episodes
1972That Certain SummerJanet SalterTelevision movie
1973The 500 Pound JerkKaren WalshTelevision movie
1974I Love You, GoodbyeKaren ChandlerTelevision movie
Fer-de-LanceElaine WedellTelevision movie
1975The Secret Night CallerPat DurantTelevision movie
Medical StoryDiana Hopkins1 episode
1976Gibbsville1 episode
1977Police StoryAnn Wells1 episode
The Love Boat IIElaine PalmerTelevision movie
1978The Love BoatSandra Newberry1 episode
1979Like Normal PeopleRoz MeyersTelevision movie
1980The Day Christ DiedClaudiaTelevision movie
Beulah LandDeborah KendrickMiniseries
Pleasure PalaceMadelaine CalvertTelevision movie
1982Matt HoustonKate Riley1 episode
1983Fantasy IslandMarion Stamford1 episode
1983–1986HotelGwen Andrews
Dr. Hannah Fielding
2 episodes
1984Finder of Lost LovesCatherine Connally Smith1 episode
1985Survival GuideTelevision movie
Private SessionsMrs. ColesTelevision movie
1987Ford: The Man and the MachineClara FordTelevision movie
Trying TimesFrances Fletcher1 episode
1987–1993Murder, She WroteCharlotte Newcastle
Helen Lewis
2 episodes
1989Knight & DayeGloria Daye1 episode
1993Dead Before DawnVirginia DeSilvaTelevision movie
CooperstownCassie WilletteTelevision movie
Message from NamMarjorie WilsonTelevision movie
1995Charlie GraceAnne Grace1 episode
1998Before He WakesHelen RawlingsTelevision movie

Awards and nominations

YearAwardResultCategoryFilm or series
1958Academy AwardNominatedBest Supporting ActressPeyton Place
1969Emmy AwardWonOutstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy SeriesThe Ghost & Mrs. Muir
1970The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
1958Golden Globe AwardNominatedBest Supporting ActressPeyton Place
1969Best TV Star — FemaleThe Ghost & Mrs. Muir
1958Laurel AwardsNominatedLaurel AwardsTop New Female Personality
2008TV Land AwardNominatedFavorite Character from the "Other Side"The Ghost & Mrs. Muir


  1. ^ a b Chase, William D.; Helen M. Chase (1988). Chase's Annual Events: Special Days, Weeks and Months in 1988. McGraw-Hill. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-8092-4667-0. "Hope Lange, actress, born at Reading Ridge, CT, Nov. 28, 1933" 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Hope Lange". The Independent. 23 December 2003. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/hope-lange-549138.html. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Mrs. John G. Lange". The New York Times. October 31, 1970.  "Mrs. Minette Buddecke Lange, who ran Minette's restaurant in Macdougal Street from 1944 to 1956, died Oct. 23 in a nursing home in Hanover, N. H. Her age was 71. She was the widow of John George Lange, composer and conductor."
  4. ^ "Jiras-Lange". The New York Times: p. 70. August 28, 1949.  Minelda Lange, daughter of Mrs. John G. Lange married Robert Jiras. Minelda attended American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
  5. ^ "Harry Boardman 1920–2009". Whetstone Inn, Inc.. http://whetstoneinn.com/harry. Retrieved September 12, 2009.  "During this time [1949–1954], he met and married Joy Lange, for whose family he had worked as a waiter at their Macdougal Street restaurant—Minette’s of Washington Square—and whose sister, Hope, was beginning to make a name as a Hollywood star in movies such as Bus Stop and Peyton Place."
  6. ^ Birth and death years for Minelda L Jiras and Joy L Boardman are from the Social Security Death Index.
  7. ^ "News of the Stage". The New York Times: p. 14. February 21, 1942. "Life, Laughter and Tears arrives at the Booth on March 11. Mildred Dunnock, Gene Ross, Mervin Taylor, Hope Lange and Joan Shepherd are recent additions to the cast." 
  8. ^ Nathan, George Jean; Charles Angoff (1972). The Theatre Book of the Year, 1942–1943. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-8386-7946-3. http://books.google.com/?id=mMYVBiogCVsC&pg=PA225.  The Patriots opened January 29, 1943. Hope Lange played Anne Randolph.
  9. ^ Corry, John (July 1, 1977). "Broadway". The New York Times: p. 41. "Miss Lange was on Broadway at the age of 9, appearing in something called The Patriot" 
  10. ^ "Deaths". The New York Times: p. 23. September 15 , 1942.  John George Lange, September 13, 1942.
  11. ^ Scott, Vernon (January 5, 1972). "Hope Lange is a divorcee off of stage". Boca Raton News (Boca Raton, Florida): pp. 5B. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1291&dat=19720105&id=0MwPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CY0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5351,367454. 
  12. ^ Gehman, Richard (May 1959). "Moveland marriage with a mission". Coronet 45 (38): pp. 38–40. 
  13. ^ Beasley, Henry R.; Holly Cowan Shulman (2001). The Eleanor Roosevelt encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 382. ISBN 978-0-313-30181-0.  Eleanor Roosevelt lived at 29 Washington Square West from 1945 to 1949
  14. ^ Polgreen, Lydia (December 22, 2003). "Hope Lange, Versatile Actress And Emmy Winner, Dies at 70". The New York Times: p. 7. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405EFD8133FF931A15751C1A9659C8B63. 
  15. ^ "The Radio Hat". Radio Electronics 20 (9): pp. 4, 32–33. June 1949.  Cover description: The Radio Hat, posed by Hope Lange. page 4
  16. ^ Stone, Judy (February 16, 1969). "Nothing Haunted About Hope". The New York Times: p. D19. 
  17. ^ Oliver, Myrna (December 22, 2003). "Hope Lange, 70; Drew an Oscar Nomination for 'Peyton Place'". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2003/dec/22/local/me-lange22. Retrieved March 13, 2009. 
  18. ^ Reader's Digest Almanac and Yearbook, 1980. Reader's Digest Association. 1980. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-89577-079-0. http://books.google.com/?id=LCAwAAAAMAAJ&q=%22Hope+Lange%22. "Hope Lange (1931– ) actress" 
  19. ^ Reader's Digest Almanac and Yearbook, 1976. Reader's Digest Association. 1976. p. 262. http://books.google.com/?id=MhwwAAAAMAAJ&q=%22Hope+Lange%22. "Hope Lange (1933– ) actress" 
  20. ^ "Ganz Plays Works By Girl, 13, Boy, 14". The New York Times: p. 36. April 8, 1945.  an annual "Young People's Concerts" award
  21. ^ "Youth Awards Given For Music Notebooks". The New York Times: p. 40. April 7, 1946. 
  22. ^ "Versatile Greenwich Villager, 17, Tells Her Sprightly Buffet Recipes". The Lowell Sun: p. 4. February 20, 1951.  This wire service story was published in several newspapers.
  23. ^ Donaldson, Scott (2001). John Cheever: A Biography. iUniverse. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-595-21138-8. http://books.google.com/?id=1DecfKQ6vU0C&pg=PA237. Retrieved March 13, 2009. 
  24. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7opAIZ9dv3E
  25. ^ "Hope Lange, actress in 'Peyton Place,' dies". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). 2003-12-22. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20031222/ai_n11418924/. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 

External links