Nancy Marchand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Nancy Marchand
Nancy Marchand.jpg
Born(1928-06-19)June 19, 1928
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 18, 2000(2000-06-18) (aged 71)
Stratford, Connecticut, U.S.
Years active1951–2000
Spouse(s)Paul Sparer (1951–1999)
Jump to: navigation, search
Nancy Marchand
Nancy Marchand.jpg
Born(1928-06-19)June 19, 1928
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 18, 2000(2000-06-18) (aged 71)
Stratford, Connecticut, U.S.
Years active1951–2000
Spouse(s)Paul Sparer (1951–1999)

Nancy Marchand (June 19, 1928 – June 18, 2000) was an American actress. She began her career in theatre in 1951. She was perhaps most famous for her television portrayals of Margaret Pynchon on Lou Grant and Livia Soprano on The Sopranos.

Early years[edit]

Marchand was born in Buffalo, New York, to Raymond L. Marchand, a physician, and his wife, Marjorie Freeman, a pianist. She was raised Methodist.[1]


A member of the Actors Studio,[2] 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 Lies, 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 for Morning's 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 starred as matriarch, Edith Cushing, on Lovers and Friends, a short-lived soap opera.

On prime time television, Marchand was known for her roles of autocratic 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 Ladybug Ladybug, Me, Natalie, Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, The Hospital, The Bostonians, Jefferson in Paris, The Bachelor Party (1957), Brain Donors, Reckless, The Naked Gun, Sabrina, Dear God, and From the Hip (1986).

At 70, after more than 50 years of acting, she played Livia Soprano, the mother of Tony Soprano, the main character on the HBO TV series The Sopranos.


Marchand died from lung cancer and emphysema on June 18, 2000 in Stratford, Connecticut. As a result, her character's death was written into the third season story line of The Sopranos. Her husband of 48 years, actor Paul Sparer (1923–1999), had died the previous year, also from cancer.[citation needed] The couple had three children: Katie, an actress, David (Rosebud), a lawyer, and Rachel Sparer Bersier, an opera singer.[citation needed] Marchand was posthumously inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.[3]



1957The Bachelor PartyMrs. Julie Samson
1959The Bells of St. Mary'sSister MichaelTelevision movie
1963Ladybug LadybugMrs. Andrews
1969Me, NatalieMrs. Miller
1971The HospitalMrs. Christie
1972Look Homeward, AngelMadame ElizabethTelevision movie
1983Sparkling CyanideLucilla DrakeTelevision movie
1984The BostoniansMrs. Burrage
1987From the HipRoberta Winnaker
1988From the Files of Police Squad!Mayor Barkley
1991Regarding HenryHeadmistressUncredited
1992Brain DonorsLillian Oglethorpe
1995Jefferson in ParisMadame Abbesse
1995SabrinaMaude Larrabee


1950Studio One in HollywoodJo March2 episodes
1951Lux Video TheatreJoanEpisode: "Forever Walk Free"
1951–1958Kraft TheatreAbby9 episodes
1953Studio One in HollywoodMiss MarmonEpisode: "The Hospital"
1953The Philco Television PlayhouseClaraEpisode: "Marty"
1953Lux Video TheaterPhyllisEpisode: "Two for Tea"
1954Ponds TheaterCharlotte4 episodes
1957Studio One in HollywoodEleanorEpisode: "Rudy"
1957The United States Steel HourGen ArnoldEpisode: "Windfall"
1957Shirley Temple's StorybookQueenEpisode: "The Sleeping Beauty"
1958Playhouse 90Sylvia SandsEpisode: "Free Weekend"
1959Armstrong Circle TheatreMrs. Howard JonesEpisode: "Miracle at Spring Hill"
1959Playhouse 90Mrs. YarbroughEpisode: "The Hidden Image"
1959Sunday ShowcaseMrs. CleggEpisode: "The Indestructible Mr. Gore"
1959R.C.M.P.Gerta BoydEpisode: "Little Girl Lost"
1960Play of the WeekMargaret2 episodes
1960The Law and Mr. JonesDorothyEpisode: "The Long Echo"
1961The DefendersMrs. CrileEpisode: "The Attack"
1962Naked CityEsther LindallEpisode: "The Multiplicity of Herbert Konish"
1964The DefendersRhoda BanterEpisode: "Hollow Triumph"
1977–1982Lou GrantMargaret Pynchon99 episodes
1984CheersDr. Hester CraneEpisode: "Diane Meets Mom"
1986Spenser: For HireEmily GardenEpisode: "In a Safe Place"
1986North and South, Book IIDorothea Dix6 episodes
1990–1992CoachMarlene Watkins2 episodes
1992Law & OrderMrs. Barbara RyderEpisode: "Blood Is Thicker"
1992Night CourtLouise Cahill2 episodes
1993CrossroadsAunt DorothyEpisode: "The Nickel Curve"
1994Homicide: Life on the StreetLorraine FreemanEpisode: "All Through the House"
1999–2001The SopranosLivia Soprano21 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1978Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesLou GrantWon
1979Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesNominated
1980Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesWon
1981Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesWon
1982Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesWon
1999Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesThe SopranosNominated
Viewers for Quality TelevisionBest Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama SeriesNominated
2000Golden Globe AwardsBest Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television FilmWon
Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama SeriesNominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesWon
2001Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesWon


  1. ^ "Nancy Marchand". FilmReference. 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Theater family comes together to celebrate Hall of Fame honorees". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]