Nancy Olson

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Nancy Olson
Sunset Boulevard 19.jpg
Olson in Sunset Boulevard (1950)
BornNancy Ann Olson
(1928-07-14) July 14, 1928 (age 86)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1948–present
Spouse(s)Alan Jay Lerner (1950–1957; divorced; 2 children)
Alan W. Livingston (1962-2009; his death; 1 child)
ChildrenLiza and Jennifer Lerner
Christopher Livingston (b. 1964)
 
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Nancy Olson
Sunset Boulevard 19.jpg
Olson in Sunset Boulevard (1950)
BornNancy Ann Olson
(1928-07-14) July 14, 1928 (age 86)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1948–present
Spouse(s)Alan Jay Lerner (1950–1957; divorced; 2 children)
Alan W. Livingston (1962-2009; his death; 1 child)
ChildrenLiza and Jennifer Lerner
Christopher Livingston (b. 1964)

Nancy Ann Olson[1] (born July 14, 1928) is an American actress. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard (1950).

Since the early 1980s, Olson has been virtually retired from acting, although she has made a few rare returns, most recently in 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Olson was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Evelyn Bertha (née Bergstrom 1901-1979[2]), whose parents were from Sweden, and Henry John Olson, who was a physician.[1]She has a brother, David Olson.

She became the third wife of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner in 1950 and had two daughters, Liza and Jennifer.[3] They divorced in 1957.

In 1962 she married longtime Capitol Records executive Alan W. Livingston, best known for creating "Bozo the Clown" and for signing Frank Sinatra and The Beatles, among other legends, with Capitol. He died in 2009; they had one son, Christopher.[3]


Career[edit]

Olson was signed to a film contract by Paramount Pictures in 1948 and, after a few supporting roles, producers began to consider her for more prominent parts. She was up for the role of Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille's 1949 film Samson and Delilah, for which Olson later said she was not suited. When she was passed over in favor of Hedy Lamarr, Billy Wilder cast her for his upcoming project. In Sunset Boulevard (1950) she played Betty Schaefer, for which she garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Her pairing with William Holden was considered a success and she appeared with him in three other films (Force of Arms, Union Station, and Submarine Command, all released in 1951), but none repeated their success in Sunset Boulevard. Other film credits include Big Jim McLain (1952), So Big (1953), Battle Cry (1955), and Dumbbells (2014).

Olson made several appearances in films for the Walt Disney studio. The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber paired her with Fred MacMurray and were popular with movie-goers. She also appeared alongside Hayley Mills in Pollyanna and Dean Jones in Snowball Express. Olson then moved to New York City where she appeared on Broadway. In 1965, Olson guest starred on the Television series Big Valley

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, she did guest roles on television. Olson guest starred on the Television series The Big Valley playing the mother of Ron Howard in the December 01, 1965 episode entitled Night of the Wolf. Olson has been retired since the mid-1980s, although she made a brief, uncredited appearance in Flubber, the 1997 remake of The Absent-Minded Professor.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1949Canadian PacificCecille Gautier
1950Sunset BoulevardBetty Schaefer
1950Union StationJoyce Willecombe
1950Mr. MusicKatherine Holbrook
1951Force of ArmsLt. Eleanor MacKay
1951Submarine CommandCarol
1952Big Jim McLainNancy Vallon
1953So BigDallas O'Mara
1954Boy from Oklahoma, TheThe Boy from OklahomaKatie Brannigan
1955Battle CryMrs. Pat Rogers
1960PollyannaNancy Furman
1961Absent-Minded Professor, TheThe Absent-Minded ProfessorBetsy Carlisle
1963Son of FlubberElizabeth "Betsy" Brainard
1969Smith!Norah Smith
1972Snowball ExpressSue Baxter
1974Airport 1975Mrs. Abbott
1982Making LoveChristine
1987Sparky's Magic Piano(voice)Video
1997FlubberFord Secretary
2014DumbbellsBianca Cummings

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1954Ford TheatreKitty O'DareEpisode: "For the Love of Kitty"
1954Lux Video TheatreLisaEpisode: "Spent in Silence"
1954Best of Broadway, TheThe Best of BroadwayGwen CavendishEpisode: "The Royal Family"
1955Producers' ShowcasePeggy DayEpisode: "The Women"
1956Ford Star JubileeJudithEpisode: "High Tor"
1958United States Steel Hour, TheThe United States Steel HourJoyce RichmondEpisode: "Second Chance"
1958General Electric TheaterJudith GayEpisode: "The Last Rodeo"
1959Alfred Hitchcock PresentsJan ManningEpisode: "Total Loss"
1960StartimePeggy ThomasEpisode: "The Greatest Man Alive"
1961Alcoa PremiereAmber BaringEpisode: "Family Outing"
1963ChanningMrs. LandonEpisode: "Collision Course"
1965Big Valley, TheThe Big ValleyJulia JenkinsEpisode: "Night of the Wolf"
1971Name of the Game, TheThe Name of the GameAnn LathamEpisode: "Beware of the Watchdog"
1972GunsmokeHenrietta DonavanEpisode: "Yankton"
1972Police SurgeonJudgeEpisode: "Death Holds the Scale"
1973Love StoryMrs. RossEpisode: "Mirabelle's Summer"
1974BanacekLouise MerrickEpisode: "Now You See Me, Now You Don't"
1975Streets of San Francisco, TheThe Streets of San FranciscoJeannie MorrisEpisode: "Web of Lies"
1976Kingston: ConfidentialJessica FrazierTV series
1977Barnaby JonesThelma ThompsonEpisode: "Testament of Power"
1984Paper DollsMarjorie HarperMain role (13 episodes)
2010Big LoveKatherineEpisode: "Strange Bedfellows"

References[edit]

External links[edit]