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Nancy Olson

Nancy Olson

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Also Known As: Nancy Olson-Livingston Died:
Born: July 14, 1928 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Often playing good girl roles in feature films and on television, Nancy Olson rose from relative obscurity and became a Hollywood star, thanks to a scene-stealing performance in Billy Wilder's film noir masterpiece "Sunset Boulevard" (1950). The Wisconsin-born ingénue breathed liveliness into her character, a vivacious studio assistant and William Holden's love interest, providing a shining spot in an otherwise chilling and emotionally intense drama. Olson received an Academy Award nomination for her engaging performance in the film and landed several other starring roles opposite Holden because of it. Olson's career temporarily stalled in the late 1950s, but she reemerged the following decade with plum roles in Disney family films such as "The Absent-Minded Professor" (1961) and "Son of Flubber" (1963), opposite the likeable Fred MacMurray. Her sheer talent and dedication to her craft inspired other actors and actresses who followed in her footsteps, but it was Olson's breakout role in "Sunset Boulevard" that earned her a place amongst the most beloved stars of classic cinema.

Often playing good girl roles in feature films and on television, Nancy Olson rose from relative obscurity and became a Hollywood star, thanks to a scene-stealing performance in Billy Wilder's film noir masterpiece "Sunset Boulevard" (1950). The Wisconsin-born ingénue breathed liveliness into her character, a vivacious studio assistant and William Holden's love interest, providing a shining spot in an otherwise chilling and emotionally intense drama. Olson received an Academy Award nomination for her engaging performance in the film and landed several other starring roles opposite Holden because of it. Olson's career temporarily stalled in the late 1950s, but she reemerged the following decade with plum roles in Disney family films such as "The Absent-Minded Professor" (1961) and "Son of Flubber" (1963), opposite the likeable Fred MacMurray. Her sheer talent and dedication to her craft inspired other actors and actresses who followed in her footsteps, but it was Olson's breakout role in "Sunset Boulevard" that earned her a place amongst the most beloved stars of classic cinema.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Dumbbells (2014)
2.
 Fred Macmurray: The Guy Next Door (1996) Interviewee
4.
 Making Love (1982) Christine
5.
 Airport '75 (1975) Abbott'S Mother
6.
 Snowball Express (1972) Sue Baxter
7.
 Smith! (1969) Norah
8.
 Son of Flubber (1963) Betsy Brainard
9.
 The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) Betsy Carlisle
10.
 Pollyanna (1960) Nancy Furman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Was active in theater in college; discovered while at UCLA
1949:
Made feature film debut in a supporting role in the 20th Century-Fox melodrama, "Canadian Pacific"
:
Signed by Paramount Pictures
1950:
Played breakthrough role as the second female lead in the acclaimed Billy Wilder drama, "Sunset Boulevard"; received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress; also marked the first of four films in which she was William Holden's romantic interest
1950:
First film as female lead, "Union Station", also opposite Holden
1951:
Parted company with Paramount
1951:
Last of four film opposite Holden, "Submarine Command"
1953:
Began playing supporting roles in features with "So Big", which starred Jane Wyman
1954:
Earliest TV work included the ingenue role of Gwen Cavendish in a TV presentation of the classic Broadway comedy, "The Royal Family of Broadway"
1955:
Temporarily retired from films
1956:
One of last TV appearances for some years, the CBS musical special, "High Tor"
1960:
Began her association with Walt Disney Studios with her return to films, "Pollyanna", in which she played a supporting role
:
Appeared on the ABC drama series, "Channing
1972:
Last of five features for Walt Disney Studios over the course of a dozen years, "Snowball Express"
1977:
Played Jessica Frazier on the NBC drama series, "Kingston: Confidential", starring Raymond Burr; series lasted half a season
1982:
Last feature film to date, "Making Love"
1984:
Played Marjorie Harper on the ABC primetime serial drama, "Paper Dolls"; series lasted half a season
1986:
Was a co-chair for the panel which helped hold the tribute, "The American Film Institute Salute to Billy Wilder", which aired on NBC-TV
1989:
Appeared as one of the interviewees on the Cinemax documentary special, "William Holden: The Golden Boy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee: Milwaukee , Wisconsin -
University of California at Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Alan Jay Lerner. Songwriter. Married on March 19, 1950; divorced in 1957; was Lerner's third wife.
husband:
Alan Livingston. Record executive, former songwriter. Was at one time president of Capitol Records.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Henry J Olson.
son:
Christopher Livingston. Director, screenwriter. Born on November 13, 1964; directed and co-wrote feature "Hit and Runway" (1999).

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