Nanette Fabray

Active - 1939 - 2003  |   Born - Oct 27, 1920   |   Died - Feb 22, 2018   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

In vaudeville from the age of six, Nanette Fabray made her first film appearance (under her family name Fabares) as one of Bette Davis' ladies-in-waiting in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939). She established herself as a Broadway star in the 1940s, starring in musicals ranging from 1947's High Button Shoes to 1962's Mister President, winning a brace of Donaldson awards along the way. In 1953, she played her most famous screen role as a Betty Comden-ish playwright in MGM's The Band Wagon (1953). On television, Fabray won three Emmies for her work on Sid Caesar's programs of 1954 and 1955; she also starred in her own 1961 sitcom, The Nanette Fabray Show, and was co-starred as Bonnie Franklin's mother in the 1970s series One Day at a Time. Legally deaf since the 1950s, Fabray has worked tirelessly on behalf of America's hearing impaired, and has been honored for her efforts by several presidents. Nanette Fabray is the widow of screenwriter/director Ranald McDougall, and the aunt of actress Shelley Fabares.

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