Lois Nettleton

Active - 1957 - 2008  |   Born - Aug 6, 1927 in Oak Park, Illinois  |   Died - Jan 18, 2008   |   Genres - Drama, Western, Crime, Comedy, Mystery

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The very feminine Lois Nettleton made her first stage appearance as "The Father" in a grade-school production of Hansel and Gretel. After studying at the Goodman Theatre and the Actors' Studio, 20-year-old Lois made her Broadway boy in 1949's The Biggest Thief in Town, very briefly adopting the stage name of Lydia Scott (she found her given name too plain and "schoolmarmy"). She understudied Barbara Bel Geddes as Maggie the Cat in the original 1955 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, occasionally getting to play the role herself. For her work in the stage play God and Kate Murphy, Lois won the Clarence Derwent Award. While her official film debut was 1962's Period Adjustment, she previously played a minor role in director Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957). Lois' film work, while extensive, has not been as rewarding as her stage and TV endeavors. Bypassing her co-starring stints in the short-term sitcom Accidental Family (1967) and You Can't Take It With You (1987), Lois Nettleton was seen as a regular on the NBC soap opera Brighter Day (1954), enjoyed a healthy two-season run as Joann St. John on the weekly TV version of In the Heat of the Night, and has won two Emmies, the first for the 1977 daytime special The American Woman: Profiles in Courage, and the second for "A Gun for Mandy," a 1983 episode of the syndicated religious anthology Insight. She died of lung cancer at age 80 in January 2008.

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