Remembering NANCY MALONE – A Daytime TV Pioneer

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“Nancy Malone was a very favorite colleague. She brought the most energetic and enthusiastic spirit to the set and managed to keep it through all of the long, long days. Plus she was one of the funniest known human beings. With her unfailing good taste and a heart of Irish gold, I loved working and playing with her … I loved her. If there is a heaven, Nancy has arrived by limousine and the first word out of her mouth was her personal favorite code word for the “innkeeper”…. NURSE!!!!”—Tyne Daly

Where to begin? Nancy Malone was ground-breaking talent, an Emmy Award winning Director/Producer, a Sarah Siddons nominated Actress, a Co-Founder of Women In Film, the first woman VP at a major studio (20th Century Fox), and she appeared in TV’s first Soap Opera, “The First Hundred Years” and then as Robin on “Guiding Light”(1961-63).

Nancy began her career at age seven as a model for ads ranging from Kellogg’s Cereal to Ford cars and Macy’s. At ten she was chosen for the cover of Life Magazine’s 10th Anniversary issue: “The Typical American Girl.”

At fifteen she made her Broadway debut as ‘Ginger,’ co-starring Melvyn Douglas in “Time Out for Ginger,” followed by numerous other credits including “The Chalk Garden” with Judith Anderson and “A Touch of the Poet” with Helen Hayes. She went on to star in the ground breaking and award winning television series, “Naked City,” where she received an Emmy Award Nomination for Best Actress, followed roles in several popular TV series, as well as co-starring with Burt Reynolds in the movie, “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing.”

In 1971 Nancy was invited to join Tomorrow Entertainment as a story analyst, which led to a position as Director of Motion Pictures. After leaving Tomorrow Entertainment, she produced her first TV Movie, “Winner Takes All,” starring Shirley Jones, for NBC, before joining the 20th Century Fox TV department as Director of TV Development. Shortly thereafter she was appointed Vice President of Television, the first woman VP at a major studio. During her time at Fox, Nancy co-founded Women in Film. She served as Chair of the WIF Foundation and established the Crystal Award, the Dorothy Arzner Award, the Norma Zarky Award, and the Founders Award. They named the Nancy Malone Directors Award after her for her contributions to the Film Finishing Fund. In 1975 she established Lilac Productions to produce television films, where she won an Emmy for co-producing, “Bob Hope: The First 90 Years.”

“Nancy Malone was a delight to work with on “The Bionic Woman.” She was funny and energetic and I had great admiration for her being one of the early women to be successful in the television industry.”—Lindsay Wagner

During the 1980’s Nancy began her directing career. Her first full-length film, “There Were Times, Dear,” starring Shirley Jones and Len Cariou, appeared on PBS and was the first film about Alzheimer’s disease.

As a DGA director, Nancy directed many top TV shows. Her first episodic directing assignment was Episode 100 of “Dynasty,” after which she became a staff director at Aaron Spelling Productions.

Recently, she co-produced and directed a live event at Ellis Island honoring Bob Hope, and starring Michael Feinstein. The 2011, “The NY Pops Tribute to Bob Hope at Carnegie Hall” was co-produced and directed by Nancy Malone. The event raised a record amount for the Pop’s music outreach programs for the NY Public schools.

Nancy Malone, passed away at City of Hope as the result of pneumonia that arose from complications attributed to her recent battle with Leukemia.

Interview with Nancy Malone regarding “Guiding Light” (1961-63):