Oscar victor Dorothy Malone, mom on 'Peyton Place,' dies at 93

Bessie Dean
January 20, 2018

Dorothy Malone, an Oscar victor for her turn as a nymphomaniac heiress in Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind and television star on the 1960s primetime soap Peyton Place, died Friday of natural causes, according to her manager Burt Shapiro.

She died of natural causes, her manager Burt Shapiro told TheWrap. Lola Albright filled in until her return.

The Oscar led to roles in Too Much, Too Soon, Man of a Thousand Faces and Warlock.

She was lots of fun as Dean Martin's love interest in the Lewis & Martin musical comedy Artists and Models (1955).

Malone, who moved to television in the 1960s with the primetime soap "Peyton Place", may be best know to modern audiences for her showy final screen role in 1992's "Basic Instinct" as an out-of-prison murderer who befriends Sharon Stone's character.

That said, one of her most beloved performances happens to come from this relatively unfruitful period, when she played the bespectacled bookshop clerk who seduced Humphrey Bogart's Phillip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1946).

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For millions of Americans, however, the Dallas-reared Malone was best known for playing overprotective single mother Constance MacKenzie on ABC's Peyton Place, the first primetime serialized drama on US television.

"Peyton Place" aired from 1964 to 1969 on ABC.

Her daughter Mimi told the Times in 2009 that her mother's down-to-earth quality would "play well right now". She sued 20th Century Fox for $1.6 million, and the case was settled. She returned to the character in two television movies, 1977's Murder in Peyton Place and 1985's Peyton Place: The Next Generation.

Dying her hair platinum blonde and steamrolling her good girl image in Written on the Wind proved to be her big break, earning her an Oscar and juicier film roles. Jack Lemmon presented her with her supporting actress Oscar at the Pantages. In recent years she was considered one of the last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Actor Dorothy Malone died on Friday in her hometown of Dallas, aged 93. She attended Southern Methodist University.

She was absent for a brief stretch of the show in 1965, when she was in critical condition for nearly two weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot from her lungs.

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