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Actress Nanette Fabray, Who Won Tony and Emmy Awards, Dies at 97

Actress Nanette Fabray, Who Won Tony and Emmy Awards, Dies at 97

Nanette Fabray, whose enthusiastic charm, wide smile, and diverse talents made her a Tony Award-winning performer in the 1940s and an Emmy Award-winning comic actress in the 1950s, died Thursday at her home in Palos Verdes, Calif.

Sitcom, game show and talk show staple Nanette Fabray has died.

The live, hourlong NBC show was the successor to Caesar's popular "Your Show of Shows", whose female lead in comedy sketches was Imogene Coca. She would then return to television and win three Emmys for her work in Sid Caesar's "Caesar's Hour". Her first role was a lady-in-waiting for Elizabeth I, a role played by Bette Davis, in the movie The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. According to the Archive of American Television, Nanette was told she had the ideal skin tone for color television and "VT Guide dubbed her, 'The Original Live-Test Pattern Girl'".

Her biggest roles include roles in films including The Band Wagon, in which featured in a freakish song number that saw her pretend to be a baby for musical number, Triplets, alongside Hollywood icons Jack Buchanan and Fred Astaire.

In 1961, she appeared as Nan McGovern in Westinghouse Playhouse, but the show was cancelled after 26 episodes.

The Comden and Green musical, satirizing artistic pretentiousness vs. old-fashioned show business, features such classic numbers as "That's Entertainment" and "Triplets", in which Fabray, Astaire and Buchanan dress up as babies.

Nanette was also born in San Diego, California, but her parents moved to Los Angeles so their daughter could start her acting career at a young age.

She managed to get by in adulthood by making her family and friends speak up.

Appearing in "Caesar's Hour", Nanette earned three Emmys.

Fabray was married to theater impresario David Tebet from 1947-1951, and to Hollywood screenwriter Ranald MacDougall from 1957 until his sudden death in 1973.

According to The New York Times, Fabray continued to work onstage until her final years. Fabray, who was hearing impaired, also was known for her advocacy on issues involving people with hearing impairments. She had one son, Dr. Jamie MacDougall, who survives her, as does Fabares and her husband, actor Mike Farrell.

"She later resurfaced as Mary Richards" mother Dottie on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and as Ann Romano's mother Katherine on the original One Day at a Time, where she appeared in a total of 42 episodes.

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