Oscar-winning actress Dorothy Malone – whose career in Hollywood started in the early 40s through 1992 – has passed away from natural causes at age 93.
Born as Dorothy Eloise Maloney on January 30th, 1925 in Chicago, her family relocated to Dallas when she was still a child. While attending Southern Methodist University, an agent came around to see a performance at her school majorly looking at her male co-star.
Her Early Career
Maloney made an amazing impression that at age 18, she secured a contract with RKO pictures. She appeared in many uncredited roles in the early times of the 1940s, and when RKO did not renew her contract, she got engaged to Warner Brothers – who then changed her surname to Malone.
Malone’s career grew fast, with a countable amount of smaller roles in Westerns. She seldom featured in bigger movies but manage to pop up in films like The Big Sleep alongside Humphrey Bogart.
At the end she relocated to New York for to study acting for few months, although, she came back to Hollywood to film a role in the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie Scared Stiff, which she added many other films such as Law and Order and Jack Slade. She also started making guest starring appearances on TV shows like The Doctor and Omnibus.
Peak Of Malone’s Career
Malone experienced transformation after she dyed her hair platinum blonde in 1954, a look which she maintained for most of the rest of her career.
In 1956, she acted the sex-loving wild child Marylee Hadley against Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, and Robert Stack in Written in the Wind – the role for which won her an Oscar award. Roles in Too Much, Too Soon, Man of a Thousand Faces, Last Voyage, and Warlock all came after.
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Malone worked with some of the biggest icons in Hollywood at the time, names like James Cagney and Henry Fonda, also reteaming with Hudson and Stack on several projects.
In 1964, Malone got her first lead role in a TV series, the soap opera Peyton Place. She acted Constance, mother of Mia Farrow’s character Allison. She remained with the series for 4 years – apart from a brief absence as a result of a life threatening health crisis.
Unfortunately for Malone, things behind the scenes were not going fine. She had hoped the series to be rich in something like an ensemble drama and was not comfortable that most of the focus was offered to Farrow.
Then, after she was taken out of the series, she sued the studio (20th Century Fox) for $1.6 million for contract breach, this was later settled out of the court Yet, she went back to the role in two followup made-for-TV films.
Towards The End Of Malone’s Career
With roles in the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) and guest appearing on different series, including Ellery Queen, Police Woman, and Vega$, Malone later went on working on TV movies, Murder in Peyton Place (1977) and Peyton Place: The Next Generation (1985).
Finally, she returned to her hometown, Dallas, although she would sometimes visit Hollywood for a role. Her last on-screen appearance was in 1992 thriller Basic Instinct.
Malone is survived by 2 daughters and a number grandchildren. Her legacy to the world of entertainment – which includes close to a hundred roles in movies and television – is undoubtedly an extraordinary one.
Live on Malone!!