Oscar winner Dorothy Malone, mom on ‘Peyton Place,’ has died

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PV Entertainment Desk : Actress Dorothy Malone, who won hearts of 1960s television viewers as the long-suffering mother in the nighttime soap “Peyton Place,” died Friday in her hometown of Dallas at age 93.

Malone died in an assisted living center from natural causes days before her 94th birthday, said her daughter, Mimi Vanderstraaten.

After 11 years of mostly roles as loving sweethearts and wives, the brunette actress decided she needed to gamble on her career instead of playing it safe. She fired her agent, hired a publicist, dyed her hair blonde and sought a new image.

“I came up with a conviction that most of the winners in this business became stars overnight by playing shady dames with sex appeal,” she recalled in 1967. She welcomed the offer for “Written on the Wind,” in which she played an alcoholic nymphomaniac who tries to steal Rock Hudson from his wife, Lauren Bacall.

“And I’ve been unfaithful or drunk or oversexed almost ever since— on the screen, of course,” she added.

When Jack Lemmon announced her as the winner of the 1956 Academy Award for best actress in a supporting role for the performance, she rushed to the stage of the Pantages Theatre and gave the longest speech of the evening. Even when Lemmon pointed to his watch, she continued undeterred, thanking “the Screen Actors and the Screen Extras guilds because we’ve had a lot of ups and downs together.”