70 (passed away Dec. 19th, 2003)
Nov. 28th, 1933
Redding Ridge, Connecticut, USA
Hope Lange's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Hope Lange was an American film, stage, and television actress.Lange was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress - Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Selena Cross in the 1957 film Peyton Place. In 1970, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Carolyn Muir in the sitcom The Ghost & Mrs. Muir.
She began working in television in the 1950s with appearances on Kraft Television Theatre, which caught the eye of a Hollywood producer. Lange came to prominence in her first film role in Bus Stop with Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray, whom she married on April 14, 1956. Murray later said that Monroe grew jealous of another blonde being hired for the movie and asked the studio producers to dye Lange's blonde hair light brown.
As a result of favorable reviews, Lange landed a major role in the then-risqué 1957 film Peyton Place. Her strong performance earned her a nomination for a Golden Globe Award and another for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She would become a rather well-recognized supporting actress of ingénue roles. Lange later said that she became somewhat typecast in her ingénue film appearances and this is why her movie career was short-lived.
She went on to appear in Nicholas Ray's 1957 film, The True Story of Jesse James as James' wife, opposite Robert Wagner. She appeared in The Young Lions alongside Montgomery Clift. She starred as the wife of Jeffrey Hunter's character in Anton Myrer's wartime drama In Love and War in 1958. These roles eventually led to Lange earning top billing in 1959's The Best of Everything, with Suzy Parker and Joan Crawford.
Lange appeared as Elvis Presley's older psychologist love interest in Wild in the Country in 1961, despite being only 13 months Elvis' senior. She then appeared in Frank Capra's final movie, Pocketful of Miracles, alongside Glenn Ford. The next year, she appeared with Ford again in the romantic comedy Love Is a Ball.
Lange returned to television for a 1966 role in the series The Fugitive (1963). She starred from 1968 to 1970 in the popular television series, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir for which she earned two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award nomination. This success was followed by three seasons on The New Dick Van Dyke Show as Dick Van Dyke's wife, Jenny Preston, from 1971 to 1974, declining to return for a fourth season of the show. She also appeared in twelve television movies. In 1977, she returned to the Broadway stage where her acting career had originally begun. She also played the wife of Charles Bronson in the original Death Wish film. In 1985, she appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge and in 1986, she took a role as Laura Dern's mother in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. She took a Broadway role in Same Time, Next Year and then made appearances in the television movie based on Danielle Steel's Message from Nam and in 1994's Clear and Present Danger.
- When she co-starred with 'Marilyn Monroe' (qv) on _Bus Stop (1956)_ (qv), Monroe disliked the presence of a younger blonde and sent a series of memos to producers and the director, even suggesting that Lange be made to dye her hair brown.
- Delivered a stirring eulogy at the funeral for her close friend, Natalie Wood.
- Made her acting debut on Broadway at the age of 11 in 'Sidney Kingsley' (qv)'s play "The Patriots".
- In 1968, Lange turned to television, taking on the role of Carolyn Muir in the popular series _"The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" (1968)_ (qv). She won two consecutive Emmys for that role in 1969 and 1970.
- Lange earned the only Oscar nomination of her career for her supporting role in the provocative film _Peyton Place (1957)_ (qv) in which she murders her rapist stepfather.
- As of 2008, she is the only deceased cast member of the Nightmare on Elm Street films.
- For two years, Lange lived in a sparsely furnished home with crates for coffee tables and only a box spring and mattress for her bed. "She put all her money into the refugee project because that is the kind of person she was", 'Don Murray (I)' (qv) said.
- Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 323-324. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
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