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Emmy and Tony Award Winner Nanette Fabray Dies at 97

Actress is Known for Her TV Roles on 'Caesars,' 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'One Day at a Time'

Actress and Broadway star Nanette Fabray, who is remembered for her thrice Emmy Award winning performance on classic 1950s variety series “Caesar’s Hour” and as the mother on CBS comedies “One Day at a Time” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” died Thursday at her home in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. She was 97.

Born Oct. 27, 1920 as Ruby Nanette Bernadette Theresa Fabares in San Diego, Fabray began her career performing in vaudeville as a child and became a musical theatre actress during the 1940s and 1950s, winning a Tony Award in 1949 for her performance in “Love Life.”

Fabray returned to the stage throughout her life, also appearing in Broadway hit “High Button Shoes” in 1947 and earning another Tony nomination playing a fictional first lady in “Mr. President.” She also toured in several musicals, including “Wonderful Town” and “No, No Nanette.”

Fabray continued her success in musicals on the big screen, appearing alongside Fred Astaire and Jack Buchanan in 1953 classic “The Band Wagon,” and she made a known presence on the small screen opposite Sid Caesar on aforementioned “Caesar’s Hour..

She later became a popular guest on shows like “The Love Boat,” “Maude” and “Murder, She Wrote,” but her character niche seemed to be as the mom of a series star, which also included ABC comedy “Coach” of the character played by Shelley Fabares, her real-life niece.

Fabray was married twice: to Broadway publicist David Tebet for four years and to screenwriter Ranald MacDougall from 1958 till his death in 1973. She had one son, Dr. Jamie MacDougall.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US ( Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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