Dorothy Malone, Oscar Winner, 'Peyton Place' and 'Basic Instinct' Star, Dead at 93
Dorothy Malone, who won the Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for 1955's "Written on the Wind," died Friday at an assisted living facility in Dallas. She was 93.
The glamorous Golden Age of Hollywood figure's passing was confirmed by her manager, Burt Shapiro, and reported in Variety.
Holding her Oscar with fellow winner Anthony Quinn
Discovered in a college play, she was signed to RKO and made an uncredited debut in the 1943 film "Gildersleeve on Broadway."
She made her first splash in a well-remembered bit part in the Humphrey Bogart classic "The Big Sleep" (1946) as a bookstore clerk, and made westerns and B pictures until her Oscar-winning role as a nymphomaniac in the Douglas Sirk drama "Written on the Wind." Her image transformed — as well as the former brunette's hair, to platinum blonde — she was given meatier roles in high-profile films like "Man of a Thousand Faces" (1957) and "Too Much, Too Soon" (1958).
Malone in 1955, around the time "Written on the Wind" was released
When her film career cooled, she heated things back up with a sultry turn as Constance MacKenzie on the TV adaptation of the 1956 novel and 1957 film "Peyton Place," on which she starred from 1964-1968. On the show, Constance was the mother of an illegitimate child who was secretly a year older than her given age; in real life, Malone's birth year was thought to be 1925 until it was confirmed to be 1924 by her daughter, Mimi Vanderstraaten.
Malone with a very young Mia Farrow, her "Peyton Place" co-star
By the '70s, Malone — who had survived a near-fatal battle with blood clots in her lungs in 1965 — was placing ads in trade publications seeking work. Memorable projects in her later career include the miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man" (1976) and the films "Winter Kills" (1979) and "Basic Instinct" (1992). The latter, in which she played a lesbian who murdered her family, was her final film.
Image via TriStar
Malone in her final screen appearance of any kind, in "Basic Instinct"
Malone was married and divorced three times. She is survived by two daughters, six grandchildren, and her brother.