Dorothy Malone, Actress, Realtor, R.I.P.

Update: Readers tell me Ms. Malone lived on Livingston near Inwood Road, and lived her later years as a recluse.

I had no idea that the great actress Dorothy Malone lived in Dallas. She moved here from Chicago with her family, attended Ursuline, Hockaday, and SMU, and then returned in 1971 when she married Charles Huston Bell, a Dallas businessman and hotel executive.

They divorced in 1974, but Dorothy Malone stayed on in Dallas. And according to a little internet research, she dated a Dr. Phillip Montgomery from Dallas in the late 1940’s and… was a real estate agent in later years, about 1991. Anyone remember working with her?

Dorothy Malone died Friday morning in a Dallas assisted living facility, where she had been living for the last ten years, according to the New York Times. Dorothy Malone was 93.

Ms. Malone, who was married and divorced three times, had two daughters from her first marriage to French actor Jaques Bergerac. She is survived by those daughters, Mimi Vanderstraaten and Diane Thompson, six grandchildren, and her brother, Robert B. Maloney, an inactive senior federal district judge in Dallas.

Though her acting career was brilliant, and she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, it was her role in “Peyton Place”, a late 1960’s soap opera based on Grace Metalious’s best-selling novel, that put her on the map. It was the golden era of television shows, and Malone’s role as Constance McKenzie, “a sexy but seemingly repressed small-town New England mother with a dark secret,”, ruled the ratings game for years. It also launched the careers of Mia farrow, Ryan O’Neal, and Barbara Parkins.

The cast of the TV series “Peyton Place”: Front, from left, Tim O’Connor, Mia Farrow and Ryan O’Neal. Top, from left, Ms. Malone, Ed Nelson, Barbara Parkins and Christopher Connelly. Credit 20th Century Fox Televisio

I recall my older sister watching it. I was told to leave the room, because the content was too risque for a child, my mother would say. She would also call the story content trash —  but she’d watch it! “Peyton Place” was so popular, at one point it ran three times a week! Think a New England version of Dynasty meets Dallas with more repression.

“She is a strumpet of the first order,” Ms. Malone said of her sexy character in “Written on the Wind,” speaking to The Dallas Morning News in 1956. “It certainly will be talked about. And there’s nothing an actress needs more, inside of Hollywood and out, than to be talked about — for a performance, I mean.”

Dorothy Malone, Dallas, TX: January 30, 1924 to January 19, 2018.

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