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Jeanette Nolan was born in Los Angeles, California, on December 30, 1911. She began her acting career in the Pasadena Community Playhouse and, while a student at Los Angeles City College, made her radio debut in 1932 in "Omar Khayyam," the first transcontinental radio broadcast from station KHU. Through the 1930's and 1940's, she provided the voices of a variety of characters on such programs as "The March of Time," "Cavalcade of America," "The Court of Missing Heirs," "The Adventures of Mister Meek," "Life Begins," and "Manhattan at Midnight." She made her film debut playing Lady Macbeth opposite director/actor Orson Welles in Macbeth (1948).
Over the course of her career, Nolan appeared in more than 300 television shows, including episode roles in "Perry Mason," "I Spy," "The FBI," "Harry O," "Charlie's Angels," "MacGyver," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," and as a regular on "The Richard Boone Show" and "The Virginian." She was particularly known for her roles in Westerns, however, including the TV series "Laredo," "Gunsmoke," "The Virginian," and "Wagon Train." Among her Western films were Saddle Tramp, The Seventh Cavalry, Guns of Fort Petticoat, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. She also provided a series of screams for "mother" in Psycho (1960).
In her later years Nolan was a voice in Disney's animated The Rescuers and The Fox and the Hound, and performed for California Artists Radio Theatre. Nolan's final film role was as Tom Booker's (Robert Redford') mother Ellen Booker in The Horse Whisperer (1998), which was shot on a ranch she owned in Montana.
Jeanette Nolan died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, following a stroke, on June 5, 1998.
One of the rare Hollywood celebrities to enjoy a long-term marriage, Jeanette was married to John McIntire from 1935 until his death in 1991. She is the mother of actor Tim McIntire.
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This page was last updated on 06/05/2017.