Nancy Coleman
(Eleanor Hilliard)
   Nancy Coleman was born in Everett, Washington,
daughter of famed Northwest newspaper editor, Charles
Sumner Coleman. His major contributions were to pass on
to her his red hair, his spirit that matched it, and his
conviction that the most abject person alive is one who
fears--anything. He taught her from the time she could
listen never to fear, and she has accordingly moved
bravely along to stardom in the theatre, motion pictures
and television. After graduation from the University of
Washington in Seattle, she proceeded to San Francisco
and a career in radio, notably as a principal in a radio
serial called "Death Valley Days." When she had saved
$1000 she bought a de-luxe steamship ticket to New
York--the Mecca for young actresses the country over.
Besides being fearless, Nancy Coleman also was lucky;
six weeks after she landed in New York John Golden gave
her the role replacing Nancy Kelly (en route to Hollywood)
in "Susan and God" with Gertrude Lawrence. In the
autumn of 1940 she had a choice between the title roles
in "Liberty Jones" by Philip Barry and "Claudia" by Rose
Franken. She chose the former which closed in three
weeks, while the latter lasted nearly two years. But the
night after the opening of "Liberty Jones" she was
stunned to find her name in lights on the theatre
marquee, a reward ordered by the author after he read
the glowing notices of her performance. She has made a
dozen Hollywood pictures, starring in five. They included
the still discussed "Kings Row" and "Mourning Becomes
Electra" with Rosalind Russell. Back in New York in 1949,
Nancy Coleman became an important television actress.
A year later she went to Spain to make a picture and the
following summer became leading lady at Elitch Gardens
in Denver. Summer over, she resumed her TV activities,
did a revival on Broadway of "The Sacred Flame" by
Somerset Maugham, and in 1953 was offered the title role
in the appropriately named television serial "Valiant
Lady," in which she starred for fourteen months,
withdrawing only to accept her present starring role in
"The Desperate Hours." Despite all these arduous
activities, Miss Coleman manges with efficiency a
household that includes husband Whitney Bolton,
well-known dramatic critic, and their twin daughters
Grania and Charla, aged ten.
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