Nancy Kelly

Actress Nancy Kelly, who received an Oscar nomination for her starring role in the film, “The Bad Seed,” died Jan. 2 from apparent complications from diabetes in Bel Air, Calif. She was 73.

Kelly’s husband, Warren Caro, died Jan. 1 at age 87.

She was born in Lowell, Mass., on March 25,1921, and grew up primarily in New York. She was a child actress and came to Los Angeles as a teenager, and her career spanned both stage and screen.

She starred in the Maxwell Anderson play “The Bad Seed” on Broadway, earning both a Sarah Siddons Award and a Tony Award for her lead role as the mother of a malicious daughter whose inherited evil “causes” the deaths of several people. Kelly later reprised her role in the 1956 movie version, winning an Oscar nomination.

In the 1940s she appeared in several movies under her contract with 20th Century Fox, including starring roles in “Tailspin,” “Show Business,” “Jesse James” and “Stanley and Livingstone.”

“She was a very big star in her day,” said her daughter, Kelly Caro Rosenberg. “I have notes here from Neil Simon, Kirk Douglas and Noel Coward. She even got a telegram from Greta Garbo.”

Kelly, who later in her career made various TV movies, gave up acting about 10 years ago.

She was married three times – to actor Edmund O’Brien and cameraman Fred Jackman before she married Caro in the mid 1950s.

In addition to her daughter, Kelly is survived by three granddaughters.

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