×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dorothy Stickney dies at 101

Broadway actress, 'Life with Father' star

Dorothy Stickney, the beloved Broadway actress who originated the role of the mother in the long-running play “Life With Father,” died June 2 at her home in New York City. She was 101.

Stickney and her husband, celebrated playwright-director-actor Howard Lindsay, who, along with Russel Crouse co-wrote “Life With Father,” co-starred in the 1939 play for five years and occasionally returned to the play as its stars. The play ran for seven years on Broadway and remains the longest-running nonmusical show in Broadway history.

In 1948 the Lindsays recreated their roles in the play’s sequel, “Life With Mother,” which was a modest success and ran for about a year.

Stickney made her Broadway debut in “The Squall” (1926) and subsequently registered with audiences in a string of hits, portraying eccentric characters including Liz, the mad scrubwoman in the original nonmusical version of “Chicago” (1926). She also essayed the role of Mollie Molloy, the prostitute who jumped from a pressroom window in “The Front Page” (1928).

Additional legit credits included “Philip Goes Forth” (1931), “Another Language” (1932), “On Borrowed Time” (1938), “The Small Hours” (1951), “To Be Continued” (1952), “Kind Sir” (1953) and “The Honeys” (1955).

Primarily a stage actress, Stickney occasionally made brief forays into feature films and the small screen. Her bigscreen debut was in the film “Wayward” (1932). Among other film roles, she was featured in “Murder at the Vanities” (1934) and in the Katharine Hepburn starrer “The Little Minister” (1934). In 1944 she and her close friend Cornelia Otis Skinner played small but touching roles in the Paramount ghost film “The Uninvited.”

Twenty-five years later she received third billing in the Melvyn Douglas-Gene Hackman film “I Never Sang for My Father.

On television, she played the queen in the Julie Andrews version of “Cinderella” on CBS in 1957. She also played a bootlegger on the CBS series “The Waltons.”

In 1960 she wrote and starred in a one-woman play about one of her favorite writers, Edna St. Vincent Millay, titled “A Lovely Light.” Stickney embarked on a nationwide tour including Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Fort Wayne. She also recorded the performance for Vanguard Records in 1964.

Widowed since 1968, she left no survivors.

More Legit

  • Clueless review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Clueless' the Musical

    How does a musical stage adaptation of Amy Heckerling’s 1995 film comedy of oblivious privileged teens, “Clueless,” play in the era of female empowerment and millennial engagement? True, the principal skills of lead teen Cher Horowitz are the superficial ones of mall shopping and makeovers. But her sweet spirit and independence, plus some added P.C. relevance, [...]

  • Ley Line Unveils Brian Wilson Documentary,

    Ley Line Unveils Brian Wilson Documentary, 'Hugo Cabret' Musical

    Producers Tim Headington and Theresa Steele Page have unveiled Ley Line Entertainment with a Brian Wilson documentary and a “Hugo Cabret” musical in the works. Ley Line said it’s a content development, production, and financing company with projects spanning film, television, stage, and music. Headington financed and produced “The Young Victoria,” “Argo,” “Hugo,” and “World [...]

  • Daniel Radcliffe

    Listen: How Broadway Made Daniel Radcliffe a Better Actor

    Acting onstage has been a regular part of Daniel Radcliffe’s career for more than a decade — and the “Harry Potter” star says there’s a good reason for that: It’s made him better. “It gives me a lot of confidence as an actor, which is not always something that I’ve felt,” Radcliffe said on the [...]

  • The Jungle review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Jungle'

    With the rumbling of semis careening by and the sound of Middle Eastern music in the distance, “The Jungle” aims to vividly immerse audiences into the world of the real-life migrant and refugee camp of the same name. By telling the story of the Jungle’s creation in Calais, France, in 2015, and its eventual destruction [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • 'Network' Review: Bryan Cranston Stars on

    Broadway Review: 'Network' With Bryan Cranston

    The 1976 film “Network” won four Academy Awards, including best original screenplay for writer Paddy Chayefsky, for its blistering portrayal of an American society fueled by greed and bloated on corruption. A haggard Peter Finch took the best actor trophy for his harrowing performance as Howard Beale, a TV newsman who is so disgusted by [...]

  • Faye DunawayVanity Fair Oscar Party, Arrivals,

    Faye Dunaway to Play Katharine Hepburn on Broadway

    Faye Dunaway will return to Broadway to play another acting diva. The Oscar-winner is set to portray Katharine Hepburn in “Tea at Five,” a one-woman play that charts the movie legend’s career over the course of a winding monologue. Dunaway last appeared on Broadway in 1982’s “The Curse of the Aching Heart.” In the 1990s, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content