Sneha Girap (Editor)

Lois Nettleton

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Cause of death  lung cancer
Role  Film Actress
Name  Lois Nettleton
Years active  1949–2008
Other names  Lydia Scott

Lois Nettleton with a tight-lipped smile, looking afar, and sitting on the chair while wearing a sleeveless dress
Full Name  Lois June Nettleton
Born  August 16, 1927 (1927-08-16) Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
Resting place  Saint Raymond's Cemetery, Bronx, New York City
Died  January 18, 2008, Woodland Hills, California, United States
Spouse  Jean Shepherd (m. 1960–1967)
Buried  Saint Raymond's Cemetery, New York City, New York, United States
Parents  Edward L. Nettleton, Virginia Nettleton
Movies and TV shows  The Christmas Card, In the Heat of the Night, Deadly Blessing, Come Fly with Me, Mail Order Bride
Similar People  Jean Shepherd, Alice Evans, Ed Asner, John Newton, Burt Kennedy

1. Lois Nettleton in Bracken's World: Nude Scene episode with Steve Ihnat

Lois June Nettleton (August 16, 1927 – January 18, 2008) was an American film, stage, radio, and television actress.


Lois Nettleton smiling while her arms are leaning on the car window and she is wearing a blouse

Ida lupino lois nettleton filth behind the irons


Portrait of Lois Nettleton with a letter autograph on the bottom right  while she is wearing a turtleneck blouse

Lois Nettleton was born on August 16, 1927 in Oak Park, Illinois to Virginia and Edward L. Nettleton. She was Miss Chicago of 1948, as well as a semifinalist at the Miss America 1948 Pageant. Her professional acting career began in 1949. She understudied Barbara Bel Geddes in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and first appeared on television in a 1954 episode of Captain Video.


Lois Nettleton smiling with blonde curly hair while wearing a black and blue blouse

Nettleton played Patsy in the radio soap opera The Brighter Day.

Television/Emmy Award nominations

Lois Nettleton with a serious face in a scene from the 1963 tv series, The Fugitive, on the episode of "Man on a String"

She performed in dozens of guest-starring roles on television shows. Early roles included The Twilight Zone (episode "The Midnight Sun", 1961); Naked City; Route 66; Mr. Novak; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (episode "The Dark Pool", 1963); The Eleventh Hour; Dr. Kildare; Twelve O'Clock High; The Fugitive; The F.B.I.; Bonanza; Gunsmoke; The Virginian and Daniel Boone. In 1973, she appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Lou Grant's new boss, Barbara Coleman, where she had a crush on Mr. Grant. She appeared in the pilot episode of The Eddie Capra Mysteries in 1978, as well as hit TV miniseries such as Washington: Behind Closed Doors and Centennial, as the murderous Maude Wendell.

In 1987, she portrayed the role of Penny VanderHof Sycamore on the TV series version of the classic Kaufman and Hart comedy play You Can't Take It with You with Harry Morgan and Richard Sanders. She was a regular celebrity guest on various versions of the game show Pyramid from the 1970s through 1991.

Nettleton won two Emmy Awards during her career. She won one for her role as Susan B. Anthony in the television film The American Woman: Profiles in Courage (1977), and for "A Gun For Mandy" (1983), which was an episode of the religious anthology, Insight. She received an Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" for an episode of The Golden Girls. She also received Emmy nominations for her work in the TV movie Fear on Trial (1975) ("Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special") and for a recurring role on the series In the Heat of the Night, in 1989 ("Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series"). Nettleton appeared in a 2006 Christmas TV movie special, The Christmas Card.


A life member of the Actors Studio, Nettleton made her Broadway debut in the 1949 production of Dalton Trumbo's play, The Biggest Thief in Town using the name Lydia Scott. She appeared in a 1959 off-Broadway production of Look Charlie, which was written by her future husband, humorist Jean Shepherd.

She received critical praise for her performance as Blanche DuBois in a 1973 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. Nettleton was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Amy in a 1976 revival of They Knew What They Wanted. Other stage credits include Broadway productions of Darkness at Noon and Silent Night, Lonely Night. She continued to act onstage into her 70s. Her final stage performance was in 2004, in an off-Broadway play, How to Build a Better Tulip.


In her later years, she did several voice roles for Disney, such as Disney's House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains (as Maleficent), and Herc's Adventures. She appeared in episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Personal life

She was the first caller to Jean Shepherd's late-night radio program on WOR, later becoming his third wife. She became a regular guest, known to listeners as "the Caller". They appeared together in Shepherd's off-Broadway play Look, Charlie in 1959, and married in 1960. They divorced seven years later. She never remarried or had children.

Her last public appearance was at the 2007 Twilight Zone Convention, in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, in August 2007.


Nettleton died at the age of 80, from lung cancer, in Woodland Hills, California on January 18, 2008. She was interred in New York City's Saint Raymond's Cemetery.


Lois Nettleton Wikipedia