Nancy Olson

1928

She cast such a sunny, positive glow in 1950s and 1960s films that you wonder how her promising career might have turned out had it not taken a sudden family detour. Lovely Milwaukee-born Nancy (Ann) Olson was the daughter of Henry, a physician, and Evelyn Olson, and educated at the University of Wisconsin. Discovered on stage after transferring to California's UCLA, the pretty, peaches-and-cream blonde was quickly signed by Paramount Studios in 1948 and almost immediately handed co-starring parts after an uncredited bit part in Portrait of Jennie (1948).Earning a prime role in the picture Canadian Pacific (1949), the relatively inexperienced starlet was given the role of a lifetime as script girl Betty Schaefer, who attracts never-do-well writer William Holden and irks reclusive diva Gloria Swanson in the towering classic Sunset Boulevard (1950). A bright and animated presence who held her own in a film rich with best-scene stealers, Nancy won a deserved Oscar nomination for "best sup

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