Nancy Walker

1922 - 1992

They say big things often come in small packages, and never was that saying more true than when sizing up the talents of that diminutive dynamo Nancy Walker. Born Anna Myrtle Smoyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 10, 1922, she lived a born-in-a-trunk existence as the daughter of vaudevillian Dewey Barto (né Dewey Smoyer). At the time of his run of Broadway's "Hellzapoppin", he was part of the comedy team of Barto & Mann (George Mann). Her sister, Betty Lou Barto, also went on to have a musical career. Though she had designs on becoming a legit singer, it was hard for others to take Nancy seriously with her naturally aggressive manner backed up by this tiny frame. Comedy was definitely her forte.Broadway legend George Abbott picked up on her innate comic abilities immediately and set her up as his blind date in the Broadway musical smash "Best Foot Forward" in 1941. The show, starring June Allyson, was a certifiable hit, and when MGM turned Best Foot Forward (1943) into a musical

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