Award-winning stage and screen actress Nanette Fabray dies at age 97


Fabray launched her career at age 3 as Vaudeville's singing-dancing Baby Nanette.

Her success on the stage and small screen didn't translate to the movies and she only had one hit film - 1953's The Band Wagon.

In 1949, Fabray won a Tony for best actress in a musical for "Love Life", which was directed by Elia Kazan and choreographed by Michael Kidd, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But perhaps even more than her '50s comic counterpart Imogene Coca, Fabray remained a familiar TV presence well into the next several decades. He told the Los Angeles Times that she passed from natural causes. In the musical, she performed the song "Triplets", along with Astaire and Jack Buchanan, according to the Times. One doctor predicted she'd lose her hearing in five years.

She was also known as a tireless advocate for the rights of the deaf and hard of hearing, having overcome a significant hearing loss herself. She also guested on a seemingly innumerable number of variety shows, talkshows and gameshows starting in 1950 with "Your Show of Shows".

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By the 1950s, though, she was well known to TV audiences for her big-grinning performances on Caesar's Hour, for which she won two Emmy Awards.

Fabray later became a popular guest on shows like "The Love Boat", "Maude" and "Murder, She Wrote", but her character niche seemed to be as the mom of a series star.

Nanette was married to Vice President of NBC, David Tebet, but the couple got divorced in 1951.

Survivors include a son, Jamie, from her second marriage and a niece, actress Shelley Fabares, and her husband, actor Mike Farrell.