Eighty years ago today, Nancy Malone was born. (We lost her last year on May 8.)
For those who only know people from their on-screen appearances, Ms. Malone might just be recognizable for her many roles in television, especially 'Naked City', 'The Long, Hot Summer' and 'Guiding Light'. (Although as the third recastaway to assay the role of Robin Lang Bauer Bowden Fletcher, she might have been overshadowed by the other three actresses who held the role.)
But she was a true pioneer in the television field because she turned her attentions to becoming a director. As such, she directed episodes of powerhouse shows like 'Dynasty', 'Melrose Place', 'Diagnosis Murder', 'Star Trek: Voyager', 'Dawson's Creek', and 'Picket Fences'. She was nominated for an Emmy Award as a director for episodes of 'Sisters' and 'The Trials Of Rosie O'Neil'. She won an Emmy for producing a Bob Hope special celebrating his 90th birthday and she produced a particular favorite TV movie "Sherlock Holmes In New York" (which takes place in an alternate TV dimension.)
On top of all that, she became the first vice-president of television at 20th Century Fox in 1976.
As our tip o' the hat to Nancy Malone, I'd like to offer up this theory of relateeveety.
The theories of relateeveety work best when only one of the characters involved had been a long-running role. And even then it's preferable if the show has already been cancelled so the character's history is basically locked in. The other role should be a guest starring appearance so that there isn't so much history/baggage to deal with.
And that's why I'm taking Ms. Malone's best known role of Libby Kingston in fifty one episodes of 'Naked City' and connecting her to Millie Frazier, who is only known for her one-way trip into 'The Twilight Zone'.
Aside from her life as an actress - appearing in small projects, auditioning, taking classes - about all we knew about Libby's personal life was that she was romantically involved with Detective Adam Flint of the 65th Precinct. That I believe she had a sister named Millie may not be backed up by evidence from the series, but that's not so surprising. In real life, how often do we talk about our siblings in everyday life?
This sister, who was practically an identical twin, was Millie Frazier. The difference in their last names is easy to splain away: Millie was married to Bob Frazier. Even if it turned out that she acted alone in that episode of 'The Twilight Zone' as Millie Frazier, there still wouldn't have been a Zonk. After all, being an aspiring actress, Libby might have changed her name to Kingston so that it had more potential on a marquee, or because there was already a Libby Frazier in AFTRA and SAG.
Bob and Millie Frazier made a "Stopover In A Quiet Town" which turned out to be a toy model village on board a spaceship, taking giants back to their home planet. Millie and Bob were now to be the "pets" of a giant "little" girl. (These giants are from the same planet as those to be found in the 'T-Zone' episodes "The Little People" and "The Invaders". And their home planet would be 'The Land Of The Giants'. The name of that world? Brobdingnag of Swiftian fame, which was only accessible for humans of Earth Prime-Time via a dimensional vortex.)
Had this bizarre turn of events happened while the Trueniverse audience was still able to see Libby Kingston's life play out on their TV screens, we might have finally seen Libby mention her sister Millie; perhaps she would have asked Adam to look into the disappearance of her and her husband. But Toobworld stopped following Libby's life one year before we saw what happened to the Fraziers. And that's a big boon for this theory of relateeveety......
Remembering Nancy Malone on her birthday......
As Red Skelton would often say, "Good night and may God bless."
The pictures I chose to represent Nancy Malone's role of Libby Kingston are of a personal nature for me. In the background you can see my place employment and which has since been inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame for its use in 'Seinfeld', 'Becker', 'Sex And The City', and going back to 'The George Burns And Gracie Allen Show'.