Family & Companions
Dorothy Malone was a film star during Hollywood's Golden Age who was best known for her Oscar-winning performance in Douglas Sirk's "Written on the Wind" (1956). Born in Chicago, Malone and her family moved with her family to Dallas when she was six-months old. Tragedy had struck Malone's family early on when two of her sisters died from complications from polio, so Malone grew up knowing how fleeting life was. She decided quite early to make the most of her existence, and quickly settled on becoming a performer. She began modeling for Neiman Marcus as a teenager and after a brief stint at Southern Methodist University, where she majored in drama, Malone was offered a contract with RKO studios at the age of 18. She appeared in a number of films during her year with RKO, most notably 1943's "Higher and Higher," which also starred Frank Sinatra. After one year, however, RKO decided not to renew Malone's contract. Undeterred, Malone signed a new contract with Warner Bros., and quickly raised her acting profile by appearing in films like "Too Young to Know" (1945) and "Frontier Days" (1945). Her first big break came in 1946 when she appeared alongside Humphrey Bogart in the Director Howard Hawks' film "The Big Sleep" (1946). Her role in "The Big Sleep" led to bigger parts in films like the musical comedy "Two Guys from Texas" (1948), which was Malone's first lead role. Malone left Warner Bros. in the late 1940s to become a freelance film actor in Hollywood. She continued nabbing a multitude of roles throughout the 1950s, including "Torpedo Alley" (1952), "Scared Stiff" (1953), and "The Fast and the Furious" (1955), the latter of which was also the first film produced by the legendary producer Roger Corman. Then in 1956 Malone appeared in a supporting role alongside Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall in the Douglas Sirk melodrama "Written on the Wind." The film earned Malone her first and only Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Malone continued acting in films throughout the remainder of the 1950s and early 1960s, but in 1964 she gained renewed attention for her role as Constance Mackenzie on the prime time soap opera "Peyton Place" (ABC, 1964-69). Her role on "Peyton Place" ended in 1968 and Malone spent the next twenty-plus years of her acting career appearing in TV shows, made-for-TV movies, and little seen films. She appeared in only a handful of roles throughout the 1980s, with her last on-screen part being in 1992's "Basic Instinct." Malone spent the remaining years of her life in suburban Dallas, the same place she grew up. She died peacefully at a Dallas nursing facility on January 19, 2018. She was 93.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made her feature debut as Dorothy Maloney in "Falcon and the Co-Eds"
Joined Warner Bros. and changed billing to Dorothy Malone
Had her first impact as a brunette nymphomaniac who lets down her hair and entertains Humphrey Bogart one thundery afternoon in "The Big Sleep"
Played one of three sisters (with Doris Day and Elizabeth Fraser) in "Young at Heart", starring Frank Sinatra
Undressed in an armchair for Raoul Walsh's "Battle Cry"
Won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Robert Stack's nymphomaniac sister in "Written on the Wind", directed by Douglas Sirk; also first film with Rock Hudson
Portrayed Lon Chaney's lackadaisical first wife in "Man of a Thousand Faces", starring James Cagney
Reunited with director Douglas Sirk and co-stars Rock Hudson and Robert Stack for "The Tarnished Angels"; portrayed Stack's promiscuous parachutist wife
Was again cast as Stack's wife in the engrossing drama of a luxury ship going down at sea, "The Last Voyage"
Made her third movie with Rock Hudson, Robert Aldrich's "The Last Sunset"
Had a regular role as an aerialist on the ABC series "The Greatest Show on Earth"
Had top billing as Constance Mackenzie in ABC primetime soap opera "Peyton Place"
Appeared in ABC's popular miniseries "Rich Man, Poor Man"
Reprised Constance Mackenzie role for NBC movie "Murder in Peyton Place"
Again played Constance Mackenzie in NBC movie "Peyton Place: The Next Generation"
Made her final screen appearance as Hazel Dobkins in "Basic Instinct"