EXPIRED: 03/04/10 – Nan Martin, 82, was an actress whose name you probably don’t recognize but you’ll certainly recall the face and voice. She might be best remembered as Ali MacGraw’s snobbish mother in Goodbye, Columbus or perhaps the visitor on the TV show Golden Girls who was told to “drop dead” and then promptly did.
She repeated that performance today from emphysema.
Among Martin’s early Broadway credits are a Tony-nominated role in 1958 for J.B., directed by Elia Kazan; 1960’s Under the Yum Yum Tree; and Tennessee Williams’ The Eccentricities of a Nightingale in 1976. She also was a mainstay actress in Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park productions in New York in the 1960s.
She started working in TV in the mid 50’s and found a pretty regular paycheck bouncing around as guest appearances on The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, NYPD Blue, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nip/Tuck, The Practice, ER, Chicago Hope, Suddenly Susan and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Most memorably, she held the supporting role of loud and lively Mrs. Louer on The Drew Carey Show and appeared in more than 2 dozen films, including Toys in the Attic and Shallow Hal.
I was surprised to learn she also held the role of Freddy Krueger’s mother in 1987’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.