Before Dorothy Maloney changed her last name to Malone, bleached her hair blonde or won an Academy Award, she was an SMU student who spent nine years at Ursuline Academy. Malone’s acting career spans four decades and dozens of credits, yet she considered Dallas — not Hollywood — home. She spent most of her life in the city and died in a Preston Hollow assisted living facility in late January. She was 93.
Three things to know
1) Malone attended Ursuline while her parents traveled in search of a cure for her sisters, who both battled polio. After graduating from Highland Park High School, she got her big break at SMU. Her performance in a university production impressed an RKO talent scout, who recommended her for a studio contract.
2) She’s most revered for her role in the 1956 film “Written in the Wind.” Malone received an Oscar for her portrayal of a spoiled nymphomaniac.
3) She believed dyeing her hair blonde in 1954 propelled her career. “I came up with a conviction that most of the winners in this business became stars overnight by playing shady dames with sex appeal,” she said in a 1967 New York Times article. “And I’ve been unfaithful or drunk or oversexed almost ever since — on the screen, of course.”
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