Short, round and sweet-faced, she was a little butterball of sunshine(no more than 5 feet tall) topped by a tight, adorable, tangerineOrphan Annie-like frizz. Character actress Nora Boland was one of ahost of endearing character ladies who fell into their careers quitelate in life. Born Nora Madeleine Webb on December 14, 1929 inHamilton, Ontario, Canada, she had pursued theater here and there formuch of her life but was comfortably settled in as a married lady and amother several times over by the time she decided to plant her feetmore firmly into the entertainment business. She couldn't miss.
Despitea minor presence in films and on TV, she would effortlessly steal focuswith a simple glazed look or act of befuddlement. Add to that was awonderfully hearty, squawk-like laugh that seemed so mischievous innature and could be quite infectious. Making her film debut at age 48 in a small role in 'Gene Wilder' 's The World's Greatest Lover (1977) , Nora lent her gleefuldisposition to other comedic film situations as well, such as in California Suite (1978) and 'Rodney Dangerfield' 's Back to School (1986) . She seemed truly in her element with TVcomedy, making token appearances in a number of sitcoms including "WKRPin Cincinnati," "Gimme a Break" and "227" while perhaps playing aneighbor, landlady, store customer, relative, cleaning lady, or flightymatron. She managed to provide comedy relief too in more dramaticsituations ("General Hospital," "Hill Street Blues" and "Highway toHeaven.
")It was on the musical stage, however, that Nora truly had her chance toshine. A one-time member of 'Lonny Chapman' 's Group RepertoryTheatre, Nora grabbed a number of the laughs as prison matron "MamaMorton" in their production of "Chicago" during the 1980s and had herown scene-stealing numbers in other musicals as well that played aroundthe Los Angeles area. Nora and I worked together for several seasons atthe Norris Theatre in Palos Verdes in their annual offering of "AChristmas Carol," which featured such notable Scrooges as'Ford Rainey' , 'Raye Birk' and 'Robert Mandan' . Asexpected, she was a giddy delight as Mrs. Fezziwig, among other roles.
Experiencing problems with hypertension and diabetes in later years,Nora retired in the 1990s and focused on her true passion -- writing --especially poetry. She passed away peacefully in her Rolling HillsEstates home on January 15, 2008, at age 78. . . and, with it, just alittle less joy and merriment will be had in our small L.
A. theatercommunity. .
|1||Tag: The Assassination Game||1982||as Cleaning Woman|
|2||And Baby Makes Six||1979||as Older Patient|
|3||Back to School||1986||as Agnes|
|4||California Suite||1978||as Passenger|
|5||Mississippi Masala||1991||as Shop-at-Home Anchor Person 1|
|6||The Boy Who Drank Too Much||1980||as Ruth|
|7||The Jayne Mansfield Story||1980||as Fan|
|8||The Worlds Greatest Lover||1977||as Woman|
|10||Behind the Screen||1981||as Waitress|
|12||Celebrity||1984||as Ruth Paine|
|13||Doogie Howser, M.D.||1989||as Mrs. Leonard|
|14||General Hospital||1963||as Mrs. Clancy (1983)|
|15||Gimme a Break!||1981||as Edna|
|16||Highway to Heaven||1984||as Mrs. Hardy|
|17||Hill Street Blues||1981||as Mrs. Redding|
|18||Police Story||1973||as the Woman in Window|
|19||The Dukes of Hazzard||1979||as Mrs. Walker|
|20||The Fall Guy||1981||as Tourist Lady|
|21||The Incredible Hulk||1978||as The Lady|
|22||Webster||1983||as Mrs. Beebe|
|23||WKRP in Cincinnati||1978||as Mrs. Murphy|