Two ‘OLTL’ Alums Pass Away

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:00 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a little over a month, “One Life to Live” has lost two actresses that once portrayed one of Llanview’s most recognizable characters.

On March 4th, Nancy Pinkerton Peabody died at the age of 69, as a result of congestive heart failure. Joining the cast of “One Life” in 1973, Peabody (then credited as just Nancy Pinkerton), originated the role of Dr. Dorian Cramer Lord (currently played by Robin Strasser). She would leave the show just four years later, however her legacy still lives on today. It was during Peabody’s stint as Dorian that the long-standing rivalry between the character and Victoria “Viki” Lord (Erika Slezak) began.

Prior to joining “OLTL,” she played Beth Moon Anderson Barnes on “The Edge of Night” from 1963-67, and Karen MacMillan on “Somerset” from 1970-72. After leaving Llanview, she went on to portray Viveca Strand on “The Doctors” (1979-81), Dorothy Connors on “As the World Turns” (1983-84), and Helen Kennedy on “Guiding Light” (1985). In addition, she appeared on the celebrity game show “Hollywood Squares” in 1979. In recent years, she found work as a real estate agent and photographer.

Peabody is survived by her sister, along with a half-brother and sister, and her life partner Fred Nagel. Cremation was chosen. A memorial service is being planned for May 7th, which would have been been her 70th birthday. You can read her full obituary from The East Hampton (New York) Star here.

Then on April 10th, celebrated actress Dixie Carter died at the age of 70. According to her husband (and fellow actor) Hal Holbrook, the cause of death was complications from endometrial cancer, which was diagnosed earlier this year. Carter briefly stepped into the role of Dorian for a few months in 1974 while Peabody was on maternity leave.

Perhaps best remembered for her portrayal as the outspoken Southern Bell Julia Sugarbaker on the popular CBS sitcom “Designing Women” (1986-93), Carter made her acting debut in a Memphis stage production of “Carsoul” in 1960. After Peabody returned to the role of Dorian, Carter played Oivia Brandeis “Brandy” Henderson on “The Edge of Night” from 1974-76. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, she landed the role of Maggie McKinney on “Diff’rent Strokes” from 1984-85, before joining “Designing Women.”

Following the conclusion of that show, Carter was a cast in a number of small roles, before returning to primetime as Randi King on “Family Law” from 1999-2002. In 2004 she guest-starred on “Law & Order: SVU.” She also continued to pursue her Broadway career.

From 2006-07, she was cast as mentally disturbed Gloria Hodge, mother of Bree Van de Kamp’s (Marcia Cross) husband Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan) on “Desperate Housewives.” The role earned Carter an Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Her final television project was 2008′s “That Evening Sun,” which she and Holbrook filmed in east Tennessee.

In addition to her husband, Cater is survived by two daughters from a previous marriage, along with one sister, and several nieces and nephews.

“One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.

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