Nancy Olson


Nancy Ann Olson (born July 14, 1928) is an American actress. She made her film debut in an uncredited role in William Dieterle’s Portrait of Jennie (1948), with Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore, and Lillian Gish; followed by a credited role in Edwin L. Marin’s Canadian Pacific (1949), with Randolph Scott, Jane Wyatt,
J. Carrol Naish, and Victor Joy.

She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950), with William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Jack Webb, Lloyd Gough, and Fred Clark. She would co-star with Holden 3 more times in Rudolph Maté’s Union Station (1950), with Barry Fitzgerald, Lyle Bettger, and Jan Sterling; Michael Curtiz’s Force of Arms (1951), with Frank Lovejoy; and John Farrow’s Submarine Commander (1951), with Don Taylor, William Bendix, and Darryl Hickman.

Other notable films in the 1950s include Richard Haydn’s Mr. Music (1950), with Bing Crosby, Charles Coburn, Groucho Marx, and Robert Stack; Edward Ludwig’s Big Jim McLain (1952), with John Wayne, James Arness, Alan Napier, and Veda Ann Borg; Robert Wise’s So Big (1953), with Jane Wyman, Sterling Hayden, and Steve Forrest; The Boy from Oklahoma (1954); with Will Rogers Jr., Lon Chaney Jr., Anthony Caruso, and Wallace Ford; and Raoul Walsh’s Battle Cry (1955), with Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, James Whitmore, Tab Hunter, Anne Francis, Dorothy Malone, Raymond Massey, and Mona Freeman.

Films in the 1960s and 1970s include David Swift’s Pollyanna (1960), with Hayley Mills, Wyman, Karl Malden, Richard Egan, Adolphe Menjou, Agnes Moorehead, and Kevin Corcoran; Robert Stevenson’s The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), and Son of Flubber (1963), collectively with Fred McMurray, Keenan Wynn, Tommy Kirk, Leon Ames, Elliott Reid, Edward Andrews, and Ed Wynn; Michael O’Herlihy’s Smith! (1969), with Glenn Ford, Dean Jagger, Warren Oates, and Chief Dan George; Norman Tokar’s Snowball Express (1972); with Dean Jones, Harry Morgan, Keenan Wynn, Johnny Whitaker, Michael McGreevey, George Lindsey, Kathleen Cody, and Mary Wickes; and Jack Smight’s Airport 1975 (1974), with Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy, Swanson, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Susan Clark, Sid Caesar, Linda Blair, Dana Andrews, Roy Thinnes, Ed Nelson, Myrna Loy, Augusta Summerland, and Helen Reddy.

Later films include Arthur Hitler’s Making Love (1982), with Michael Ontkean, Kate Jackson, Harry Hamlin, Wendy Hiller, and Arthur Hill; the animated TV movie Sparky’s Magic Piano (1987), with Vincent Price, Coral Browne, Tony Curtis, Cloris Leachman, Mel Blanc, and William Schallert; an uncredited cameo in Flubber (1997), with Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Ted Levine, Raymond J. Barry, Wil Wheaton, Clancy Brown, and the voice of Jodi Benson; and Dumbbells (2014), with Brian Drolet, Hoyt Richards, Mircea Monroe, Jaleel White, Taylor Cole, Jay Mohr, Tom Arnold, Laura Ashley Samuels, and Andy Milonakis.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Portrait of Jennie (1948) – directed by William Dieterle – uncredited
  • Canadian Pacific (1949) – directed by Edwin L. Marin
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)** – directed by Billy Wilder
  • Union Station (1950) – directed by Rudolph Maté
  • Mr. Music (1950) – directed by Richard Haydn
  • Force of Arms (1951) – directed by Michael Curtiz
  • Submarine Command (1951) – directed by John Farrow
  • Big Jim McLain (1952) – directed by Edward Ludwig
  • So Big (1953) – directed by Robert Wise
  • The Boy from Oklahoma (1954) – directed by Michael Curtiz
  • Battle Cry (1955) – directed by Raoul Walsh
  • High Tor (1956) – directed by James Neilson & Franklin J. Schaffner – TV movie
  • Pollyanna (1960) – directed by David Swift
  • The Absent Minded Professor (1961) – directed by Robert Stevenson
  • Son of Flubber (1963) – directed by Robert Stevenson
  • Smith! (1969) – directed by Michael O’Herlihy
  • Snowball Express (1972) – directed by Norman Tokar
  • Airport 1975 (1974) – directed by Jack Smight
  • Making Love (1982) – directed by Arthur Hiller
  • Sparky’s Magic Piano (1987) – directed by Lee Mishkin – TV movie
  • Flubber (1997)* – directed by Les Mayfield – uncredited
  • Dumbbells (2014) – directed by Christopher Livingston