Emmy nominee Abby Dalton, known for a long career in television that culminated in a successful broadcast on the nightly soap “Falcon Crest”, died on November 23 in Los Angeles, her family announced.
She was 88 years old.
The cause of death was not specified, but was attributed to “a long illness.”
She was recalled on Twitter by her “Falcon Crest” co-star Susan Sullivan wrote, “The beautiful Abby Dalton walked off the stage. She was a mother, wife, accomplished actress and beautiful friend. #FalconCrest. “
Another co-star, Sarah Douglas, tweeted, “Very sad to learn of the death of the fabulous Abby Dalton with whom I had the chance to work on #FalconCrest She has always been so much fun and a tremendous talent. Condolences to all his family and friends. “
Born Gladys Wasden in Las Vegas on August 15, 1932, the effervescent blonde made her debut as a dancer and model, and made her film debut in Roger Corman’s teen exploitation drama “Rock All Night” (1957 ). She went on to appear in many of her other grim and crowd-pleasing films, including “Teenage Doll” (1957), “Carnival Rock” (1957) and “The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent ”(1957).
She never liked these roles, but attributed them to their inexperience; she walked on a soundstage for the first time to shoot a lead role for Corman. Present with a cheesecake portrait of herself from the period in 2011The actress laughed as she said, “It’s a perfect Hollywood picture. There is nothing honest about it.
She was then directed by famous actor Paul Henreid in the not so esteemed “Girls on the Loose” (1958) and Oscar winner Jos Ferrer in “The High Cost of Loving” (1958) opposite Ferrer and Gena Rowlands before moving on to TV Roles.
In 1958, she played Belle Starr on an episode of “Schlitz Playhouse” called “Way of the West”, and quickly became a familiar face on other westerns, including “The Rifleman” (1958), “Have Gun – Will Travel “(1958),” Jefferson Drum “(1958),” Sugarfoot “(1959) and” Rawhide “(1959).
On a 1959 episode of “Maverick,” the Innkeeper was the subject of a fight between the characters played by James Garner and Clint Eastwood.
Other early television work included appearances on “Mike Hammer” (1959) and “Hawaiian Eye” (1962) before being cast opposite veteran Jackie Cooper in the popular series “Hennesey” (1959-1962). , playing nurse Martha Hale. She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor or Actress in a Series in 1961. Her character and Cooper were married when the series ended after 95 episodes.
Dalton immediately entered “The Joey Bishop Show” (1962-1965), playing the comic book woman for 90 of the series’ 125 episodes.
She became a longtime original and recurring panelist on “Hollywood Squares” starting in 1966, which allowed her to showcase her evil spirit.
After his second series, Dalton was more selective with roles, making fewer episodic television appearances and averaging one feature film per decade, including a round winner as Calamity Jane in “The Plainsman” (1966) and a in the children’s film “A Whale of a Tale” (1976).
She was in the pilot of “Barney Miller” in 1974 as the wife of the detective, but the role was recast with Barbara Barrie.
Dalton reached his widest audience as the accomplice and mentally disturbed vineyard heiress Julia Cumson on 98 episodes of “Falcon Crest” (1981-1986) and also won a son-in-law for a spell as her television son Lorenzo Lamas. was married to his true-life daughter, actress Kathleen Kinmont, for four years.
After releasing his character from “Falcon Crest”, Dalton only made a handful of appearances, notably in “Murder, She Wrote” (1986) and in the feature films “Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force” (1989), “Cyber Tracker” (1994), “Buck and the Magic Bracelet” (1998) and “Prank” (2008).
In 2013, Dalton acted in a thriller short film written and directed by Kinmont, which became his last performance.
In addition to Kinmont, Dalton is survived by her husband of 60 years, Jack D. Smith, their sons Matthew and John, three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.