Nancy Dussault

Last updated
Nancy Dussault
Dussault in 2010
Born (1936-06-30) June 30, 1936 (age 83)
Education Northwestern University
Occupation Actress & Singer
Years active1961–present
James Dunton Travis
(m. 1958;div. 1982)

Valentine Mayer(m. 1985)

Nancy Dussault (born June 30, 1936) is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role in the sitcom Too Close for Comfort (1980–1987). In a career spanning over half a century, Dussault received two Tony Award nominations.


Early life

Born in Pensacola, Florida, her parents were George Adrian, a naval officer of French-Canadian descent and Sarah Isabel (née Seitz). [1] She grew up as a "Navy junior" [ clarification needed ]. A former resident of Arlington, Virginia, she graduated from Washington-Lee High School (W-L) where she was an actress and singer in the W-L drama program under director Jack Jeglum and a choral singer in the nationally known Washington-Lee High School Choir and Madrigal Singers under director Florence Booker. She is an alumna of Northwestern University.


In 1962, Dussault stepped into the role of Maria in the Broadway production of The Sound of Music . She received a Tony Award nomination in 1961 for Best Featured Actress (Musical) for Do Re Mi and was nominated for her performance in Bajour (1965). Of her performance in Do Re Mi and later career, Bloom and Vlastnik wrote: "Confidently clowning alongside such pros as Phil Silvers and Nancy Walker...she never faded into the scenery. Equally comfortable as a pure soprano or a rangy high belter, her versatility was well captured on the...cast album...Well cast as a situation comedy wife, she spent much of the 1970s and 80s in California." [2] Other stage shows included Quality Street in 1965 at the Bucks County Playhouse in Pennsylvania. [3] In 1978 she played the title role in "Peter Pan" at the Meldoy Top Theatre in Wisconsin and Sacramento Music Circus. She also appeared in the City Center Gilbert & Sullivan NYC Company, directed by Dorothy Raedler, with such Metropolitan Opera singers as Nico Castel, Muriel Costa-Greenspon, and Frank Poretta, Sr. Dussault took over as the Witch in Into the Woods on Broadway (1987–1989). She had appeared twelve years earlier in the revue Side by Side by Sondheim on Broadway. More recently she has appeared at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco as Mrs Peachum in "Threepenny Opera" (1999) and as Toinette in Moliere's "The Imaginary Invalid" (2007)


In Arthur Hiller's 1979 film, The In-Laws , she played Carol Kornpett, wife of Alan Arkin who played Sheldon S. Kornpett, D.D.S.


On television, Dussault made guest appearances (primarily as a vocalist and dancer) on variety shows of the 1960s, including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Garry Moore Show . She was a regular on the 1970s series The New Dick Van Dyke Show and the long running CBS game show Match Game . She also played Ted Knight's wife in the role of the photographer Muriel Rush on the 1980s situation comedy Too Close for Comfort . She was part of the first anchor team of the ABC morning show Good Morning America , paired with David Hartman, when that show launched in 1975. Dussault was the first actress to portray the character of Theresa Stemple, the mother of character Jamie Stemple Buchman, in season one of the NBC TV series Mad About You . She has appeared in episodes of Barney Miller. In January 1997, she played The Mayor Of Metropolis in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman ("Lethal Weapon" - Season 4, Episode 12).

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
1961 15th Tony Awards Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Do Re Mi
1965 19th Tony Awards Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical

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  1. Biography, accessed September 3, 2009
  2. Bloom, Ken; Vlastnik, Frank (2004). Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time. Black Dog Publishing. ISBN   1-57912-390-2, p. 87
  3. 1965: Bucks County Playhouse Archived 2013-06-20 at the Wayback Machine , Bucks County Playhouse official website (2009)
Preceded by
Good Morning America co-host
November 3, 1975August 5, 1977
with David Hartman
Succeeded by
Sandy Hill as David Hartman's co-host from 1977 to 1980