Partner Katharine Cornell
Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063
23 Beekman Pl, New York, NY 10022, Stati Uniti
Hamilton (July 27, 1908 - February 18, 1985) was an American
actress, playwright, lyricist, director and producer. She has been
romantically linked to Katharine Cornell, Katharine Hepburn.
Hamilton was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania in 1909 and graduated from Smith College. At Smith, she was active in the theater and was president of the school's Dramatic Association her senior year. She caused a bit of a scandal at the college with ''And So On'', a tropical revue that she wrote and directed. Billy J. Harbin, Kim Marra and Robert A. Schanke, in their book ''The Gay & Lesbian Theatrical Legacy: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Figures in American Stage History in the Pre-Stonewall Era'', wrote, "She [Hamilton] had received special permission from the president of this women's college to hire men to play in the show's orchestra. On opening night the audience was scandalized when it was discovered that Hamilton had incorporated many of the men into onstage scenes."
Hamilton's initial venture into New York theater was as the understudy to Katharine Hepburn in ''The Warrior's Husband''. She worked in the New York theater from 1932-1954. She wrote sketches and lyrics for the revues ''New Faces of 1934'' (1934), ''One for the Money'' (1939), ''Two for the Show'' (1940) and ''Three to Make Ready'' (1946). In her book, ''Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen'', Linda Dahl quoted Hamilton as saying, "The only way to get a show is to write a show." Dahl added, "The revues she wrote, chock-full of talented unknowns who later became stars, pulled in chick New York audiences."
Hamilton is perhaps best known as the lyricist for the popular song, "How High the Moon."
Italy, 1944. In front from left Margalo Gilmore, Gert Macy, Kit Cornell. In back Brenda Forbes and Nancy Hamilton, all on tour entertaining the troops with the “Barretts of Wimpole Street.”
Hamilton was the lifelong partner of legendary actress Katharine Cornell.
In 1955, Hamilton won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for the film ''Helen Keller in Her Story'' (1954), becoming the first woman to win that award.
After Katharine Cornell died in 1974, Nancy Hamilton moved back into Katharine Hepburn’s inner circle. Sharing a love for chocolate, the two women could consume several pans of Kate’s famous brownies in one sitting. When Nancy died in 1985, her will specified that Kate be given five hundred dollars’ worth of the best dark chocolate.
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