The Death of Nancy Walker

Nancy Walker
May 10, 1922 – March 25, 1992
“It’s the quicker picker upper.”

Rosie the waitress or Rhoda’s mom, Ida Morgenstern- either way, she waspretty cool, wouldn’t you say? Let’s not forget McMillan and Wife. Shepretty much personified the 70’s. She was born Anna Myrtle Swoyer, and she wasonly four foot 11. Everything else she did is on the IMDb.

Nancy was a good time gal. A while back, Findadeath.comfriend Bill Tottensent us this: “I was in a bar out in West Hollywood in summer 1978 with afriend. We were visiting LA on vacation and doing the usual stuff: UniversalStudios, Disneyland, every club we could get into, etc. My friend and I had sometime to kill before we went out to the Nu-Art Theater to see a midnightscreening of Eraserhead (we’d seen “Pink Flamingos” atthe same theater the previous week) and guess who we saw drinking and laughingand having a “gay” old time? Richard Deacon, Paul Lynde and NancyWalker! This was just before Nancy Walker went on to direct Can’t Stop theMusic. Hell, maybe that’s what they were laughing at, trading Alan Carrstories. They were just cracking up with each other, and my friend and I askedthe bartender to send them a round of whatever they were drinking. They got thedrinks and the server told them who sent them the drinks and they looked in ourdirection and toasted us with big smiles. As we were getting ready to leave, wewere waved over and we introduced ourselves and I told them how great it was tomeet them all. I was too shy to ask for autographs because they were out inpublic at as “private citizens” at a gay bar, but now I wish I wouldhave. Who knew that Lynde and Deacon would pass away not many years later.Lasting impressions: Nancy Walker was so tiny, Paul Lynde was so very tanned andhad a great smile and smoked like a chimney. Richard Deacon was just really big.

Thanks Bill. What a great story!

On to Nancy. She was a New Yorker who concentrated on her stage career, butin 1970 she came out to Los Angeles and carved herself a niche in television.Oh shit, I just remembered her as the deaf maid in Murder By Death!God, she was funny.

Nancy was a reformed smoker, and had developed lung cancer some time around1986.

She was married for 41 years to David Craig, and they had a daughter namedMiranda. They lived in Studio City, inthis house, 

which you can barely see, because they were doingrenovations. Here’s the gate 

and the mailboxthough. 

From what I understand, it was Nancy’s dying wish, to have a 40thanniversary party for her and her husband, but when the date came around, shewas too ill from treatment to celebrate. When she started feeling better, shebegan planning the party, and 10 months later, her plans came to fruition. Theparty invitations read, “Its our 40th Anniversary!” 150 of herfriends showed up and sang for the couple. When the party was over, she turnedto her husband and said, “Now I can go in peace. This was the last dream ofmy life to come true.”

In March of 1992, she was hospitalized yet again, and was told the end wasnear. She was taken back home, to die peacefully.

She died on March 25, 1992. She was 69 years old.

Nancy was cremated, and scattered at sea.

At the time of her death, Nancy was working on a show called True Colors, forFox. She missed only the last episode. Upon hearing the news ofNancy’s death, Valerie Harper said, “I love the fact that she went out likeshe came in. With greasepaint on.”

At the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in TopangaCanyon, there is this small tribute to Nancy and her husband.

Trivia: Valerie Harper lets her dog crap on other people’s lawns. I swear. I’ve seen her do it.

Trivia: Nancy was a good pal of MontgomeryClift.

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