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Dorothy Lyman (born April 18, 1947) is an American television actress, director and producer. She is most commonly known for her work as Gwen Frame in Another World and in All My Children as Opal Sue Gardner, as Rebecca Whitmore in Generations, and on the sitcom Mama's Family as Naomi Harper.[1]

Dorothy Lyman
Born (1947-04-18) April 18, 1947 (age 71)
OccupationActress, director, producer
Years active1971–present
Spouse(s)John Tillinger (1971-1983; divorced) (2 children)
Vincent Malle (1987-2001; divorced) (1 child)

Life and careerEdit

Lyman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Violet E. (née Brightwell) and Hector H. Lyman, who was a stockbroker. She and Jill Larson who succeeded her in the role of Opal on All My Children, went to the same high school.[2] She first appeared on her first soap opera A World Apart as flower child Julie Stark in 1971. Several years later, Dorothy appeared as Elly Jo Jamison, an evil relation of wealthy Orin Hillyer, on The Edge of Night.[citation needed]

She played architect Gwen Parrish Frame (1976–1980, 1989) on Another World and played Ralphie's mother in Jean Shepherd's Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss from 1988. She appeared in the Tales from the Darkside television series in the 'In the Cards' episode (1985), in ALF as Maura Norris in the episode 'Tequila' (1988), Generations as Rebecca Whitmore (1990–1991), and in The Bold and the Beautiful as Bonnie Roberts (1991–1992).[citation needed]

However, her most notable soap opera role has been on All My Children as Opal Sue Gardner, for which she received two Emmy Awards—as Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Daytime Drama Series in 1982 and for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 1983. Lyman attended high school with Jill Larson, the actress who would eventually succeed her in the role of Opal Gardner on All My Children.[citation needed]

In an appearance on Vicki Lawrence's talk show Vicki!, Lyman noted that she continued to perform on All My Children concurrently with the beginning of Mama's Family's production, flying back and forth each week between New York City and Los Angeles. While the commute was brutal, she remembered it fondly, referring to that stage of her career as "All My Paychecks".[citation needed]

When Mama's Family ended its run, Lyman went behind the camera, producing and directing a total of 75 episodes of The Nanny (all episodes of the third and fourth seasons, and all but four episodes of the fifth), even making a special guest appearance on the Fran Drescher sitcom. After Mama's Family ended in 1990, Lyman had a recurring role on Bob, Bob Newhart's third series.[citation needed] She made a cameo appearance in I Love Trouble, a film starring Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts. She made a cameo appearance in the 2001 film Blow starring Johnny Depp. She was seen in the 2006 film The Departed.[citation needed]

In 2007, Lyman guest-starred in the third season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica as Starbuck's mother. Lyman is currently living in New York City after spending time in California. In California, she made a guest appearance on Reba, playing Reba Hart's mother.[3]

Lyman performed "My Kitchen Wars" in Hollywood and New York as a one-woman show based on the book by Betty Fussell.[4]


  1. ^ "Memorable Entertainment Television". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  2. ^ Dorothy Lyman Biography,; accessed June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Lyman's Hollywood credits,; accessed August 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2016-06-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit