Nell O'Day

Nell O'Day (September 22, 1909 – January 3, 1989) was an accomplished American equestrian and B-movie actress of the 1930s and 1940s.

Nell O'Day
The Road to Ruin (1934) - Nell O'Day & Robert Quirk.jpg
Nell O'Day and Robert Quirk in The Road to Ruin (1934)
Born(1909-09-22)September 22, 1909
DiedJanuary 3, 1989(1989-01-03) (aged 79)
OccupationFilm actress
Years active1926–1957
Spouse(s)Ted Fetter (1935–1941) (divorced)
Larry Williams (1942–1958)[1]


O'Day was born in Prairie Hill, Texas. Her father was an official with a railroad. Her first work as a professional entertainer was as a vaudeville dancer.[2]

She had her first screen roles in the 1920s as a teenager.[citation needed] In 1930, she portrayed Maribelle Fordyce in the Broadway musical Fine and Dandy.[3] Her first starring role was in 1932 when she starred in Rackety Rax opposite Victor McLaglen and Greta Nissan. From 1933 through 1940 she starred in nineteen films, with only a small number of those being western films. Starting in 1941 she began starring in roles placing her as the heroine in westerns, often opposite Johnny Mack Brown, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Max Terhune, and John 'Dusty' King.

O'Day's other Broadway credits included Many Mansions (1937), One for the Money (1939), and Many Happy Returns (1945).[3]

In 1942 she starred as the heroine in several cliffhanger episodes of Perils of the Royal Mounted. In 1943, under contract with Republic Pictures, she began starring in the Three Mesquiteers film series, alongside Bob Steele, Tom Tyler and Jimmie Dodd. Her last starring western role was in 1943, in the film Boss of Rawhide, opposite Dave O'Brien. She made one more movie, a non-western, in 1946 when she starred in The Story of Kenneth W. Randall M.D., but concentrated mostly on writing screenplays and stage plays.

She spent the rest of her life writing for stage and screen. She died of a heart attack on January 3, 1989, in Los Angeles, California.

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Nell O'Day".
  2. ^ "'Boots' Mallory, Nell O'Day Went From South To Stardom In Movies". The Montgomery Advertiser. Alabama, Montgomery. Associated Press. August 7, 1932. p. 6. Retrieved September 11, 2020 – via
  3. ^ a b "Nell O'Day". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020.

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