Hope Lange was a treasured American actress who worked on American films, television programs, and even performed on Broadway. She was such an amazing actress that she even won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. We’ve gathered five of the most interesting facts about her life for you!
1. There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding Hope’s actual birthday! Although many sources say that she was born November 29, 1931, she was actually born on November 28, 1933. In the earlier "Reader’s Digest Almanac and Yearbook," her birthday is listed in 1931, but the later issues of it corrected it to 1933. The truth about her age can be figured out when you look at her Social Security Death Index entry, as well as the newspaper accounts of the awards she received as a young actress.
2. Hope was featured in "The Lowell Sun’s" February 1951 edition where they did a short feature about her wonderful culinary skills! The article gave a biography of the 17-year-old’s life in Greenwich Village, New York, where she lived with her mother who owned a catering business. Her father, the director of music for Florenz Ziegfeld, had passed away by that time, so she was helping her mother with the catering business. The article also featured her two recipes for “Sardine Strips” and “Cheese Ribbon” sandwiches!
3. In 1971, she joined "The New Dick Van Dyke Show" where she played Jenny Preston, wife of Dick Van Dyke. She worked on the show alongside such stars as Fannie Flagg, David Doyle, Barry Gordon, and Barbara Rush. The show was a revival of the original "Dick Van Dyke Show" which ran from October 1961 to June 1966. She remained on the show until 1974 and declined to return for the additional fourth season, which worked out since the show never returned for a fourth season.
4. In 1956, Hope married Don Murray, a fellow actor, and had two children, Christopher and Patricia, who would later grow up to be an actor and a photographer, respectively. They divorced a mere six years later in 1961. Following the divorce, she went on to date some rather interesting men, from Glenn Ford and John Cheever to Frank Sinatra. She was married in 1963 to Alan J. Pakula, but their marriage didn’t last much longer than her first marriage did, and they divorced in 1971. It wasn’t until 1986 that she found the love of her life, Charles Hollerith. The two married quickly, and they remained together until her death in 2003.
5. On December 19, 2003, Hope Lange passed away at the age of 70. She died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Her death was the result of ischemic colitis, which caused severe infections that eventually led to her death. Her loss was felt around the world, by her loving children and her dear fans.