Hope Lange, film star who earned Oscar nomination, dies at 70

Monday, December 22nd 2003, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ Hope Lange, who starred opposite Hollywood's top actors over a decades-long career and earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the 1957 film ``Peyton Place,'' has died, her husband said Sunday. She was 70.

Lange died Friday at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica after suffering an infection caused by an intestinal inflammation known as ischemic colitis, said her husband, Charles Hollerith.

Lange split her time between homes in Los Angeles' Westwood section and New York City, said Hollerith, a former theatrical producer and vice president of the Actors' Fund of America.

Lange starred in dozens of films and television shows and captured two Emmy awards in 1969 and 1970, both for lead actress in a comedy series for her role in ``The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.''

Her big-screen credits included ``The Best of Everything'' in 1959 with Joan Crawford, ``The Young Lions'' in 1958 with Marlon Brando and ``Peyton Place'' with Lana Turner. More recently, she was in 1986's ``Blue Velvet'' and 1994's ``Clear and Present Danger.''

Actor Don Murray, who was married to Lange for several years in the 1950s, said Lange combined good looks and acting prowess.

``She was considered a great beauty who was also a serious and dedicated actor who didn't pay attention to being glamorous,'' Murray said.

Murray said her looks even intimidated Marilyn Monroe, who wanted Lange's naturally blonde hair dyed light brown in their 1956 film ``Bus Stop.''

``Marilyn complained about sharing the screen with another blonde,'' said Murray, who also starred in the movie. ``I guess she felt competition because Hope was a young beauty.''

Lange is survived by her husband, a son, actor Christopher Murray, a daughter, Patricia Murray, and two grandchildren.

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