Monday, April 12, 2010

Nancy Pinkerton Peabody, Original Dorian, Has Passed

Nancy Pinkerton Peabody, an actress, photographer, and more recently a real estate agent, died on March 4 at the Westhampton Care Center. She was 69. “Doctors described the cause of death as heart failure. To all her knew her, her heart never failed for an instant,” her life partner, Fred Nagel of Springs, wrote in her obituary.

Ms. Peabody was born on May 7, 1940, in Omaha, where she was raised by her mother, Merle, and adoptive father, Arthur Pinkerton.

She began her professional acting career at 17, when she was recruited by the Cleveland Repertory Theater Company to play the leading role in “The Diary of Anne Frank” and in many subsequent productions. She moved on to New York, where she performed in numerous Broadway and Off Broadway plays before moving in the 1970s to daytime television. On television, she is best known for her portrayal of Dorian Lord, a character she created for the daytime drama ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Dixie Carter, who passed over the weekend, once filled in for Pinkerton as Dorian.

Pinkerton's other soap roles included Beth on THE EDGE OF NIGHT, Karen ON SOMERSET, Viveca on THE DOCTORS, Dorothy on AS THE WORLD TURNS, and Helen on GUIDING LIGHT.

When she left acting, Ms. Peabody turned her creativity to photography. In the late 1980s, she produced an extensive exhibit titled “Love in the Time of AIDS.” It depicted and promoted volunteerism in response to the then-rampant AIDS epidemic. The exhibit was displayed on the north-facing wall of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

After several years of weekending in East Hampton, she and Mr. Nagel moved full time to a house they bought near Accabonac Harbor in Springs. She and Mr. Nagel worked in the real estate business with Allan M. Schneider Associates, Cook Pony Farm, and, most recently, the Corcoran Group.

“She had a contagious love of life and a wonderful sense of humor,” Mr. Nagel wrote.

Ms. Peabody is also survived by a sister, Jeannie Harris of La Jolla, Calif., a half brother, Dean Hokanson of Omaha, and a half sister, Monie Thompson of Bellevue, Neb.

She was cremated. Mr. Nagel is planning a memorial service on her birthday, May 7, at their house in Springs.


  1. She was a very talented lady -- I remember her from EDGE OF NIGHT but it was her version of Dorian Lord on ONE LIFE TO LIVE that left a lasting impression. Her version was very different from Robin Strasser's -- perhaps more subtle & not over-the-top but nonetheless equally as impressive.

  2. I remember Ms. Pinkerton from when she played the mousy-but-murderous Dorothy Connors on ATWT. She obviously had a few great roles under her belt at that time of which I wasn't aware. I hope she rests in peace and her partner is able to find comfort in knowing how much she was beloved.

  3. Nancy was a childhood friend of mine in Omaha. During the past few years I tried to reconnect with her but was unable to locate her. I am very sorry to hear she has died. Guess I'll have to wait till later to see her again.

    John Swanson Liljenstole

  4. I loved Nancy Pinkerton.She acted in OLTL as Dorian,that Robin Strasser has yet to master.
    I wish her bereved loved ones the best.She is now in a better place,waiting for all who loved her.

  5. I rented a room from her in 1986 at 79th and Columbus in Manhattan. She terrorized me daily and was a nightmare! She was Heroin addict and a drunk. She took all of my art work and threw it down the back elevator shaft. She was evil as hell.