Dorothy Eloise Malone

January 30, 1924January 19, 2018

Dorothy Malone passed peacefully into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, January 19, 2018, days before turning 94. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and friend. She will be dearly missed.

Born Dorothy Eloise Maloney on January 30, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Esther Maloney. Dorothy was the eldest of five children born into a loving, Christian family.

When Dorothy was a baby, her family moved to Dallas, where her heart would remain throughout her life. She attended Ursuline Academy of Dallas for nine years and was a part-time boarder at their convent with the Ursuline nuns while her parents traveled the country to try to find a cure for her two younger sisters stricken with polio. Both her sisters tragically passed away at five and eight years old. Her youngest brother was struck by lightning on a golf course and died at age 16.

Dorothy graduated from Highland Park High School with Honors in 1941. She had wonderful high school memories and was voted School Favorite and Queen of the ROTC, and began to discover her talent as an actress when she won first place in a UIL One Act Play. Dorothy earned an academic scholarship to Hockaday Junior College. She then attended SMU, where she was named a Rotunda Beauty. While at SMU, Dorothy was performing in the campus play, Starbound, when an RKO Studios Talent Scout discovered her. It was the start of her extraordinary career and life.

Dorothy was a part of the Golden Age of Hollywood and first lived at the iconic Hollywood Studio Club for Girls. Early on, she made her decision to dedicate her career to God and would sign every autograph with “May God Bless You Always!”.

She made her first major film breakthrough in 1945, captivating audiences as a bookstore clerk in The Big Sleep, with Humphrey Bogart. Throughout the next two decades, she went on to star in over 70 films, in addition to numerous TV guest appearances and commercials. In 1957, Dorothy won an Academy Award for her role as Marilee Hadley in Douglas Sirks’ Written on the Wind. In her acceptance speech, she dedicated her Oscar to her late brother, Bill. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for that role. Some of the more notable films included Young at Heart, Man of a Thousand Faces, Tarnished Angels, Too Much Too Soon, Battle Cry, Artists & Models, Beach Party and The Last Voyage. Dorothy starred alongside such iconic leading men as Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, James Cagney, Errol Flynn, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan, to name a few. In 1960, her star was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame for outstanding work in Motion Pictures at the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

Landing the starring role in TV’s first nighttime continuing drama series, Peyton Place, Dorothy achieved her widest popularity yet. It was a smash hit and aired in prime-time three nights a week over the next five years, from 1964 to 1969. This was another pivoting point in her career, as she was among the first film stars to transition from movies into television. In 1965, Dorothy suffered a near-death experience as 33 blood clots moved through her lungs. While on the critical list fighting for her life for over a week, the world stood by as her vital signs and updates were reported and displayed above Times Square. After a dramatic recovery, she resumed her role on Peyton Place. She was nominated twice for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role as Constance McKenzie. Dorothy and John Wayne were recognized in 1965 with the Golden Apple Award as the “Most Cooperative Male and Female Actors” of the year. Dorothy also received the Photoplay Award for “Most Popular Female Actress in a TV Series” in 1966.

Dorothy’s career offered amazing life experiences. In 1946, at age 22, she was invited to travel via the Queen Elizabeth to be presented to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England. In the late 60’s she was granted a private audience with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican. She was also a White House guest for three sitting U.S. Presidents.

She married Frenchman Jacques Bergerac in Hong Kong in 1959, which led her to the most cherished and fulfilling role she would have in her life, as mother to her two beloved daughters, Mimi and Diane. They had a contentious divorce four years later that spanned the next ten years. She would forevermore put her daughters’ needs before everything. In 1969, at the peak of her career, she decided to move from the Hollywood spotlight to raise her girls in Dallas, so they could experience a more normal childhood. Over the next two decades, Dorothy continued to work from Dallas, as schedule permitted. In 1992, after 50 years in the motion picture industry, Dorothy retired.

Dorothy’s career and accomplishments did not define her. She dedicated herself to her craft, never motivated by fame or fortune. She felt blessed to be able to work in an industry that she loved.

Dorothy appreciated and was deeply humbled by her fans from around the world, who have continued to contact her and keep in touch over the past 70+ years. Her love and generous spirit touched so many.

To her friends and family, Dorothy was known for her deep faith, strong character, big heart, sharp wit and fun loving spirit. She had many trials and tribulations throughout her life, but always pulled from her inner strength and was able to face any obstacle with her family close by and God in control.

We thank God for blessing her with a long and beautiful life, which she so gracefully used to reflect His love.

Dorothy is preceded in death by parents Esther Smith Maloney and Robert I. Maloney, as well as siblings Patsy Jane Maloney, Joan Maloney and George William (Bill) Maloney. Dorothy is lovingly survived by her two daughters Mimi Bergerac Vanderstraaten and Diane Bergerac Thompson and their respective husbands William Vanderstraaten and John P. Thompson, Jr. and six grandchildren Caroline Thompson Richards, John Thompson III, Emily Vanderstraaten, Lauren Thompson, Will Vanderstraaten and Crawford Thompson all of Dallas. She is also survived by her brother, The Honorable Robert B. Maloney and his wife The Honorable Frances Maloney, of Dallas.

The family would like to acknowledge their deep appreciation to her wonderful and loyal caregivers for the love and joy they brought into her life.

Memorial Mass will be held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at Christ the King Catholic Church, 8017 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75225.

In lieu of flowers, and honoring Dorothy’s lifelong love of dogs, donations can be made to SPCA of Texas 2400 Lone Star Drive, Dallas, TX 75212 or or to the charity of your choice.


  • Memorial Mass

    Thursday, January 25, 2018


Dorothy Eloise Malone

have a memory or condolence to add?


February 22, 2018

So sad to her of your passing. Sending my deepest condolences to the family. RIH Ms. Malone.

Marsha V.W.

February 20, 2018

A fine actress who will always be loved and remembered. Great work.


February 12, 2018

I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family for their loss of a talented woman. May you find comfort and help in God during this time of mourning.

February 10, 2018

To Mimi & Diana--your loss is also felt by your Mom's admirers and fans. She was a beautiful woman. Her outstanding acting abilities will forever be remembered. May you and your families have support and love during this sad time. Pat M.

February 9, 2018

RIP beautiful lady. She has entertained millions of people through her outstanding career. She will forever be remembered for her mesmerizing role in Written on the Wind. JA

February 8, 2018

The world has lost a lovely lady. Dorothy's family has lost a beloved family member. We all have benefited from her life. What more can be said of of our loss. Jane M.

February 5, 2018

Dorothy was a beloved lady throughout her life. She also was an outstanding actress who made all of her performances memorable.. Dorothy was a beautiful soul who will forever be remembered. She now is a star in the heavens .AJ

February 5, 2018

Dorothy was a beloved actress who has entertained millions throughout her career. She has been lovingly remembered as evident by these continuing tributes. RIP beautiful lady. Kathy A.

February 4, 2018

May Dorothy's family be surrounded by friends' love to support them through this very sad time. She was a very special lady who will long be remembered. This actress was a true talent. Ann M.


February 3, 2018

I'm so sorry for your loss,Ms Malone was a wonderful person and actress!She will be dearly missed. May the God of all comfort help your family to cope.


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