‘The Odd Couple’ Co-Star Dies At 95
Hotchkis was best known for playing Dr. Nancy Cunningham on the sitcom “The Odd Couple,” but she didn’t always know that she would be an actress.
Hotchkis went to college and studied psychology. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in that field at Smith College and went on to earn her M.A. in Early Childhood Education at Bank Street Teacher’s College. Before starting an acting career, Hotchins worked for several years as a teacher at a nursery school in New York.
At 1954, at the age of 27, Hotchkis made a career change. She decided to pursue acting. She started her career in New York, but ended up moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles. She also ended up working as a writer and performance artist. Her career in the arts lasted more than 50 years.
Hotchkis managed to land parts on multiple TV shows in her early career including “Frontier,” “Conflict,” “Diagnosis: Unknown,” “Way Out,” “Iron Horse,” and “The Outcasts.” She also landed roles on TV movies including “Inside Danny Baker” and “Abe Lincoln in Illinois.”
In 1969 and 1970, she had a recurring role as Ellen Monroe on the TV series “My World and Welcome to It.” She also appeared on three episodes of “Bewitched.”
In 1971, Hotchkis landed her most notable role, that of Dr. Nancy Cunningham on the TV series “The Odd Couple.” Her career was far from over when her role on that show ended.
Hotchkis went on to act in TV movies and series until 1993. These credits include “Breezy,” “The F.B.I.,” “The New Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Barnaby Jones,” “Charlies Angles,” “Lou Grant,” “The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts,” “St Elsewhere,” and “The Magical World of Disney” just to name a few. Her last TV role was a 1993 TV movie called “The Disappearance of Christina.”
Off screen, Hotchkis wrote a one-woman play called “Legacy,” and in 1975, she adapted the play for the screen, making her a playwright and a screenwriter. She also co-wrote an acting book with acting teacher Eric Morris called “No Acting Please.”
Hotchkis was married once. She met director Bob Foster on the set of a commercial in 1958. They got married and had one daughter together, Paula Chambers. The marriage didn’t last, and they got divorced in 1967. It was after her divorce that she decided to move back to Los Angeles.