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Nancy Marchand of ‘Sopranos’ Dies

June 19, 2000

STRATFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Nancy Marchand, who played the scheming matriarch of a Mafia family on ``The Sopranos″ and the patrician publisher Mrs. Pynchon on television’s ``Lou Grant,″ has died at 71, an HBO spokeswoman said Monday.

The Emmy-winning actress died of lung cancer Sunday night at her home, HBO’s Tobe Becker said. Monday would have been Marchand’s 72nd birthday.

While Marchand excelled in a variety of stage roles, she got most of her acclaim for her TV roles _ four consecutive Emmys while on ``Lou Grant,″ from 1979 through 1982, and a nomination for her role on ``The Sopranos.″

Marchand, who once said she was comfortable on stage but uneasy meeting people one-on-one, showed no fear as Livia Soprano or Mrs. Pynchon. Both women were in control _ Livia of a sprawling mobster family, Mrs. Pynchon of the newspaper edited by the gruff Grant, played by Ed Asner.

Livia was sullen, self-pitying and Machiavellian. She seemed intent upon destroying her son Tony, played by James Gandolfini, conspiring with her brother-in-law, Tony’s underhanded rival for the family business.

As Mrs. Pynchon, Marchand was a regal presence _ strong enough to step on Lou Grant’s toes, if it came to that _ but still involved in the daily operation of her mythical Los Angeles Tribune.

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