Born Marjorie Ellen Pivonka Mahoney on February 20, 1936 in Hays, Kansas, Marj Dusay is best known for her performances in soap operas such as Guiding Light, where she played Alexandra Spaulding. Before launching her acting career, Dusay was educated at University of Kansas where she left during her second year to pursue a modeling career. Along with her family, she moved to San Francisco, where she studied improv. Later, she moved to Los Angeles to launch her acting career, starting with her appearance on Peace in the Family.
The talented actress has also appeared on a number of talk shows. Afterwards, she rose to fame for her roles in daytime dramas like Santa Barbara and Capitol. In 1993, she became the temporary replacement for Louise Sorel on Days of Our Lives, portraying the character Vivian Alamain. Her credits for night time series include roles in Sons and Daughters, Studio 5B, Facts of Life, Bret Maverick and Cliff Hangers. Her long-time portrayal of Alex Spaulding on Guiding Light has earned her a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in 1995. Marj Dusay has also been cast in All My Children as Vanessa Bennett. In 2002, she was nominated for a special fan award as “America’s Favorite Villain” for her role as Vanessa on All My Children.
Marj Dusay’s acting career began with a small role alongside the legendary Elvis Presley, when she appeared as a waitress in 1967’s Clambake. She then continued to rise to prominence by taking on several guest roles. She was a special agent in the series Hawaii Five-O, a seductive temptress in Hogan’s Heroes, and an alien in the third season of Star Trek. Her other roles were in the films MacArthur in 1977, Love Walked In in 1997, A Chronicle of Corpses in 2000, and Pride & Loyalty in 2002. On stage, she has appeared in productions of Good Will Hunting, Outward Bound and The Care and Custody of Barbara Moon.
When not acting, Dusay likes to play golf and explore the streets of New York City. Active in charity work, she supports Project Angel Food, helping to provide meals for AIDS victims. She is also on the Kansas University Advisory Board for the Theatre Arts, and is an original member of the improvisational comedy group, The Session.
(Photo courtesy of CBS.com)