Sandra Kay "Sandy" Duncan (born February 20, 1946) is an American singer, dancer, comedian and actress of stage and television, recognized through a blonde, pixie cut hairstyle, and perky demeanor. She is known for her performances in the Broadway revival of Peter Pan and in the sitcom The Hogan Family. Duncan has been nominated for three Tony Awards, two Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe awards.
She was born in Henderson, Texas, and grew up in nearby Tyler, Texas. Her parents were Mancil Ray (1921-1994) and Sylvia Duncan (1922-1997) and she has a sister named Robyn Duncan. Mancil was the son of mule team operator William Joseph Duncan.
She started her entertainment career at age 12, working in a local production of The King and I for $150 a week.
In the late-1960s, Duncan was an unknown actress in Los Angeles when she was selected for a part in a TV commercial for United California Bank (later to become First Interstate Bank and later merged with Wells Fargo), portraying a bank teller who finds it impossible to pronounce the Greek name of customer "Nicholas H. Janopaparopoulos", despite several tries. (She apologetically asks, "Do you mind if I just call you 'Nick'?") In 1968, she spent a brief time acting in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow.
In 1970, she was named one of the "most promising faces of tomorrow" by Time magazine. Also that year, she starred in the Broadway revival of The Boy Friend, where she received excellent reviews. Duncan made her feature film debut co-starring opposite Dean Jones in the Walt Disney family comedy The Million Dollar Duck. She was then cast as "Amy Cooper" in the Paramount film version of Star Spangled Girl, based on the Broadway play by Neil Simon. Both movies performed poorly at the box office.
In the fall of 1971, Duncan starred as "Sandy Stockton" in the CBS sitcom Funny Face. The program was put on the Saturday night primetime schedule between All in the Family and The New Dick Van Dyke Show. Although critics dismissed the show, they praised Duncan, especially TV Guide columnist Cleveland Amory, who described her as "a wonderful comedienne". Meanwhile, shortly after the premiere, Duncan underwent surgery on her left eye to remove a benign tumor. As a result, she lost vision in the eye (It was not replaced with a prosthetic eye, as some urban myths claim). Though Duncan's recovery from the operation was rapid, CBS suspended production on the show until the following year, after the 12th installment had been filmed; the original series pilot served as the 13th (and final) episode. At first, Nielsen ratings for Funny Face were low, ranking in the lower 50s; eventually, they climbed up to #17, and it was deemed the best liked new show of that TV season. For all her efforts, Duncan received an Emmy Award nomination for "Outstanding Continued Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role In A Comedy Series". In September 1972, the program returned as The Sandy Duncan Show, now with a revised format and new writers; it also had a new timeslot of Sunday nights at 8:30 P.M. Critical reaction to the show was similar to that for Funny Face, but without the strong Saturday night lead-in of All in the Family, the ratings sank. After 13 episodes, CBS cancelled the series.
In 1976, Duncan played the title role in a TV musical adaptation of Pinocchio, which featured Danny Kaye as "Mister Geppetto" and Flip Wilson as "the Fox". She also guest-starred in a first-season episode of The Muppet Show where, contrary to common misconception, she was not the first to be karate-chopped by Miss Piggy, but she did share a raucous moment recollecting "The Banana Sketch" with Fozzie Bear. Next, for her performance as "Missy Anne Reynolds" in the miniseries Roots, she earned another Emmy nomination.
It was then that she went back to Broadway for many years. In 1979, her run as the title role in Peter Pan won her many accolades. She also had replacement roles in My One and Only and Chicago.
Duncan has been nominated for a Tony Award three times: in 1969, as "Featured Actress (Musical)" in Canterbury Tales; in 1971, as "Best Actress (Musical)" in The Boy Friend; and in 1980, as "Best Actress (Musical)" in Peter Pan.
In 1972, an animated version of Duncan (who contributed her own voice) appeared in "Sandy Duncan's Jekyll and Hyde", an episode of the CBS Saturday morning cartoon The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
In 1976, she guest-starred on The Six-Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman playing the role of Gillian, in "The Return of Bigfoot" episodes.
In 1981, she lent her voice to Vixey in Disney's The Fox and the Hound.
In 1984, she starred in a song and dance review called 5-6-7-8...Dance! at Radio City Music Hall.
Also in 1984, she provided voice work for the My Little Pony television special Rescue at Midnight Castle as Firefly and Applejack.
From 1986 to 1987, she reprised her role as Firefly in the My Little Pony 'n Friends TV series.
In 1987, she joined the cast of NBC's Valerie's Family (previously known as Valerie, later to be retitled The Hogan Family) after Valerie Harper was dismissed from the sitcom. Duncan starred as the matriarch's sister-in-law, Sandy Hogan, who moved in with her brother Mike (Josh Taylor) and his three sons to help raise the family after Valerie Hogan's death. Duncan remained with the series through its cancellation in 1991 (the final season of which aired on CBS).
In 1988, she worked on the first three Barney and the Backyard Gang children's videos. Duncan was asked to take part in the Barney and Friends television series, but declined the offer.
In 1991, she provided the voice for Peepers the mouse in the movie Rock-a-Doodle.
In 1994, she lent her voice for Queen Uberta in the movie The Swan Princess.
In 2003, she appeared in the rotating cast of the Off-Broadway staged reading of Wit & Wisdom.
In May 2008, she performed one of the lead roles in the musical No, No, Nanette; a production of the City Center's annual Encores! series in New York City. In April 2009, she performed the lead role in the play Driving Miss Daisy at Casa Mañana Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas. In September 2009, she played the lead role in Tennessee Williams' play "The Glass Menagerie" at the Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania. She has also been in many travelling stage productions, including The King and I.
Sandy Duncan has not retired from the theater or film. Her last film was in 2010.
She met singer-actor Bruce Scott (born Bruce Scott Zaharaides) during the Off-Broadway production of Your Own Thing, and they were married in September 1968. Their divorce, finalized in October, 1972, was caused by Duncan's success and rise to stardom. Duncan told People Magazine in 1979 that "It was very threatening to Bruce."
Her second marriage was to Dr. Thomas Calcaterra on January 10, 1973; it lasted until 1979. Calcaterra is a head/neck oncologist who practices at UCLA Medical Center Division of Head and Neck Surgery and teaches surgery at UCLA Medical School. Duncan and Dr. Calcaterra met because he was a consulting surgeon on her brain tumor surgery, after which they began dating. This marriage also failed, according to Duncan, because of the demands of her wildly successful nightclub act that she toured with in 1978 and her refusal to stay and home and trying to be a good "doctor's wife".
Since July 21, 1980, she has been married to Don Correia. They have two sons; Jeffrey (born October 5, 1982) and Michael (born March 19, 1984). She and her husband live in New York City, NY. Her father Mancil Ray Duncan died on December 22, 1994 and her mother died on December 23, 1997. In Taylorville, Illinois (near Springfield), a street was named "Sandy Duncan Drive" in her honor because her character on Funny Face and The Sandy Duncan Show, Sandy Stockton, was from Taylorville.
Duncan survived a brain tumor located behind her left optic nerve and the "delicate" surgery to remove it in 1971. As a result of her brain tumor and recovery, she lost vision in her left eye, but because the eye still tracked with her right eye, Duncan and her doctors elected to leave her natural eye in place. Due to this condition, it does often appear as though she has a lazy eye.
- Midnight Cowboy (1969) (uncredited)
- The Million Dollar Duck (1971)
- Star Spangled Girl (1971)
- The Cat from Outer Space (1978)
- The Fox and the Hound (1981) as Vixey (voice role)
- Rock-A-Doodle (1991) as Peepers (voice role)
- The Swan Princess (1994) as Queen Uberta (voice role)
- The Handsome Teacher (1996)
- Never Again (2001)
Television and Video
- Search for Tomorrow (cast member in 1964)
- Bonanza, episode An Earthquake Called Callahan, as Angeline (1971)
- The Sandy Duncan Show (1971-1972)
- The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972)
- Family Theatre: Married Is Better (1974)
- Sandy in Disneyland (1974)
- The Sandy Duncan Special (1974)
- Pinocchio (1976)
- The Muppet Show (1976)
- Roots (1977) (miniseries)
- The Love Boat (1977)
- The Funny World of Fred and Bunni (1978) (unsold pilot)
- My Little Pony: Rescue at Midnight Castle (1984) (voice)
- My Little Pony (cast member from 1986-1987) (voice)
- Act II (1987) (unsold pilot)
- The Hogan Family (cast member from 1987-1991)
- Barney & the Backyard Gang (cast member in 3 episodes from 1988–89)
- Law & Order (1995), Season 6, Episode 6, Paranoia, as Shelly Kates
- ! (2008)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2014), Episode 386, American Disgrace
- The King and I (1958)
- Billion Dollar Baby (1961)
- South Pacific (1962)
- Show Boat (1963)
- My Fair Lady (1964)
- The Sound of Music (1964)
- Brigadoon (1965)
- The Music Man (1965)
- Carousel (1966)
- Peter Pan (1966)
- The Sound of Music (1967)
- Finian's Rainbow (1967)
- Life with Father (1967)
- Wonderful Town (1967)
- Your Own Thing (1968)
- Canterbury Tales (1969)
- The Boy Friend (1970)
- Vanities (1976)
- Peter Pan (1979-1981)
- My One and Only (1985-1986)
- Chicago (1996-1997)
- Jubilee (1998)
- Two for the Show (1999)
- The Witches of Eastwick (1999) (reading)
- Anything Goes (2002)
- The Fourth Wall (2002)
- The Grass Harp (2003)
- The King and I (2004)
- Mame (2006)
- Mud Donahue's Eccentric Son (2007)
- No, No, Nanette (2008)
- Driving Miss Daisy (2009)
- The Glass Menagerie (2009)
- Driving Miss Daisy (2014)