Award-winning actress Nanette Fabray has died at 97

PHOTO: Nanette Fabray sits next to Fred Astaire reading music in a scene from the film The Band Wagon, 1953.PlayMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images
WATCH March 23, 1979: Nanette Fabray campaigns for closed captions on television

Tony- and Emmy-winning actress Nanette Fabray has died, her son has confirmed.

She was 97.

Fabray, who was the aunt of actress Shelley Fabares, died in her home in Palos Verdes, California, on Thursday from natural causes. Her family was with her when she died.

Born Ruby Nanette Bernadette Theresa Fabares, her career began at age 3 in vaudeville. She became a Broadway star in the '40s, winning a Tony for her role in "Love Life."

She appeared in several movies, most notably in the classic 1953 musical "The Band Wagon" opposite Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, but she was best known for her TV work.

Fabray won three Emmys for her regular appearances on Sid Caesar's "Caesar's House" in the 1950s. She also appeared on variety shows, talk shows and game shows from the '50s through the late '70s, including "Your Show of Shows," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Carol Burnett Show," "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In," "The Hollywood Squares," "What's My Line" and "Match Game."

Fabray also had a recurring role as Grandma Katherine Romano, mother of Bonnie Franklin's character Ann Romano, in "One Day at a Time." In addition, she guest-starred on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Maude," "Murder, She Wrote," "Coach" and "Love, American Style."

Having overcome hearing loss herself, Fabray became an advocate for the rights of the deaf and hard of hearing, for which she received the President’s Distinguished Service Award and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. She also won the SAG Life Achievement Award in 1987.

Fabray is survived by her son Jamie MacDougall, his wife, and two grandchildren, as well as Fabares.

PHOTO: Actress Nanette Fabray is seen here in 1957. Jack Zwillinger/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Actress Nanette Fabray is seen here in 1957.
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