Image of Nydia Westman

Nydia Westman

This adorable character actress, born February 19,1902, in New York City, tended to play older than she really was on stage, screen and TV. Petite and quite pretty in her youth, Nydia Westman was born in 1902 to vaudevillian parents, actor-composer Theodore Westman and actress-playwright Lily Wren, and was thrust into the limelight at an early age as part of the family act ("Troubles of Joy"). Her younger brother, Theodore Westman Jr., was also an actor/writer who died tragically at a very young age in 1927. In her teens, Nydia grew in experience on the Orpheum, Ziegfeld and Keith circuits, and later made her Broadway debut with the comedy "Pigs" in 1924. A mainstay throughout the late 1920s, other prominent NY theater roles include "Two Girled Wanted" (1926), "Jonesy" (1929) and "Lysistrata" (1930). With the advent of sound, films soon became a viable medium for her as well. She began her movie career in 1932 featured in two dramas, Strange Justice (1932) and Manhattan Tower (1932) and, while she appeared in plenty more heavier material, including Success at Any Price (1934), Craig's Wife (1936) and The Gorgeous Hussy (1936), it was comedy that became her forte, lending cute and flighty foil support in Ladies Should Listen (1934) with Cary Grant, The Cat and the Canary (1939) with Bob Hope, The Remarkable Andrew (1942) with William Holden, and The Late George Apley (1947) with Ronald Colman, among others. Elsewhere, she gave her usual sparkle in the glossy musicals Sweet Adeline (1934), in which she joined Irene Dunne and others in the title song, Pennies from Heaven (1936), Hullabaloo (1940), The Chocolate Soldier (1941) and Hers to Hold (1943), playing assorted friends, maids, gossips and society types. In the post WWII years, Nydia veered away from filming and concentrated instead on stage and TV work. On Broadway, she appeared in "The Madwoman of Chaillot" (1948), "The Emperor's New Clothes" (1953) and "The Sleeping Prince" (1956), and went on to win an Obie Award for her off-Broadway eccentrics in Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" (1958). On TV, the small, round matron was featured in a number of showcase-type dramas and comedies and was a fluttery, twinkle-eyed delight on such programs as "The Donna Reed Show" (1958), "Perry Mason" (1957), "The Addams Family" (1964), "The Munsters" (1964), "F Troop" (1965), "Family Affair" (1966) and "Bewitched" (1964). She also appeared with relative frequency on the revamped "Dragnet 1967" (1967) series in the 1960s. Nydia died of cancer May 23, 1970, in Burbank, California, and was survived by her daughter.

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Feb 19, 1902
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Strange Justice 1932-10-07
Latest Project:
Movie Rabbit, Run 1970-10-01
Known For
Poster of The Addams Family
Poster of Two Alone
Poster of King of the Jungle
Poster of From Hell to Heaven
Movie Rabbit, Run Mrs. Smith 1970-10-01
Series Lancer Unknown 1968-09-24
Movie The Reluctant Astronaut Aunt Zana 1967-09-05
Series That Girl Unknown 1966-09-08
Movie The Ghost & Mr. Chicken Mrs. Cobb 1966-01-20
Movie The Chase Mrs. Henderson 1966-02-17
Series Family Affair Unknown 1966-09-12
Movie The Swinger Aunt Cora 1966-11-13
Series F Troop Unknown 1965-09-14
Series Bewitched Unknown 1964-09-17
Series The Munsters Unknown 1964-09-24
Series The Addams Family Unknown 1964-09-18
Movie For Love or Money Milo's Wife 1963-08-07
Series The Farmer's Daughter Unknown 1963-09-20
Movie Don't Knock the Twist Amy 1962-04-13
Series Going My Way 1962-10-03
Series Ben Casey Unknown 1961-10-02
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Series The Roaring 20's Unknown 1960-10-15
Series The Donna Reed Show Unknown 1958-09-24
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Series Search for Tomorrow 1951-09-03
Series Robert Montgomery Presents Unknown 1950-01-30
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07
Movie The Velvet Touch Susan Crane 1948-07-13
Series The Philco Television Playhouse Unknown 1948-10-03
Movie The Late George Apley Jane Willing 1947-03-19
Series Mary Kay and Johnny Unknown 1947-11-18
Movie Her Primitive Man Aunt Penolope 1944-05-29
Movie Hers to Hold Nurse Willing 1943-07-16
Movie Princess O'Rourke Mrs. Bowers 1943-10-23
Movie The Remarkable Andrew Miss Van Buren 1942-03-05
Movie They All Kissed the Bride Lewis, M.J.'s Secretary 1942-06-11
Movie The Bad Man Angela Hardy 1941-03-28
Movie Hullabaloo Lulu Perkins 1940-10-25
Movie Forty Little Mothers Madamoiselle Cynthia Cliche 1940-04-26
Movie When Tomorrow Comes Lulu 1939-08-11
Movie The Cat and the Canary Cicily 1939-10-27
Movie Bulldog Drummond's Peril Gwen Longworth 1938-03-18
Movie The First Hundred Years Midge 1938-03-12
Movie When Love Is Young 'Dotty' Leonard 1937-03-26
Movie Bulldog Drummond's Revenge Gwen Longworth 1937-12-16
Movie The Gorgeous Hussy Maybelle 1936-08-28
Movie Three Live Ghosts Peggy 'Peg' Woofers 1936-01-10
Movie Craig's Wife Mazie 1936-09-25
Movie Pennies from Heaven Slavey - Hotel Maid 1936-11-25
Movie Captain Hurricane Gertie 1935-03-01
Movie A Feather in Her Hat Emily Judson 1935-10-25
Movie Manhattan Love Song Annette 1934-04-29
Movie Two Alone Corie 1934-01-26
Movie Success At Any Price Dinah 1934-03-16
Movie Ladies Should Listen Susie Flamberg 1934-08-10
Movie Sweet Adeline Nellie 1934-12-29
Movie One Night of Love Muriel 1934-09-15
Movie From Hell to Heaven Sue Wells 1933-02-24
Movie King of the Jungle Sue 1933-03-10
Movie Cradle Song Sister Sagrario 1933-11-19
Movie Bondage Irma 1933-04-22
Movie Little Women Mamie 1933-11-24
Movie Strange Justice Gwen 1932-10-07
Movie Manhattan Tower Miss Wood 1932-12-01