Nancy Marchand (June 19, 1928 - June 18, 2000) was an American actress best known for her Emmy award-nominated role on the HBO series, The Sopranos as Soprano family matriarch Livia Soprano, the mother of Tony Soprano. She is also well-remembered as the autocratic newspaper publisher, "Mrs. Pynchon", on the 1970s TV series Lou Grant, which starred Edward Asner. She earned four Emmy Awards as best supporting actress for the role. She stood almost 6' tall.
A lifelong chain smoker, she died prior to filming the third season of The Sopranos of emphysema and lung cancer, and the writers wrote her character's death into the story. She died the day before what would have been her 72nd birthday.
She had a long career on Broadway and Off-Broadway, and on television; she also made some films. Her husband of 48 years, actor Paul Sparer, died of cancer in 1999, not long before her death. She is survived by her three children.