Nancy Walker (May 10, 1922 - March 25, 1992) was an American actress. She was sometimes mistaken for being Jewish, but she was not Jewish.
Born Anna Myrtle Swoyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1922 (although some sources have cited 1921 as her year of birth), Nancy Walker made her Broadway debut in 1941 in Best Foot Forward, the movie version of which would also allow her to make her film debut in 1943, after which she appeared in the MGM musical, Broadway Rhythm.
A diminutive 4 feet and 11 inches (1.50 m) tall and not particularly beautiful, she was difficult to cast; however, she continued acting throughout the 1940s and 1950s and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1955. Nancy co-starred with Phil Silvers in the 1960 musical, Do Re Mi.
She achieved her greatest success playing Ida Morgenstern, the mother of Rhoda in Mary Tyler Moore and its spinoff, Rhoda. She was a regular on the Rock Hudson detective series McMillan and Wife, portraying Mildred the maid. These two roles would bring her seven Emmy Award nominations. She also starrred in two short-lived sitcoms, Blansky's Beauties (an arms-length spin-off of Happy Days, and The Nancy Walker Show, both during the 1976-77 season which gave her the rare distinction of being in two failed series within the same year.
Her later efforts brought her little success. In 1980, she made her directorial debut directing disco group Village People in Can't Stop the Music. The film was unfortunately a resounding failure.
She also played "Rosie", a waitress in a series of commercials for Bounty paper towels from the '70s up to the early '90s. She helped make the product's slogan, "The Quicker Picker Upper", a common catchphrase.
One of her film roles was as the master criminal, posing as the deaf maid, Yetta, in the all-star comedy spoof, Murder by Death.
She received one final Emmy Award nomination for a guest role (as regular Estelle Getty's estranged sister, "Aunt Angela") on the NBC TV series The Golden Girls.
Walker was a reformed smoker, but she died from lung cancer at the age of 69 in Studio City, California. At the time of her death, she was costarring in the sitcom True Colors (about an interracial blended family), playing the grandmother.