Carrie Nye, a stage, film and television actress and a fixture at the Williamstown Theater Festival, died Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 69. The cause was lung cancer, said her husband, the television host Dick Cavett. Ms. Nye, known for her dry wit and Mississippi drawl that inevitably attracted comparisons with Tallulah Bankhead, made her Broadway debut in 1960 in “A Second String,” an adaptation of a novel by Colette. Five years later she was nominated for a Tony Award for playing a society lady in the musical “Half a Sixpence.”
Other Broadway productions included “A Very Rich Woman,” a play written by Ruth Gordon, and a 1980 revival of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” Among her Off Broadway credits were Michael Cacoyannis’s 1963 production of “The Trojan Women” and a 1972 production of Tom Stoppard’s “Real Inspector Hound.” But the core of her acting career was in regional theater. She came to the Williamstown Theater Festival in northern Massachusetts a few years after it opened, in 1955, and continued to return throughout the 1960’s and 70’s, playing the leading roles in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Skin of Our Teeth” and “Nude With Violin.” With the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Conn., Ms. Nye performed “Troilus and Cressida” at the Kennedy White House.
She continued her three-pronged career in the 1980’s, acting in films that included “Creepshow” and “Hello Again,” in regional and Off Broadway productions and, briefly, on the soap opera “The Guiding Light,” before her character fell into a pit of quicksand. (Ms. Nye told Time magazine that her preferred death for her character was “to be impaled on a hatpin.”) She returned to “The Guiding Light,” as a different character, in 2003.
In the 1960’s, Mr. Cavett and Ms. Nye rented and then bought Tick Hall, a Stanford White house in Montauk, at the tip of Long Island. After it burned in 1997 Ms. Nye enlisted architects and preservationists to build an exact reproduction of the house, down to the doorknobs, a feat that was recorded in the 2003 documentary, “From the Ashes: The Life and Times of Tick Hall.”