Best known for her work on daytime dramas, Conley launched her acting career on the stage in her teens. After high school, she toured with theater companies and appeared in productions of Night of the Iguana
and Cyrano de Bergerac
(both opposite Richard Chamberlain). A bit part in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds
led to more film roles and a number of prime-time guest spots on series such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show
and Cagney & Lacey
. But she shined on soap operas with tough-gal turns on Days of our Lives
and General Hospital
. Her villainous portrayal of Rose DeVille on The Young and the Restless
inspired Bold and the Beautiful
cocreator William J. Bell to dream up the role of fashion mogul Sally Spectra just for Conley. Her tenure began in 1989, and throughout the decades her wild and zany performances earned her two Daytime Emmy nominations and six Soap Opera Digest Awards. In 2006, she battled stomach cancer, and although the illness kept her off The Bold and the Beautiful
for months, she was still part of the cast when she succumbed to the disease in January 2007.Darlene Conley Fast Facts:
- At age 15, was discovered by Broadway producer Jed Harris.
- Made her film debut with a bit part in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963).
- Was the first American soap star to have her wax figure in London's Madame Tussaud's Museum.
- Received two Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1991 and 1992 for her portrayal of Sally Spectra on The Bold and the Beautiful.
- Appeared in concerts with Bold and the Beautiful castmates in Holland and released a pop single in Europe.
- Darlene Conley Relationships:
- William Woodson - Ex-husband
- Carol Fontana - Sister
- Melba Conley - Mother
- Raymond Woodson - Son
- Kurt Hensch - Ex-husband
- Sharon Mylan - Sister
- Raymond Conley - Father