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Deborah Walley Biography

Deborah Walley

Actress, author, producer, and Photoplay's "Most Popular Actress of 1961," the daughter of Ice Capades skating stars and choreographers Nathan and Edith Walley. She was skating with her parents at age three, but resisted her father's urging to continue, opting to study acting at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her stage debut was at 14, in a summer-stock production of "Charley's Aunt". When she moved to Arizona to raise her three sons, she co-founded two children's theater companies (Pied Piper Productions and Sedona Children's Theater), introducing live theater and teaching acting to disadvantaged children. She also founded the Swiftwind Theater Company, writing film scripts and training American Indian actors and production-crew members.
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Her 1990 short film Legend of 'Seeks-To-Hunt-Great' (1989), starring Michael Horse, was awarded the National Cine Golden Eagle, the Oklahoma Tribal Council Award for best fiction film, the 1991 Algrave (Portugal) International Video Festival best-of-festival award, and the American Indian Film Festival's best short-subject award. She incorporated the story line -- an Indian boy's appreciation of nature while following a mountain lion -- into her 1993 children's book "Grandfather's Good Medicine." Deborah Walley also wrote scripts for her own production companies, for other children's films, and for Disney Animation, for which she supplied cartoon voice-overs.