• Dorothy Lyman is an American actress, television personality, director and writer.
• She achieved stardom with the role of Opal Gardner in the soap opera “All My Children” and as Naomi Harper in the TV comedy series “Mama’s Family”.
• She is now in her 70s and is still active, most recently appearing in the TV series “The Blacklist” and the drama film “Back Fork”.
• Dorothy's career started in the early '70s and she has won two Daytime Emmy Awards.
• Her net worth is estimated to be around $6 million.

Short Info

SpouseVincent Malle, John Tillinger
FactOriginated the role of the colorful Opal Gardner on ABC's All My Children (1970).

Who is Dorothy Lyman?

Dorothy Lyman is an American actress, television personality, director and writer, who achieved stardom with the role of Opal Gardner in the soap opera “All My Children” (1981-1983), and as Naomi Harper in the TV comedy series “Mama’s Family”, among many other differing projects on which she’s worked so far in her career.

Where Is Dorothy Lyman Today?

Dorothy is now in her 70s and is still active – most recently, she made appearances in the TV series “The Blacklist” (2019), and then the drama film “Back Fork” (2019), with A.J. Cook, Josh Stewart, and Agnes Bruckner, plus the action crime-drama film “Vault” (2019), starring Theo Rossi, Clive Standen and Samira Wiley.

Dorothy Lyman Age, Childhood, and Education

Dorothy Brightwell Lyman was born on the 18th April 1947, in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA,  the daughter of Hector H. Lyman, a stockbroker, and his wife Violet E. Lyman. She spent her childhood in Minneapolis where she went to school and attended the same high school as her colleague Jill Larson, who succeeded her in the role of Opal in the TV series “All My Children”.

Career Beginnings

Dorothy’s career started in the early ‘70s, with the role of Jean in the film “The 300 Year Weekend”, and then as Elly Jo Jameson in the TV series “The Edge of Night”.

She continued with roles in soap operas, including “Another World” as Gwen Frame from 1976 until 1980. In 1981 she secured her first noteworthy role, as Opal Gardner in the soap opera “All My Children”, and through 1983 featured in 23 episodes of the popular TV series, and won two Daytime Emmy Awards. After 1983, Dorothy was replaced by Jill Larson.

Rise to Stardom

From 1983 to 1990, Dorothy portrayed Naomi Harper in the TV comedy series “Mama’s Family”, which became a complete success and launched Dorothy to stardom, and with appearances in 125 episodes, Dorothy became a national star and queen of the comedy.

Dorothy Lyman

She wasn’t very active in pursuit of other projects, and even left “All My Children”, to focus entirely on “Mama’s Family”, however, she still featured in the television film “Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss” (1988). Dorothy continued with roles in soap operas, including “Generations” (1990-1991), then “The Bold and the Beautiful” (1991-1992), and “Life Goes On”. In 1993 she featured in the romantic drama film “Ruby in Paradise”, starring Ashley Judd, Todd Field, and Bentley Mitchum.

Through the ‘90s, Dorothy didn’t have much success on screen, featuring in several minor roles, including a cameo appearance in the film “I Love Trouble”, with Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts in the lead roles.

The 2000s

With the start of the new millennium, Dorothy didn’t change much her professional perspective, and had a few minor roles at the beginning of the decade, such as in the film “Blow”, a biopic about George Jung, and a few guest roles in TV series “Judging Amy” (2002), “CSI: Miami” (2003), and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2005). Dorothy took a break from acting that lasted from 2009 and 2015, when she returned in the role of Mrs. Salisbury in the drama film “Bad Hurt”, starring Ashley Williams, Karen Allen, and Barry Primus.

Before 2019, Dorothy also featured in the film “Blind” (2017), then had a guest role in the TV series “FBI” (2018), and co-starred in the action-drama film “Bullitt Country”, with Mike C. Nelson, Jenni Melear, and David McCracken.

Director and Producer

Dorothy has had different aspirations throughout her career, wanting to express herself in other ways than acting. As a result, she has worked as a director and producer on several shows. The most notable project on which she worked was the TV series “The Nanny”, of which she directed 74 episodes between 1995 and 1998, and produced seasons from 1997 and 1998.

Other projects on which she worked as a producer and director are the films “Split Ends” and “Northern Kingdom”, both from 2009.

Dorothy Lyman Net Worth, Body Statistics, Appearance

Dorothy Lyman’s successful career has added a considerable amount to her wealth, and according to sources, Dorothy Lyman’s net worth is as high as $6 million, as of early 2020.

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Dorothy has dyed her hair blonde, and she has blue eyes; her weight and height are unknown, though she has retained a slim figure despite her age and pregnancies.

Dorothy Lyman Personal Life, Marriage, Husband, Children

Dorothy has been married and divorced two times; her first marriage was to John Tillinger from 1971 until 1983; Tillinger is an actor and is best known to the world for his role as King George III in “The Adams Chronicles” TV mini-series.

The couple had two children before their divorce. Four years later she married for the second time, to Vincent Malle. The two were married from 1987 until 2001 and had one child together.

Dorothy now resides in New York USA, she is single, and is focused on new projects in the acting world.

General Info

Full NameDorothy Lyman
ProfessionTelevision producer, Film producer, Film director, Actor, Television Director


SpouseVincent Malle, John Tillinger
ChildrenEmma Tillinger, Sebastian Tillinger, Jacson Malle
ParentsViolet E.Lyman, Hector H. Lyman, 20. Bye-Bye, Baby!, 19. There Is Nothing Like the Dames, 18. Look Who's Breathing


AwardsDaytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
MoviesOllie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss, Camp Cucamonga, Ruby in Paradise, Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story, Dinner and Driving, World Trade Center, The Departed, Split Ends, Bad Hurt, The Northern Kingdom
TV ShowsAll My Children, Another World, Bob, Mama's Family, The Edge of Night, A World Apart, Generations

Social profile links


1Originated the role of the colorful Opal Gardner on ABC's All My Children (1970).
2Dorothy is know for her role as Naomi Oakes Ray Oates Harper on the TV show, Mama's Family (1983).
3(Former) sister-in-law of Candice Bergen.
4Her ex-husband is Louis Malle's brother.




ALF1988TV SeriesMaura Norris
The Bold and the Beautiful1987TV SeriesBonnie Roberts (1991-1992, 1994)
Tales from the Darkside1985TV SeriesCatherine
Summer Fantasy1984TV MovieDr. Nancy Brannigan
All My Children1981-1983TV SeriesOpal Purdy Cortlandt / Opal Sue Gardner Purdy Courtlandt #1 / Opal Purdy / ...
Another World1980TV SeriesGwen Parrish Frame / Gwen Frame
Night of the Juggler1980Nurse Jenny
A World Apart1971TV SeriesJulie Stark
The 300 Year Weekend1971Jean
One Life to Live1968TV SeriesSister Margaret (1975)
The Edge of Night1956TV SeriesElly Jo Jameson (1972-1973)
Elementary2015TV SeriesBelinda
Bad Hurt2015Mrs. Salisbury
Law & Order2009TV SeriesJudge Dorothy Carr
The Northern Kingdom2009Nan
Battlestar Galactica2007TV SeriesSocrata Thrace
The Departed2006Woman at Bar #1
World Trade Center2006Allison's Mother
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit2005TV SeriesPrincipal Parker
As the World Turns2004TV SeriesNaomi - The Maid
CSI: Miami2003TV SeriesVivian Kensington
Judging Amy2002TV SeriesMs. Patterson
The Practice1999-2002TV SeriesDr. Diane Starger / Battered Wife Syndrome Expert Dr. Emily Fink
V.I.P.2002TV SeriesGranny Goshen
Taina2002TV Series
Reba2002TV SeriesHelen
Speechless...2001ShortMrs. Tanner
Blow2001Judge (Chicago)
Days of Our Lives2001TV SeriesContessa Dorothea DiLyman
The Nanny1993-1998TV SeriesSociety Woman #1 / Director / Stewardess / ...
Dinner and Driving1997Rita
Murder, She Wrote1995TV SeriesNorma Shey
Hope & Gloria1995TV SeriesMaxine
Sisters1995TV SeriesDr. Deborah Rosen
Picket Fences1994TV SeriesMiriam Thorne
ABC Afterschool Specials1994TV SeriesMrs. Green
I Love Trouble1994Suzie, Chronicle Employee
Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story1994TV MovieDorothy
Young Goodman Brown1993Sarah Good
Bob1993TV SeriesPatty Fleisher
Bodies of Evidence1993TV SeriesClaudia Brooks
Jack the Bear1993Mrs. Morris
Life Goes On1991-1993TV SeriesMary McKenna
Ruby in Paradise1993Mildred Chambers
Camp Cucamonga1990TV MovieMillie Schector
Mama's Family1983-1990TV SeriesNaomi Oates Harper
Generations1989TV SeriesRebecca Whitmore #2 (1991)
Hunter1989TV SeriesSgt. Carol James Meyers
The People Across the Lake1988TV MovieRuth Mortimer
Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss1988TV MovieMom


Janet's Class2010Documentary
The Northern Kingdom2009
Split Ends2009
Payne1999TV Series 1 episode
The Simple Life1998TV Series
The Nanny1995-1998TV Series 74 episodes


Janet's Class2010Documentary producer
The Northern Kingdom2009producer
Split Ends2009producer
The Nanny1997-1998TV Series producer - 18 episodes


Vicki!1992-1993TV SeriesHerself
The Celebrity Guide to Entertaining1993Video documentaryHerself
Win, Lose or Draw1988TV SeriesHerself
Wordplay1986TV SeriesHerself
Star's Table1986TV SeriesHerself
Super Password1985TV SeriesHerself
The (New) $25,000 Pyramid1984TV SeriesHerself
Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour1984TV SeriesHerself
Family Feud1982TV SeriesHerself

Archive Footage

Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America's Golden Girl2012TV SpecialHerself


Won Awards

1983Daytime EmmyDaytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama SeriesAll My Children (1970)
1982Daytime EmmyDaytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Daytime Drama SeriesAll My Children (1970)

Nominated Awards

1989ACECableACE AwardsSupporting Actress in a Movie or MiniseriesOllie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss (1988)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected].

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