A native of Berkeley, CA, and graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Ms. Dabney made her Broadway debut in Robert E. Sherwood's Abe Lincoln in Illinois, playing the maid. The production also featured Kevin McCarthy, who would become her first husband in 1941. The marriage made Ms. Dabney for 20 years the sister-in-law of writer and critic Mary McCarthy.
She followed that production with four flops: Return Engagement (1940), The Lady Who Came to Stay (1941), Sweet Charity (1942) and Another Love Story (1943). She was a replacement in the lead role in Norman Krasna's hit comedy Dear Ruth.
Ms. Dabney did not return to Broadway for 20 years after that. In the interim, she became a mainstay on daytime television. All told, she starred in nine soap operas, including "The Nurses," "As the World Turns," "The Guiding Light," "General Hospital," and "Loving," on which she played Isabelle Alden for 12 years. She met her second husband, actor William Prince, on "Young Dr. Malone." They acted opposite each other on several soaps. Mr. Prince died in 1996.
When she came back to Broadway, her projects were more choice, including Edward Albee's Everything in the Garden and Seascape, and Children of a Lesser God. Her final Broadway credit was Sacrilege in 1995.
She is survived by three children from her first marriage: James Kevin McCarthy, Lillah McCarthy and Mary Dabney McCarthy, and four stepchildren from her second marriage: Jeremy Prince, Liza Alldredge, Nicholas Prince and Dinah Daly, and six grandchildren. The family suggests donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.