Never a star of the first caliber, Ms. Lange nonetheless found success in theatre, film and stage. She is perhaps best remembered for her portrayal of a troubled youth in the soapy 1957 feature "Peyton Place"—only her third film. The role won her an Oscar nomination. It came one year after what is probably her second best-known role, as the bus companion of Marilyn Monroe in "Bus Stop." It was to her that Monroe's Cherie lamented about "all that lovin' stuff."
The late '50s and early '60s were her busiest period in Hollywood. She appeared in such films as "The Young Lions," "In Love and War," and the melodramatic big city story, "The Best of Everything," in which she must choose between a career and love. In 1961's "Wild in the Country," she played a psychiatrist who found unexpected literary talent in juvenile delinquent Elvis Presley. During much of the '60s and '70s, her time was taken up with the television series "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" and "The New Dick Van Dyke Show." She won two Emmy awards for the first.
Ms. Lange made her Broadway debut in 1943 (when she was 11) in The Patriots, a Sidney Kingsley play. The early start was to be expected; she was the daughter of an actress and a music arranger for Florenz Ziegfeld. It took her 32 years to return to Broadway, in the comedy Same Time, Next Year, where she acted opposite her ex-husband, Don Murray. (They had met on the set of "Bus Stop" and married in 1956 and divorced in 1961.) Other marriages included one to filmmaker Alan J. Pakula (1963-71) and Charles Hollerith, Jr., who survives her.
Her final trip to Broadway was for The Supporting Cast in 1981. The George Furth play starred Sandy Dennis, Berry Garrett, Jack Gilford and Joyce Van Patten, but closed after 36 performances.
Later film roles included "Death Wish," as Charles Bronson's wife; "Just Cause," in which she co-starred with her son, Christopher Murray; "Clear and Present Danger"; and David Lynch's "Blue Velvet," in which she played Laura Dern's mother.