Nancy Sterngood is a character from the first movie, third movie and every episode in the TV series. She is played by Charlotte Stewart in the movies and Marcia Strassman in the TV Series. Artisan, ex-hippie and a lover of solitude and open spaces, she has a daughter named Mindy Sterngood.
Nancy Sterngood is an artist and former hippie who separated from her husband sometime prior to the first film (he thought that the idea of moving there was one of her "artistic pipe dreams" which is strange as he was to be portrayed as a ex-rocker with Nancy as something of a groupie back in the day), and the mother of Mindy Sterngood.
In the third film, she began capitalizing on Perfection's dubious notoriety by selling Graboid-themed souvenirs. The film suggested she had to purchase them at wholesale prices, but in the TV series she makes much of the merchandise herself, perhaps due to dissatisfaction of the quality of the souvenirs that the manufacturers had made (they had given the Graboid items one too many tentacles). After the third movie Nancy capitalized on Perfection's dubious notoriety by creating ceramic Graboid hood ornaments, Shrieker ashtrays, Burt Gummer action figures, and Assblaster paperweights, all of which she markets online with Jodi Chang's help. During the incident, she initially proves to be more of a hindrance than a help, letting her Graboid detection equipment break with the excuse that its been 11 years and calling the government after Burt refuses to which leads to them putting a stop to the Graboid hunt after declaring the Graboids a protected and endangered species. Nancy is horrified when the townspeople are threatened with eviction as she only intended to have the government help them hunt the Graboids rather than them doing the hunting themselves like the last time. During the Graboid hunt, Nancy and Mindy are the only ones who stay in town and spend most of the movie on the roof of Chang's Market in a cardboard box. They help the others a little when Burt calls for help with distracting El Blanco and Mindy uses loud music over the radio to Nancy's shock. However, when an Ass Blaster attacks them, the two are able to flee into the store's meat locker for protection and capture the Ass Blaster when it passes out from eating "half the food in the store." Nancy alerts Burt to use his MRE store against the creatures, but too late as he'd just blown up his house to prevent exactly that. After the threat is eliminated, Nancy and Mindy sell the Ass Blaster to Siegfried and Roy (changed to Sigmund and Ray in the TV show) to pay for Mindy's college.
As of the time the TV series takes place (2003), she is one of three of the original characters who still live in Perfection (the other two being Burt and Melvin). In the films, her main concern has been her daughter, especially her safety from the Graboids; however, when Mindy became an adult, Nancy was able to worry about her own affairs more. Though she feels as annoyed with Larry Norvel as everyone else, she let him have her guest room for a week until he found a more permanent home in Perfection. While usually not taking part in Burt and Tyler's adventures, Nancy got caught up in the Rescue Team Shriekers crisis like the rest of the town. It was Nancy who killed the last of the Shriekers in the end using the bomb she had built to blow Burt's safe room door down. She also helped with Burt's Survival School while they were dealing with the Messerschmitt problem, something Nancy blamed herself for as she'd caught and sold the Ass Blaster rather than killing it like she should've. Nancy proved instrumental in stopping the threat and recapturing the Ass Blaster by using her cooking skills with the help of Burt's students to bait a trap with a gourmet meal for the creature.
Nancy is the one person in town not struggling to make ends meet. At peace with herself, she quotes the Dalai Lama, meditates and uses crystal energy to keep El Blanco away from her small house/studio. She generally acts as a calming influence by exercising a wise, trusting, Earth Mother yin to balance Burt's suspicious, over-reactive yang. Both Jodi and Rosalita Sanchez look up to Nancy for her calm reassurance — and because she's tough enough to stand up to Burt.
Besides the ever-present Graboid problem, Nancy's only other challenge is how to meet a nice, "fully actualized" guy when she lives in the middle of nowhere surrounded by man-eating predators. Had there been a second season, it was planned that a potential romance would form between her and Burt.
- Her last name was in the original script of the first film, but was not used onscreen until the third.
- Her change in actresses stems from the original actress not reading a contract for a commercial she was in, being that it was exclusive and she could not appear on television while the commercial was airing the role needed to be recast.
- In Night of the Shriekers, she reveals she knows how to build a bomb due to an incident in her past she seems embarrassed about. A further hint at a possible checkered past is when she knows Mindy's new boyfriend in Graboid Rights and calls him Scarecrow.
- With the help of Burt's survival students Nancy showed the ability to make a full-course gourmet meal that an Ass Blaster who usually got it from a top chef liked.
- During Tremors 3, Nancy, like everyone else in Perfection let their Graboid detection systems break. When confronted Nancy was unrepentant saying "come on Burt! It's been what, 11 years?!" despite Burt's precautions proving to be right. She also nearly got everyone in town evicted through eminent domain by calling the government rather than letting Burt handle the situation. Her reasoning was presumably as she'd said earlier in the movie she figured the government could handle it rather than them since they weren't cut-off the second time like they were the first time. However, she never intended for the government to threaten to evict them.
- When talking about their fight with the Graboids in the first movie, Nancy indicated she thought that they acted like "a bunch of militia nitwits" when describing how they didn't need to act when the Graboids invaded again.
- In Tremors 3, Nancy contacts Burt with the news that all he has to do to defeat the Ass Blasters is feed them all of his stockpiled food. Ironically he had just blown up his house moments before to avoid doing exactly that. Burt was left too stunned to respond so Jodi simply thanked Nancy for the update without telling her what had just happened. All Burt could say in response to the revelation was "what kind of supreme being could condone such irony?"
- Tremors (First appearance)
- Tremors 3: Back to Perfection
- Tremors: The Series
- Tremors: The Lost Episodes (Intended to appear)
References and notes