Living legendary actresses

older 80
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1.
Olivia de Havilland
Olivia Mary de Havilland was born July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to British parents Lilian Augusta (Ruse), a former actress, and Walter Augustus de Havilland, an English professor and patent attorney. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her surname comes from her paternal grandfather...
 
2.
Sophia Loren
Actress, Two Women
Sophia Loren was born as Sofia Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, on September 20, 1934. Her father, Riccardo Scicolone, was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother, Romilda Villani, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and her younger sister Maria Scicolone)...
 
3.
Angela Lansbury
British character actress, long in the United States. The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States as the Second World War began. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated for an Academy Award for her first film...
 
4.
Eva Marie Saint
Actress and producer Eva Marie Saint was born on July 4, 1924 on Newark, New Jersey. She is known for starring in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. Her film career also includes roles in Raintree County...
 
5.
Doris Day
One of America's most prolific actresses was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alma Sophia (Welz), a housewife, and William Joseph Kappelhoff, a music teacher and choir master. Her grandparents were all German immigrants. She had two brothers, Richard, who died before she was born and Paul, a few years older...
 
6.
Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida was born on July 4, 1927 in Subiaco, Italy. Destined to be called "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World", Gina possibly had St. Brigid as part of her surname. She was the daughter of a furniture manufacturer, and grew up in the pictorial mountain village. The young Gina did some modeling and...
 
7.
Shirley MacLaine
Actress, The Apartment
Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on March 30, 1937. Her ancestry includes English and Scottish...
 
8.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Actress, Moulin Rouge
Undoubtedly the woman who had come to epitomize what we recognize today as "celebrity", Zsa Zsa Gabor, is better known for her many marriages, personal appearances, her "dahlink" catchphrase, her actions, life gossip, and quotations on men, rather than her film career. Zsa Zsa Gabor was born Sári Gabor in Budapest...
 
9.
Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (Harmon) and Raymond Francis Reynolds, a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Her film career began at MGM after she won a beauty contest at age 16 impersonating Betty Hutton. Reynolds wasn't a dancer until she was selected to be Gene Kelly's partner in Singin' in the Rain...
 
10.
Jane Powell
Actress, Royal Wedding
Jane Powell was singing and dancing at an early age. She sang on the radio and performed in theaters before her screen debut in 1944. Through the 1940s and 1950s, she had a successful career in movie musicals. However, in 1957, her career in films ended, as she had outgrown her innocent girl-next-door image...
 
11.
Anouk Aimée
Actress,
She is the daughter of the actress Geneviève Sorya. In 1948 she played the part of Juliette in Les amants de Vérone. In the following years (fifties and beginning sixties) she made various films (e.g. Modigliani of Montparnasse and La Dolce Vita) but had only with Lola of Jacques Demy and A Man and a Woman of Claude Lelouch major success...
 
12.
Jeanne Moreau
Actress, Jules and Jim
When people gave Louis Malle credit for making a star of Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows immediately followed by The Lovers, he would point out that Moreau by that time had already been "recognized as the prime stage actress of her generation." She had made it to the Comédie Française in her 20s...
 
13.
Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno has had a thriving acting career for the better part of six decades. One of the very few (and very first) performers to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy, she was born Rosita Dolores Alverío in Humacao, Puerto Rico, on December 11, 1931, to seamstress Rosa María (Marcano) and farmer Francisco José "Paco" Alverío...
 
14.
Carol Channing
Carol Channing was born January 31, 1921, at Seattle, Washington, the daughter of a prominent newspaper editor, who was very active in the Christian Science movement. She attended high school in San Francisco and later worked as a model in Los Angeles. She attended prestigious Bennington College in...
 
15.
Joanne Woodward
Actress, Philadelphia
Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930, in Thomasville, Georgia, to Wade Woodward and Elinor Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward in a modest household. Her one older brother, Wade Jr., who was the favorite of her father, eventually became an architect. Elinor Woodward was a quite a movie buff and enjoyed going to picture shows often...
 
16.
Lee Grant
Academy Award winner Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal on October 31, 1926 in Manhattan, New York City, to Witia (Haskell), a teacher and actress, and Abraham Rosenthal, an educator and realtor. Her father was of Romanian Jewish descent, and her mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Lee made her stage debut at age 4 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City...
 
17.
Danielle Darrieux
Actress, Persepolis
Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, but raised in Paris. She was only 14 when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal: she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. She had her first romantic lead in La crise est finie and scored an international...
 
18.
Ellen Burstyn
Actress, Interstellar
Ellen Burstyn was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Correine Marie (Hamel) and John Austin Gillooly. She is of mostly Irish, German, and French-Canadian descent. Ellen worked a number of jobs before she became an actress. At 14, she was a short-order cook at a lunch counter. After graduating from Detroit's Cass Technical High School...
 
19.
Cloris Leachman
Actress, The Croods
The record-breaking actress set a record when at age 82, she appeared on Dancing with the Stars. Cloris Leachman was born on April 30, 1926 in Des Moines, Iowa to Berkeley Claiborne "Buck" Leachman and the former Cloris Wallace. Her father's family owned a lumber company, Leachman Lumber Co. She is of Czech (from her maternal grandmother) and English descent...
 
20.
Betty White
Betty White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, to Christine Tess (Cachikis), a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a lighting company executive. She is of Danish, Greek, English, and Welsh descent. Although best known as the devious Sue Ann Nivens on the classic sitcom Mary Tyler Moore and the ditzy Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls...
 
21.
Kim Novak
Actress, Vertigo
Kim Novak was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 13, 1933 with the birth name of Marilyn Pauline Novak. She was the daughter of Joseph Novak, a former teacher turned transit clerk and his wife, Blanche Kral Novak, also a former teacher. Throughout elementary and high school, Kim did not get along well with teachers...
 
22.
Gena Rowlands
Actress, The Notebook
Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American film, stage, and television actress, whose career in the entertainment industry has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in 10 films...
 
23.
Angie Dickinson
Actress, Police Woman
Angie Dickinson was born in Kulm, North Dakota, the daughter of Fredericka (Hehr) and Leo Henry Brown, a newspaper editor and publisher of The Kulm Messenger. Her parents were both of German descent, with the family surname originally being "Braun"(which in German is pronounced as brown). The family left North Dakota in 1942...
 
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25.
Julie Newmar
Julia Chalene Newmeyer (Chalane was her mother's maiden name) was born on August 16, 1933 in Los Angeles, California. Her father was a one-time professional football player (LA Buccaneers, 1926), her mother was a star of the Follies of 1920. From an early age, Julie studied piano, dance and classical ballet...
 
26.
Rhonda Fleming
Actress, Spellbound
A native-born Californian, Rhonda Fleming attended Beverly Hills public and private schools. Her mother, Effie Graham, was a famous model and actress in New York. She has a son (Kent Lane), two granddaughters (Kimberly and Kelly) and four great-grandchildren (Wagner, Page, Lane and Cole). She has appeared in over 40 films...
 
27.
Leslie Caron
Actress, Gigi
Born in the suburbs of Paris, France, Leslie Caron is an actress and dancer. Gene Kelly got her into the movies for the film An American in Paris. Got a world-wide reputation for her roles in Lili and Gigi. Most recently Caron has appeared in British TV series The Durrells in Corfu.
 
28.
Tippi Hedren
Actress, The Birds
Tippi Hedren was born Nathalie Kay Hedren in New Ulm, Minnesota, to Dorothea Henrietta (Eckhardt) and Bernard Carl Hedren, who ran a general store. Her father was of Swedish descent and her mother was of German and Norwegian ancestry. Tippi was working as a New York fashion model when she married her first husband...
 
29.
Vera Miles
Actress, Psycho
Born in Boise City, Oklahoma, Vera Miles attended school in Pratt, Kansas and Wichita, Kansas. The patrician beauty of Miss Miles won her the title of "Miss Kansas" in 1948, leading soon to small roles in Hollywood films and television series. Fame came to the forthright, spirited Miles when she attracted the attention of two master directors...
 
30.
Joan Plowright
Dame Joan Ann Plowright, the Baroness Olivier, is one of the most distinguished actors of her generation. She may be best remembered as the third wife and widow of Laurence Olivier, generally considered the greatest anglophone actor of the 20th Century, but she had a distinguished career of her own on stage and screen spanning six decades...
 
31.
Olympia Dukakis
Long a vital, respected lady of the classic and contemporary stage this grand lady did not become a household name and sought-after film actress until age 56 when she turned in a glorious, Oscar-winning perf as Cher's sardonic mother in the romantic comedy Moonstruck. Since then movie...
 
32.
Shirley Jones
Shirley Mae Jones was born 31 March, 1934 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. She was named after Shirley Temple. Her father owned the local brewery. When she was 20, she went to New York with her parents and, within a week, became the first and only actor signed to a personal contract by Rogers and Hammerstein...
 
33.
Carol Burnett
The entertainment world has enjoyed a five-decade love affair with comedienne/singer Carol Burnett. A peerless sketch performer and delightful, self-effacing personality who rightfully succeeded Lucille Ball as the carrot-topped "Queen of Television Comedy," it was Burnett's traumatic childhood that set the stage for her comedy...
 
34.
Estelle Parsons
The charming, witty, and immeasurably gifted Estelle Parsons was born November 20, 1927 in Lynn, Massachusetts, to Elinor and Eben Parsons. She attended the Oak Grove School for Girls in Maine, and later graduated from Connecticut College in 1949. She worked as a singer with a band before she became the first Women's Editor on Today...
 
35.
Carroll Baker
Actress, The Game
Carroll Baker was born Karolina Piekarski on May 28, 1931 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a traveling salesman. She attended community college for a year and then worked as a dancer and magician's assistant. After a brief marriage, she had a small part in Easy to Love, did TV commercials...
 
36.
Ann Blyth
The dark, petulant beauty of this petite American film and musical star worked to her advantage, especially in her early dramatic career. Ann Marie Blyth was born of Irish stock to Harry and Nan Blyth on August 16, 1928, in Mt. Kisco, New York. Her parents split while she was young and she, her mother and sister moved to New York City...
 
37.
Mitzi Gaynor
A leading lady of light musicals, the bright-eyed Gaynor is best remembered for "South Pacific". She also hosted a string of successful annual musical TV specials in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
 
38.
Honor Blackman
Actress, Goldfinger
Comparing this sultry-eyed blonde to Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich may seem a bit overzealous, but Honor Blackman's stylish allure over the years cannot be denied. One of four children, Blackman was born in London's East End to a statistician father employed with the civil service and a homemaker mother...
 
39.
Doris Roberts
Doris Roberts was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Ann (Meltzer) and Larry Green. She was raised in New York, and took her stepfather's surname. Roberts was a 20-year veteran of the Broadway stage before she began appearing steadily in character roles in film and on television during the 1970s. A versatile player with an inescapably "mom-like" presence...
 
40.
Piper Laurie
Actress, Carrie
Piper Laurie was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, on January 22, 1932, to Charlotte Sadie (Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a furniture dealer. Her father was a Polish Jewish immigrant and her mother was of Russian Jewish descent. Her father moved the family to Los Angeles, California, when she was 6-years-old...
 
41.
Cicely Tyson
Actress, The Help
Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and...
 
42.
Claire Bloom
Age has not taken the flower off this Bloom. The well-known and respected stage, screen and television actress Claire Bloom, originally named Patricia Claire Blume, continues to be in demand as a septuagenarian actress and looks as beautiful as ever. She was born Patricia Claire Bloom on February 15...
 
43.
Nancy Olson
Actress, Sunset Blvd.
She cast such a sunny, positive glow in 1950s and 1960s films that you wonder how her promising career might have turned out had it not taken a sudden family detour. Lovely Milwaukee-born Nancy (Ann) Olson was the daughter of Henry, a physician, and Evelyn Olson, and educated at the University of Wisconsin...
 
44.
Valentina Cortese
Actress, Day for Night
Valentina Cortese was born in Milan, Lombardy, Italy, in 1923. She made her movie debut in 1940 and played many "ingenue" parts in Italian films of that period, before making a real sensation in Les Misérables and Tempesta su Parigi, playing both female leads, Fantine and Cosette (the film was a competent screen adaptation of the Victor Hugo classic "Les misérables")...
 
45.
Joan Leslie
Joan Leslie was born in Detroit and began acting as a child performer. She was never able to escape the good girl role in her early work. She married Dr. William Caldwell in 1950. She quit her acting career to raise her identical twin daughters Patrice and Ellen. Both daughters are now Doctors teaching at universities.
 
46.
June Lockhart
Actress, Lassie
Born in New York City on June 25, 1925, the daughter of actors Gene Lockhart and Kathleen Lockhart, June Lockhart made her professional debut at age eight in a Metropolitan Opera production of "Peter Ibbetson", playing Mimsey in the dream sequence. In the mid-1930s, the Lockharts relocated to California...
 
47.
Marsha Hunt
Stardom somehow eluded this vastly gifted actress. Had it not perhaps been for her low-level profile compounded by her McCarthy-era blacklisting in the early 1950s, there is no telling what higher tier Marsha Hunt might have attained. Perhaps her work was not flashy enough, or too subdued, or perhaps her intelligence too often disguised a genuine sex appeal to stand out among the other lovelies...
 
48.
Gloria DeHaven
Actress, Out to Sea
Gloria Mildred DeHaven was born on July 23, 1925 in Los Angeles, California, to vaudeville headliners Carter and Flora DeHaven. Her parents made sure their daughter would be educated at the very best private schools. They also indulged her ambition to be in show business by packing her off to the Mar-Ken Professional School in Hollywood (1940-42)...
 
49.
Dorothy Malone
Actress, Peyton Place
The blonde, sultry, dreamy-eyed beauty of Dorothy Malone, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, took some time before it made an impact with American filmgoing audiences. But once she did, she played it for all it was worth in her one chance Academy Award-winning "bad girl" performance, a role quite unlike the classy and straight-laced lady herself...
 
50.
Barbara Hale
Actress, Perry Mason
Barbara was born on 18 April 1922, as one of two children. As a young girl, Ms. Hale intended to major in art and drawing; she began her professional career as a model for a comic strip called "Ramblin' Bill", during the time she was working her way through The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. She married actor Bill Williams in 1946, and had son William Katt in 1951.
 
51.
Florence Henderson
Florence Henderson was considered by protocol executive Jerold Franks, CSA to be "...one of the most generous stars I have ever worked with." Los Angeles, New York and all parts of the country, Florence has helped raise millions of dollars for various charitable organizations. Jerold Franks, friend and confidante to actress Mary Martin as well as producer of Ms...
 
52.
Patricia Morison
Woefully misused while in her prime screen years at Paramount during the late '30s and '40s, Patricia Morison, lovely and exotic with Rapunzel-like long, dark hair, nevertheless became a star in her own right -- as a supremely talented diva on the singing stage. Born on March 19, 1915, in New York City...
 
53.
Terry Moore
Born Helen Luella Koford on January 7, 1929, the Los Angeles, California, native worked as a model before she made her film debut at age 11 in 20th Century-Fox's Maryland. Throughout the 1940s she worked under a variety of names (her own, Judy Ford and January Ford) before settling on Terry Moore in 1948...
 
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55.
Fernanda Montenegro
Arlette Pinheiro Esteves da Silva was born on 16th October 1929 in Rio de Janeiro. She adopted the name "Fernanda" because she thought it sounded good. "Montenegro" came after her family doctor. In late 40s she was translating and adapting famous theater plays to radio. She begun her artistic life in the theater with the play "Alegres Canções nas Montanhas" in 1950...
 
59.
Mary Carlisle
Actress, Dead Men Walk
She was the standard prototype of the porcelain-pretty collegiate and starry-eyed romantic interest in a host of Depression-era films and although her name may not ring a bell to most, Mary Carlisle enjoyed a fairly solid decade in the cinematic limelight. The Boston-born, blue-eyed blonde was brought to Hollywood in 1916...
 
60.
June Foray
Actress, Mulan
June Foray was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 18. Various years of birth have been given for her--1917, 1919, 1920 and 1925--but 1917 seems to be the most plausible, since it was attributed to her in an interview that she did in 2000 when The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle was released. The 1920 US Federal Census shows June Lucille Forer (Foray) living with her family in Massachusetts...
 
61.
Lupita Tovar
Actress, Drácula
Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Lupita Tovar appeared first in silent Fox films before making the move to Universal and co-starring in the Spanish-language version of 1930's "The Cat Creeps" (La voluntad del muerto). For the same producer, Czech-born Paul Kohner, she appeared as Eva Seward (the Spanish-language counterpart of Helen Chandler's Mina) in Universal's Spanish Dracula...
 
63.
Haya Harareet
Actress, Ben-Hur
Born in Palestine before the inception of the Israeli state in the city of Haifa, she first distinguished herself by winning one of the first beauty contests in the nascent Israel. Haya Harareet (also spelled Hararit) made her debut in Thorold Dickinson's film Hill 24 Doesn't Answer ("Hill 24 Doesn't Answer")...
 
64.
Glynis Johns
Actress, Mary Poppins
Husky voiced Glynis is the daughter of actor Mervyn Johns. Best known for her light comedy roles and often playful flirtation, Glynis was born in South Africa while her parents were on tour there (her mother was a concert pianist) but was always proud of her Welsh roots and took delight in playing the female lead (opposite Richard Burton) in the classic Under Milk Wood...
 
65.
Frances Sternhagen
Actress, Misery
Raised in Washington, D.C., Frances Sternhagen taught acting, singing and dancing to school children before first performing herself with the Arena Stage Group. Since that time, she has been seen in numerous Broadway show, has been nominated five times for a Tony Award and received one for "The Good Doctor"...
 
66.
Bonnie Bartlett
Actress, Twins
Bonnie Bartlett grew up in Moline, Illinois. Her father E.E. was a failed Shakespearean actor who became an insurance salesman. Her mother Carrie was a homemaker. At an early age, Bonnie became determined to fulfill her father's failed acting career. She went to Northwestern University to study acting...
 
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70.
Marge Champion
One of the great dancer and choreographers in both movies and stage, Marge Champion is best known today as the former wife of Gower Champion, when they worked together as a highly successfully dancing team in the MGM musical years. After retiring from movies, Champion now works as a dance teacher and as a choreographer in New York.
 
71.
Nanette Fabray
A sparkling, entertaining, highly energetic presence ever since her early days (from age 4) as a singing and tap dancing child vaudevillian, Nanette Fabray (born Ruby Fabares in San Diego) was once billed as "Baby Nanette" and working with the top headliners of the era, notably Ben Turpin, in the Los Angeles area...
 
72.
Barbara Rush
Actress, Peyton Place
The epitome of poise, charm, style and grace, beautiful brunette Barbara Rush was born in Denver, Colorado in 1927 and enrolled at the University of California before working with the University Players and taking acting classes at the Pasadena Playhouse. It didn't take long for talent scouts to spot her and...
 
73.
Marjorie Lord
Poised and lovely Marjorie Lord started her long and varied career on the Broadway stage and in "B" films as a sweet-natured ingénue. Lord was born Marjorie F. Wollenberg in 1918 in San Francisco, California, to Lillian Rosalie (Edgar) and George Charles Wollenberg. Her family transported themselves to New York City when she was fifteen...
 
74.
Gloria Vanderbilt
Great-great-granddaughter of "The Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of her family's fortune. Her maternal aunt, Lady Thelma Furness, was a mistress of King Edward VIII of Great Britain. Gloria is a close cousin of the British Dukes of Marlborough.
 
76.
Maria Riva
Actress, Scrooged
 
77.
Liz Smith
Liz Smith found fame as an actress at an age when most people are considering retirement. It was a long road to eventual stardom, during which she struggled to raise a family after a broken marriage. She became best-known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and The Royle Family but her talents encompassed serious drama too...
 
79.
Cara Williams
This perky, talented, blue-eyed redhead had acting aspirations from the get-go. She was born in Brooklyn on June 29, 1925, as Bernice Kamiat, to an Austrian Jewish father and a Russian Jewish mother. Cara began performing as a child and continued into her teens. After her parents' divorce, she relocated...
 
80.
Charlotte Rae
This Milwaukee native was born in 1926, where she was raised on a farm, with her two sisters (Beverly, Mimi), with Charlotte being the second of her three. Rae wanted to be a dramatic actress, but eventually wound up being a comedienne, all because of her stand-up comedy routines. After graduating from high school...
 
81.
Lois Smith
Actress, Twister
 
83.
Eva Wilma
Eva Wilma has a daughter and a son with John Herbert: Vivien (b. 1956) and John Herbert Junior (b. 1958). Vivien is a cinema director and John Herbert Junior is a musician. Eva's father was Otto and her mother was Luiza. She has five grandchildren: Miguel, born in 1986, and Mateus, born in 1990, (Vivien' sons) and Gabriela...
 
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86.
Barbara Barrie
Actress, Hercules
Chicago-born, Texas-raised Barbara Barrie already had a prolific theater career behind her when she came to prominence as the lead in One Potato, Two Potato, for which she received the award for Prix d'interprétation féminine (best actress - tied with Anne Bancroft) at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.
 
87.
Barbro Kollberg
Barbro Anna Elisabeth Kollberg was a Swedish actress, theatre leader and acting teacher born on December 27, 1917 in Eskilstuna. She studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre School 1937-40. She was engaged at the Blache Theatre, Stockholm. In 1943 she was approached by director Gösta Cederlund to play the leading role as Marta in the feature film "Kungsgatan"...
 
88.
Jacqueline White
Warm, charming leading lady of 1940s films, Jacqueline White was under contract to both MGM (which wasted her in mostly unbilled bits) and then RKO, where she appeared in two classics--Crossfire and The Narrow Margin. RKO used her as a second lead in A pictures and leading roles in Bs. She retired in 1950 upon her marriage to Bruce Anderson and they relocated to Wyoming...