Best Supporting Actresses by Year -- WMK

by william kromer | created - 15 Jun 2012 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

WMK's winner and four nominees, in order, for Best Supporting Actress by year. [Note: Some years have six nominees due to ties for fifth place.]

1. Marjorie Rambeau

Actress | Tugboat Annie Sails Again

Born July 15, 1889 in San Francisco, unappreciated character player Marjorie Rambeau worked on the stage from the age of 12. In the 1910s and 1920s, she became a prominent Broadway lead, noted for her serene beauty, elegant poise and touching theatrics. Around the same time she made a few silent ...

1931 -- MIN AND BILL

Other Nominees: Margaret Dumont (Animal Crackers), Edna May Oliver (Cimarron), Beryl Mercer (The Public Enemy), Jean Harlow (The Public Enemy)

2. Margaret Dumont

Actress | Duck Soup

Margaret Dumont would probably consider it a tragedy that she is best-known for her performances as the ultimate straight woman in seven of the Marx Brothers' films (including most of their best). By all accounts she never understood their jokes (offscreen and on), which is of course a major reason...

ANIMAL CRACKERS

3. Edna May Oliver

Actress | The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger

She was born Edna May Nutter, a child of solid New England stock, on 9th November 1883 in Malden, Massachusetts. The daughter of Ida May and Charles Edward Nutter, Edna was a descendant of the 6th American president John Quincy Adams. Miss Oliver took an early interest in the stage, and she would ...

CIMARRON

4. Beryl Mercer

Actress | The Little Princess

Too short to be a leading lady, Beryl Mercer had a very active and productive career playing motherly characters. She had played opposite of great leading men like Colin Clive, Robert Montgomery, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Leslie Howard, Spencer Tracy, and Randolph Scott. Beryl played Queen ...

THE PUBLIC ENEMY

5. Jean Harlow

Actress | Dinner at Eight

Harlean Carpenter, who later became Jean Harlow, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 1911. She was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. In 1927, at the age of 16, she ran away from home to marry a young businessman named Charles McGrew, who was 23. The couple pulled up ...

THE PUBLIC ENEMY

6. Ann Dvorak

Actress | Scarface

Ann Dvorak was the daughter of silent film star Anna Lehr and silents director Edwin McKim. She entered films at the start of sound, as a dance instructor for the lavish MGM musicals. She came to international prominence in Scarface (1932) with Paul Muni, but often complained about the lack of ...

1932 -- SCARFACE

Other Nominees: Mary Astor (Red Dust), Joan Crawford (Grand Hotel), Aline MacMahon (One Way Passage), Toshia Mori (The Bitter Tea of General Yen)

7. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

RED DUST

8. Joan Crawford

Actress | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; ...

GRAND HOTEL

9. Aline MacMahon

Actress | One Way Passage

Aline MacMahon was born of Irish/Russian ancestry on May 3 1899, the daughter of William Marcus MacMahon and Jennie Simon MacMahon. Her father went on to become editor-in-chief of Munsey's Magazine, while her mother pursued a theatrical acting career from middle-age and lived to the ripe old age of...

ONE WAY PASSAGE

10. Toshia Mori

Actress | The Bitter Tea of General Yen

Toshia Mori was born on January 1, 1912 in Kyoto, Japan as Toshia Ichioka. She was an actress, known for The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932), The Man Without a Face (1928) and Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937). She was married to Allen Jung. She died on November 26, 1995 in The Bronx, New York, USA.

THE BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN

11. Joan Blondell

Actress | Grease

With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a ...

1933 -- FOOTLIGHT PARADE

Other Nominees: Evelyn Brent (The World Gone Mad), Ginger Rogers (42nd Street), Bebe Daniels (42nd Street), Mary Brian (The World Gone Mad)

12. Evelyn Brent

Actress | The Silver Horde

Petite, sultry leading lady of the 1920's and 30's, who was born and schooled in Tampa, Florida, until the age of ten when she lost her mother. She moved to New York with her dad and started modelling while still in her teens. Her original intention was to go into the teaching profession. Instead, ...

THE WORLD GONE MAD

13. Ginger Rogers

Actress | The Major and the Minor

Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped ...

42ND STREET

14. Bebe Daniels

Actress | 42nd Street

Bebe Daniels already had toured as an actor by the age of four in a stage production of "Richard III". She had her first leading role at the age of seven and started her film career shortly after this in movies for Imperial, Pathe and others. At 14 she was already a film veteran, and was enlisted ...

42ND STREET

15. Mary Brian

Actress | Charlie Chan in Paris

Dubbed "The Sweetest Girl in Pictures", Mary Brian started life as Louise Byrdie Datzler. She was born in Corsicana, Texas, and went to high school in Dallas. Her widowed mother had big plans for young Louise and took her to California in 1923, with the intention of getting her into the film ...

THE WORLD GONE MAD

16. Marie Dressler

Actress | Min and Bill

Once you saw her, you would not forget her. Despite her age and weight, she became one of the top box office draws of the sound era. She was 14 when she joined a theater group and she went on to work on stage and in light opera. By 1892, she was on Broadway and she later became a star comedienne on...

1934 -- DINNER AT EIGHT

Other Nominees: Jean Harlow (Dinner at Eight), Fredi Washington (Imitation of Life), Louise Beavers (Imitation of Life), Billie Burke (Dinner at Eight)

17. Jean Harlow

Actress | Dinner at Eight

Harlean Carpenter, who later became Jean Harlow, was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 1911. She was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. In 1927, at the age of 16, she ran away from home to marry a young businessman named Charles McGrew, who was 23. The couple pulled up ...

DINNER AT EIGHT

18. Fredi Washington

Actress | Imitation of Life

Fredi Washington was a pioneering African-American actress whose fair skin and green eyes often were impediments to her showing her extraordinary acting skills. Her talent was often overlooked because of people's obsession with her race and color. In the few films in which she acted her enormous ...

IMITATION OF LIFE

19. Louise Beavers

Actress | Imitation of Life

1930s and 1940s film actress Louise Beavers was merely one of a dominant gallery of plus-sized and plus-talented African-American character actresses forced to endure blatant, discouraging and demeaning stereotypes during Depression-era and WWII Hollywood. It wasn't until Louise's triumphant role in...

IMITATION OF LIFE

20. Billie Burke

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885 in Washington, D.C. Her father was a circus clown, and as a child she toured the United States and Europe with the circus (before motion pictures and after the stage, circuses were the biggest form of entertainment in the...

DINNER AT EIGHT

21. Elsa Lanchester

Actress | Witness for the Prosecution

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the ...

1935 -- BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

Other Nominees: Edna May Oliver (David Copperfield), Allison Skipworth (Dangerous), Jessie Ralph (David Copperfield), Margaret Dumont (A Night at the Opera)

22. Edna May Oliver

Actress | The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger

She was born Edna May Nutter, a child of solid New England stock, on 9th November 1883 in Malden, Massachusetts. The daughter of Ida May and Charles Edward Nutter, Edna was a descendant of the 6th American president John Quincy Adams. Miss Oliver took an early interest in the stage, and she would ...

DAVID COPPERFIELD

23. Alison Skipworth

Actress | Six of a Kind

Born in London on July 25, 1863. Originally a Broadway actress with extensive experience portraying grand dames. Skipworth shifted to Hollywood as character actress of the 30's, specializing in playing aristocratic types. She is better remembered, however, in association with her antagonist in ...

DANGEROUS

24. Jessie Ralph

Actress | The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger

Jessie Ralph was a sailor's daughter, who first came to the stage at the age of 16, performing with a stock company in either Boston, Massachusetts, or Providence, Rhode Island (accounts differ). The year was 1880, and it took Jessie another 26 years to make her debut on the Great White Way in "The...

DAVID COPPERFIELD

25. Margaret Dumont

Actress | Duck Soup

Margaret Dumont would probably consider it a tragedy that she is best-known for her performances as the ultimate straight woman in seven of the Marx Brothers' films (including most of their best). By all accounts she never understood their jokes (offscreen and on), which is of course a major reason...

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

26. Gale Sondergaard

Actress | The Mark of Zorro

Sly, manipulative, dangerously cunning and sinister were the key words that best described the roles that Gale Sondergaard played in motion pictures, making her one of the most talented character actresses ever seen on the screen. She was educated at the University of Minnesota and later married ...

1936 -- ANTHONY ADVERSE

Other Nominees: Gail Patrick (My Man Godfrey), Bonita Granville (These Three), Mary Astor (Dodsworth), Alma Kruger (These Three)

27. Gail Patrick

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Cold, calculating and hard-as-nails is probably the best definition of Gail Patrick's femmes on the 30s and 40s silver screen, and the actress herself was no softie in real life. The tall, slender, patrician beauty was born with the equally stately-sounding name Margaret LaVelle Fitzpatrick in ...

MY MAN GODFREY

28. Bonita Granville

Actress | These Three

Daughter of Bernard Granville, Bonita Granville was born into an acting family. It's not surprising that she herself became a child actor, first on the stage and, at the age of 9, debuting in movies in Westward Passage (1932). She was regularly cast as a naughty little girl, as in These Three (1936)...

THESE THREE

29. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

DODSWORTH

30. Alma Kruger

Actress | These Three

Matronly, grandmotherly character actress, in films 1935-47, best known as head nurse Molly Byrd in the "Dr. Kildare/Dr. Gillespie" films of the 1930s and '40s. 64 years old when she made her film debut in William Wyler's "These Three" in 1935, she lived to be 88, dying in 1960.

THESE THREE

31. Alice Brady

Actress | In Old Chicago

Alice Brady was born in New York City on November 2, 1892. She was interested in the stage from childhood, as her father was famed Broadway producer William A. Brady. After a few stage productions, Alice was discovered by movie producers in New York, since this was the film capital at the time. Her...

1937 -- IN OLD CHICAGO

Other Nominees: Mayo Methot (Marked Woman), Mary Astor (The Hurricane), Isabel Jewell (Lost Horizon), Claire Trevor (Dead End)

32. Mayo Methot

Actress | Virtue

Mayo Methot was born on March 3, 1904 in Portland, Oregon, USA. She was an actress, known for Virtue (1932), Jimmy the Gent (1934) and Counsellor-at-Law (1933). She was married to Humphrey Bogart, Percy Tredegar Morgan Jr. and John M. La Mond. She died on June 9, 1951 in Portland.

MARKED WOMAN

33. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

THE HURRICANE

34. Isabel Jewell

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Isabel Jewell, like other actresses in Hollywood in the 1930s, suffered from chronic typecasting. The diminutive, platinum-haired daughter of a doctor and medical researcher seemed to be forever playing hard-boiled, tough-talking broads: gangster's molls, dumb blondes, prostitutes and, of course, ...

LOST HORIZON

35. Claire Trevor

Actress | Key Largo

Claire Trevor was born Claire Wemlinger in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY, the only child of Fifth Avenue merchant-tailor Noel Wemlinger, an immigrant Frenchman from Paris who lost his business during the Depression, and his Belfast-born wife Betty. Trevor's interest in acting began when ...

DEAD END

36. May Whitty

Actress | Night Must Fall

Born Mary Whitty on June 19, 1865 to a Liverpool newspaper editor and his wife, she became known as May Whitty to the world.

She first stepped on the London stage in 1882. She worked as an understudy at the St. James Theatre, and then, began playing leading roles when she joined a traveling stock ...

1938 -- THE LADY VANISHES

Other Nominees: Spring Byington (You Can't Take It With You), Fay Bainter (Jezebel), May Robson (Adventures of Tom Sawyer), Anita Louise (The Sisters)

37. Spring Byington

Actress | You Can't Take It with You

The possessor of one of Hollywood's gentlest faces and warmest voices, and about as sweet as Tupelo honey both on-and-off camera, character actress Spring Byington was seldom called upon to play callous or unsympathetic (she did once play a half-crazed housekeeper in Dragonwyck (1946)). Although ...

YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU

38. Fay Bainter

Actress | Jezebel

Fay Bainter's career began as a child performer in 1898. For some time, she was a member of the traveling cast of the Morosco Stock Company in Los Angeles. In 1912, she made her Broadway debut in 'The Rose of Panama', but this and her subsequent play 'The Bridal Path' (1913), were conspicuous ...

JEZEBEL

39. May Robson

Actress | Bringing Up Baby

Born Mary Jeanette Robison. She was the youngest daughter of Henry Robison of Penrith, Cumberland, England and Julia Schelesinger of Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Her father died in 1860 and her mother remarried. In 1866/67 they were living in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and moved ...

THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER

40. Anita Louise

Actress | The Little Princess

An actress from the age of 6, Anita appeared with Walter Hampden in the Broadway production of Peter Ibbetson. As a juvenile actor, Anita used the name Louise Fremault and made her film debut at 9 in the film The Sixth Commandment (1924). She continued to make films as a child actor, and in 1929, ...

THE SISTERS

41. Hattie McDaniel

Actress | Gone with the Wind

After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West (1932). Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest (1934) and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams (1935). In this one, directed by George ...

1939 -- GONE WITH THE WIND

Other Nominees: Mary Boland (The Women), Butterfly McQueen (Gone With the Wind), Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz), Edna May Oliver (Drums Along the Mohawk)

42. Mary Boland

Actress | The Women

Lively, buxom character actress Mary Boland made a name for herself playing vacuous or pixillated motherly types during the 1930's. One of her most memorable performances was as the addle-brained Mrs. Rimplegar of Three Cornered Moon (1933), who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because ...

THE WOMEN

43. Butterfly McQueen

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Thelma McQueen attended public school in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from high school in Long Island, New York. She studied dance with Katherine Dunham, Geoffrey Holder, and Janet Collins. She danced with the Venezuela Jones Negro Youth Group. The "Butterfly" stage name, which does describe her ...

GONE WITH THE WIND

44. Margaret Hamilton

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Margaret Hamilton was born December 9, 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio to Jennie and Walter Hamilton. She later attended Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and practiced acting doing children's theater while a Junior League of Cleveland member. Margaret had already built her resume with several...

THE WIZARD OF OZ

45. Edna May Oliver

Actress | The Personal History, Adventures, Experience, & Observation of David Copperfield the Younger

She was born Edna May Nutter, a child of solid New England stock, on 9th November 1883 in Malden, Massachusetts. The daughter of Ida May and Charles Edward Nutter, Edna was a descendant of the 6th American president John Quincy Adams. Miss Oliver took an early interest in the stage, and she would ...

DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK

46. Jane Darwell

Actress | The Grapes of Wrath

Missouri-born Jane Darwell was the daughter of a railroad president and grew up on a ranch in Missouri. She nursed ambitions to be an opera singer, but put it off because of her father's disapproval (she eventually changed her name to Darwell from the family name of Woodward so as not to "sully" ...

1940 -- THE GRAPES OF WRATH

Other Nominees: Judith Anderson (Rebecca), Ida Lupino (They Drive by Night), Barbara O'Neil (All This and Heaven Too), Ruth Hussey (The Philadelphia Story)

47. Judith Anderson

Actress | Rebecca

Dame Judith Anderson was born Frances Margaret Anderson on February 10, 1897 in Adelaide, South Australia. She began her acting career in Australia before moving to New York in 1918. There she established herself as one of the greatest theatrical actresses and was a major star on Broadway ...

REBECCA

48. Ida Lupino

Actress | High Sierra

Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1933, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire (1932). Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson (...

THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT

49. Barbara O'Neil

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Barbara O'Neil was born on July 17, 1910 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for Gone with the Wind (1939), All This, and Heaven Too (1940) and Stella Dallas (1937). She was married to Joshua Logan. She died on September 3, 1980 in Cos Cob, Connecticut, USA.

ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO

50. Ruth Hussey

Actress | The Philadelphia Story

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Drama, Ruth Hussey's first show-business job was as a fashion commentator on a local radio station. She journeyed to New York City, where she was signed as a model by the world-famous Powers agency. She obtained some stage roles with touring ...

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY

51. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

1941 -- THE MALTESE FALCON

Other Nominees: Dorothy Comingore (Citizen Kane), Sara Allgood (How Green Was My Valley), Ruth Warrick (Citizen Kane), Patricia Collinge (The Little Foxes)

52. Dorothy Comingore

Actress | Citizen Kane

Dorothy Comingore earned a place in motion picture history for her role as the second Mrs. Kane (the Marion Davies to Orson Welles's William Randolph Hearst) in Citizen Kane (1941). It was an extraordinary performance, justifiably praised by critics and public alike. She was apparently slated to be...

CITIZEN KANE

53. Sara Allgood

Actress | How Green Was My Valley

Dublin-born Sara Allgood started her acting career in her native country with the famed Abbey Theatre. From there she traveled to the English stage, where she played for many years before making her film debut in 1918. Her warm, open Irish face meant that she spent a lot of time playing Irish ...

HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY

54. Ruth Warrick

Actress | Citizen Kane

Reedy and regal actress Ruth Warrick will be remembered for two names and two names alone. In films, she will indelibly be referred to as the castoff first "Mrs. Citizen Kane," and on TV she will forever be synonymous with her character of Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, the obnoxiously wealthy, ...

CITIZEN KANE

55. Patricia Collinge

Actress | Shadow of a Doubt

Irish-born stage actress, in London from 1904, on Broadway from 1908. After appearing as a flower girl in 'The Queen of the Moulin Rouge', she became a celebrated theatrical star of many classic plays by George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen, J.M. Barrie and others. From 1947 to 1948, she starred as ...

THE LITTLE FOXES

56. Susan Peters

Actress | Random Harvest

War-era MGM had a lovely, luminous star in the making with Susan Peters. She possessed a creative talent and innate sensitivity that would surely have reigned as a leading Hollywood player for years to come had not a tragic and cruel twist of fate taken everything away from her.

She was born Suzanne...

1942 -- RANDOM HARVEST

Other Nominees: Agnes Moorehead (The Magnificent Ambersons), Gladys Cooper (Now Voyager), Dame May Whitty (Mrs. Miniver), Betty Field (Kings Row)

57. Agnes Moorehead

Actress | Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Of Irish/English ancestry, Agnes was born near Boston, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister (her mother was a mezzo-soprano) who encouraged her to perform in church pageants. Aged three, she sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd' on a public stage and seven years later joined the St. Louis Municipal ...

THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS

58. Gladys Cooper

Actress | My Fair Lady

Gladys Cooper was the daughter of journalist William Frederick Cooper and his wife Mabel Barnett. As a child she was very striking and was used as a photographic model beginning at six years old. She wanted to become an actress and started on that road in 1905 after being discovered by Seymour ...

NOW VOYAGER

59. May Whitty

Actress | Night Must Fall

Born Mary Whitty on June 19, 1865 to a Liverpool newspaper editor and his wife, she became known as May Whitty to the world.

She first stepped on the London stage in 1882. She worked as an understudy at the St. James Theatre, and then, began playing leading roles when she joined a traveling stock ...

MRS. MINIVER

60. Betty Field

Actress | Of Mice and Men

Thespian Betty Field was born in Boston on February 8, 1916, the daughter of a salesman and his wife. Ancestors on her father's side were Mayflower colonists Priscilla and John Alden. Her parents divorced while she was still young and Betty eventually learned to speak Spanish while traveling with ...

KINGS ROW

61. Katina Paxinou

Actress | For Whom the Bell Tolls

Katina Paxinou was born in 1900, in Piraeus, Greece. She first appeared on stage in 1928, in an Athens production of Henry Bataille's "La femme nue". In the early 1930's she was one of the founding members of the National Theatre of Greece (previously named Royal Theatre) and performed several ...

1943 -- FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

Other Nominees: Elsa Lanchester (Lassie Come Home), Paulette Goddard (So Proudly We Hail), Jane Darwell (The Ox-Bow Incident), Anne Revere (Song of Bernadette)

62. Elsa Lanchester

Actress | Witness for the Prosecution

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the ...

LASSIE COME HOME

63. Paulette Goddard

Actress | Modern Times

Paulette Goddard was a child model who debuted in "The Ziegfeld Follies" at the age of 13. She gained fame with the show as the girl on the crescent moon, and was married to a wealthy man by the time she was 16. After her divorce she went to Hollywood in 1931, where she appeared in small roles in ...

SO PROUDLY WE HAIL

64. Jane Darwell

Actress | The Grapes of Wrath

Missouri-born Jane Darwell was the daughter of a railroad president and grew up on a ranch in Missouri. She nursed ambitions to be an opera singer, but put it off because of her father's disapproval (she eventually changed her name to Darwell from the family name of Woodward so as not to "sully" ...

THE OX-BOW INCIDENT

65. Anne Revere

Actress | National Velvet

Veteran character actress Anne Revere became another in the long line of talented artists whose careers would crash under the weight of the "Red Scare" hysteria that tore through Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Manhattan and a direct descendant of Revolutionary War figure Paul Revere, ...

SONG OF BERNADETTE

66. Margaret O'Brien

Actress | Meet Me in St. Louis

Born Angela Maxine O'Brien on January 15, 1937 in San Diego, California. Her film debut was one-minute shot in MGM's Babes on Broadway (1941). Her big moment came when she was cast in Journey for Margaret (1942). This film shot her into instant stardom and also resulted in Angela changing her name ...

1944 -- MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

Other Nominees: Josephine Hull (Arsenic and Old Lace), Mary Astor (Meet Me in St. Louis), Jean Adair (Arsenic and Old Lace), Aline MacMahon (Dragon Seed)

67. Josephine Hull

Actress | Harvey

Josephine Sherwood changed her name after marrying stage actor Shelly Hull in 1910. She studied drama at Radcliffe College -- much to the dismay of her parents -- and first worked on the stage in a stock company in Boston. Her husband died in 1919, aged 35, of Spanish influenza. Josephine left the ...

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

68. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

69. Jean Adair

Actress | Arsenic and Old Lace

Slight, birdlike Jean Adair came to the screen after playing a succession of crotchety or maternal roles on the stage. She was born Violet McNaughton in Ontario, Canada, and absolved her acting studies in Chicago. After extensive touring with local stock companies and a few seasons on the ...

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

70. Aline MacMahon

Actress | One Way Passage

Aline MacMahon was born of Irish/Russian ancestry on May 3 1899, the daughter of William Marcus MacMahon and Jennie Simon MacMahon. Her father went on to become editor-in-chief of Munsey's Magazine, while her mother pursued a theatrical acting career from middle-age and lived to the ripe old age of...

DRAGON SEED

71. Signe Hasso

Actress | Heaven Can Wait

Young Signe Larsson was only 12 when she started to work as a child extra at The Royal Dramatic Theater and was the youngest ever enrolled for acting studies there at 16. She quickly got leading roles in movies and always received very good reviews. In 1940 she went to Hollywood and signed a ...

1945 -- THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET

Other Nominees: Anne Revere (National Velvet), Joan Loring (The Corn is Green), Eve Arden (Mildred Pierce), Fay Bainter (State Fair)

72. Anne Revere

Actress | National Velvet

Veteran character actress Anne Revere became another in the long line of talented artists whose careers would crash under the weight of the "Red Scare" hysteria that tore through Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Manhattan and a direct descendant of Revolutionary War figure Paul Revere, ...

NATIONAL VELVET

73. Joan Lorring

Actress | The Corn Is Green

Joan Lorring was born Madeline Ellis on April 17, 1926, in Hong Kong. She and her mother, Ania Fred, a Russian Jewish immigrant, left Hong Kong after the outbreak of WWII to pursue an acting career, settling in California in the late 1930s. After finding radio work in Los Angeles, Lorring worked her...

THE CORN IS GREEN

74. Eve Arden

Actress | Our Miss Brooks

Eve was born just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice Quedens, she found that the stage ...

MILDRED PIERCE

75. Fay Bainter

Actress | Jezebel

Fay Bainter's career began as a child performer in 1898. For some time, she was a member of the traveling cast of the Morosco Stock Company in Los Angeles. In 1912, she made her Broadway debut in 'The Rose of Panama', but this and her subsequent play 'The Bridal Path' (1913), were conspicuous ...

STATE FAIR

76. Ethel Barrymore

Actress | None But the Lonely Heart

Ethel Barrymore was the second of three children seemingly destined for the actor's life of their parents Maurice and Georgiana. Maurice Barrymore had emigrated from England in 1875, and after graduating from Cambridge in law had shocked his family by becoming an actor. Georgiana Drew of ...

1946 -- THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE

Other Nominees: Anne Baxter (The Razor's Edge), Lillian Gish (Duel in the Sun), Virginia Mayo (The Best Years of Our Lives), Virginia O'Brien (The Harvey Girls)

77. Anne Baxter

Actress | All About Eve

Anne Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on May 7, 1923. She was the daughter of a salesman and his wife, Catherine, who herself was the daughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-renowned architect. Anne was a young girl of 11 when her parents moved to New York City, which at that time was ...

THE RAZOR'S EDGE

78. Lillian Gish

Actress | The Night of the Hunter

Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio. Her father James Lee Gish was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less to fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish and their mother Mary Gish ...

DUEL IN THE SUN

79. Virginia Mayo

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

Virginia Clara Jones was born on November 30, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of a newspaper reporter and his wife. The family had a rich heritage in the St. Louis area: her great-great-great-grandfather served in the American Revolution and later founded the city of East Saint Louis, ...

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES

80. Virginia O'Brien

Actress | Meet the People

Known to classic film fans by various nicknames--including Miss Deadpan, Frozen Face, and Miss Ice Glacier--this statuesque, dark-haired singer/actress carved a unique niche for herself on stage and screen by the hilarious Sphinx-like way she delivered a song. The daughter of the captain of ...

THE HARVEY GIRLS

81. Marjorie Main

Actress | The Egg and I

Her father was a minister, and when she joined a local stock company as a youngster she changed her name to avoid embarrassing her family. She worked in vaudeville and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her film debut was in A House Divided (1931). She repeated her stage role in Dead End (1937) as Baby ...

1947 -- THE EGG AND I

Other Nominees: Donna Reed (Green Dolphin Street), Martita Hunt (Great Expectations), Wanda Hendrix (Ride the Pink Horse), Gloria Grahame (Crossfire)

82. Donna Reed

Actress | From Here to Eternity

Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town - a population of less than 3,000 people - Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young ...

GREEN DOLPHIN STREET

83. Martita Hunt

Actress | Great Expectations

Popular British character actress known for her rich cluster of queens, dowagers, shrews and evildoers, Martita Hunt was born on a ranch in Argentina to British parents, but moved with her family to England at age 10 for her formal education. On stage at age 21 with the Liverpool Repertory Theatre,...

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

84. Wanda Hendrix

Actress | Ride the Pink Horse

Born Dixie Wanda Hendrix in Jacksonville, Florida to a logging camp boss (Max Sylvester Hendrix) and his wife (Mary Bailley), wholesome, green-eyed, dark-haired Wanda Hendrix was involved in her hometown's little theater group when she was "discovered" by a passing talent agent and signed up by ...

RIDE THE PINK HORSE

85. Gloria Grahame

Actress | The Bad and the Beautiful

Gloria Hallward, an acting pupil of her mother (stage actress and teacher Jean Grahame), acted professionally while still in high school. In 1944 Louis B. Mayer saw her on Broadway and gave her an MGM contract under the name Gloria Grahame. Her debut in the title role of Blonde Fever (1944) was ...

CROSSFIRE

86. Claire Trevor

Actress | Key Largo

Claire Trevor was born Claire Wemlinger in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY, the only child of Fifth Avenue merchant-tailor Noel Wemlinger, an immigrant Frenchman from Paris who lost his business during the Depression, and his Belfast-born wife Betty. Trevor's interest in acting began when ...

1948 -- KEY LARGO

Other Nominees: Gail Russell (Wake of the Red Witch), Beulah Bondi (The Snake Pit), Jean Simmons (Hamlet), Agnes Moorehead (Johnny Belinda)

87. Gail Russell

Actress | The Uninvited

Gail Russell was born in Chicago, Illinois, on September 21, 1924. She remained in the Windy City, going to school until her parents moved to California when she was 14. She was an above-average student in school and upon graduation from Santa Monica High School was signed by Paramount Studios.

...

WAKE OF THE RED WITCH

88. Beulah Bondi

Actress | It's a Wonderful Life

Character actress Beulah Bondi was a favorite of directors and audiences and is one of the reasons so many films from the 1930s and 1940s remain so enjoyable, as she was an integral part of many of the ensemble casts (a hallmark of the studio system) of major and/or great films, including The Trail...

THE SNAKE PIT

89. Jean Simmons

Actress | Guys and Dolls

Demure British beauty Jean Simmons was born January 31, 1929 in Crouch End, London. As a 14-year-old dance student, she was plucked from her school to play Margaret Lockwood's precocious sister in Give Us the Moon (1944), and she went on to make a name for herself in such major British productions ...

HAMLET

90. Agnes Moorehead

Actress | Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Of Irish/English ancestry, Agnes was born near Boston, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister (her mother was a mezzo-soprano) who encouraged her to perform in church pageants. Aged three, she sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd' on a public stage and seven years later joined the St. Louis Municipal ...

JOHNNY BELINDA

91. Ethel Waters

Actress | Cabin in the Sky

The child of a teenage rape victim, Ethel Waters grew up in the slums of Philadelphia and neighboring cities, seldom living anywhere for more than a few weeks at a time. "No one raised me, " she recollected, "I just ran wild." She excelled not only at looking after herself, but also at singing and ...

1949 -- PINKY

Other Nominees: Mercedes McCambridge (All the King's Men), Ethel Barrymore (Pinky), Elizabeth Patterson (Intruder in the Dust), Agnes Moorehead (The Stratton Story)

92. Mercedes McCambridge

Actress | All the King's Men

Mercedes McCambridge is a highly-talented radio performer who won a best supporting Actress Oscar for her film debut.

Mercedes McCambridge was born in Joliet, Illinois, to Marie (Mahaffry) and John Patrick McCambridge, a farmer. She was of mostly Irish (with a small amount of English and German) ...

ALL THE KING'S MEN

93. Ethel Barrymore

Actress | None But the Lonely Heart

Ethel Barrymore was the second of three children seemingly destined for the actor's life of their parents Maurice and Georgiana. Maurice Barrymore had emigrated from England in 1875, and after graduating from Cambridge in law had shocked his family by becoming an actor. Georgiana Drew of ...

PINKY

94. Elizabeth Patterson

Actress | Dinner at Eight

A dainty but nevertheless feisty character actress, southern-bred Elizabeth Patterson started her career over her strict parent's objections and became a member of Chicago's Ben Greet Players, performing Shakespeare at the turn of the century. This followed college at Martin College where she ...

INTRUDER IN THE DUST

95. Agnes Moorehead

Actress | Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte

Of Irish/English ancestry, Agnes was born near Boston, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister (her mother was a mezzo-soprano) who encouraged her to perform in church pageants. Aged three, she sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd' on a public stage and seven years later joined the St. Louis Municipal ...

THE STRATTON STORY

96. Josephine Hull

Actress | Harvey

Josephine Sherwood changed her name after marrying stage actor Shelly Hull in 1910. She studied drama at Radcliffe College -- much to the dismay of her parents -- and first worked on the stage in a stock company in Boston. Her husband died in 1919, aged 35, of Spanish influenza. Josephine left the ...

1950 -- HARVEY

Other Nominees: Hope Emerson (Caged), Patricia Neal (Three Secrets), Myrna Loy (Cheaper by the Dozen), Ruth Roman (Three Secrets)

97. Hope Emerson

Actress | Caged

Although there may have been "bigger" actresses in Hollywood's history, there were few "larger" than Hope Emerson. At 6' 2" and 230 pounds, she towered over many of her male co-stars, and her size, brusque voice and stern demeanor typed her for a career in villainous roles, such as her star turn as...

CAGED

98. Patricia Neal

Actress | Hud

Patricia Neal, the Oscar- and Tony Award-winning actress, was born Patricia Louise Neal in Packard, Kentucky. Her father managed a coal mine and her mother was the daughter of the town doctor. She grew up in Knoxville, where she attended high school.

She was first bit by the acting bug at the age of...

THREE SECRETS

99. Myrna Loy

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana, to Adelle Mae (Johnson) and David Franklin Williams. Her paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her mother was of Scottish and Swedish descent. Myrna was raised in Helena and nearby Radersburg. Her father, a rancher, was ...

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN

100. Ruth Roman

Actress | Strangers on a Train

Ruth Roman was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, the youngest of three daughters of Lithuanian-Jewish parents, Mary Pauline (Gold) and Abraham Roman. Her father, a carnival barker, died when she was a small child, forcing her mother to support the family by working as a waitress and cleaning woman. Ruth...

THREE SECRETS