Best Supporting Actresses by Year -- WMK

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.]
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1.
Marjorie Rambeau
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 films that went nowhere...
“ 1931 -- MIN AND BILL

Other Nominees: Margaret Dumont (Animal Crackers), Edna May Oliver (Cimarron), Beryl Mercer (The Public Enemy), Jean Harlow (The Public Enemy) ” - william kromer
 
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 why she's so funny...
“ ANIMAL CRACKERS ” - william kromer
 
3.
Edna May Oliver
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 quit school at the age of 14 to pursue her ambitions in the theater...
“ CIMARRON ” - william kromer
 
4.
Beryl Mercer
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 Victoria in The Little Princess and The Story of Alexander Graham Bell...
“ THE PUBLIC ENEMY ” - william kromer
 
5.
Jean Harlow
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 stakes and moved to Los Angeles...
“ THE PUBLIC ENEMY ” - william kromer
 
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 with Paul Muni, but often complained about the lack of quality of her films...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
7.
Mary Astor
Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel. She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan...
“ RED DUST ” - william kromer
 
8.
Joan Crawford
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; Crawford worked a variety of menial jobs...
“ GRAND HOTEL ” - william kromer
 
9.
Aline MacMahon
Actress, The Search
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 107...
“ ONE WAY PASSAGE ” - william kromer
 
10.
“ THE BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN ” - william kromer
 
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 stock company when she was 17...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
12.
Evelyn Brent
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, she...
“ THE WORLD GONE MAD ” - william kromer
 
13.
Ginger Rogers
Actress, Top Hat
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 by her father several times until her mother took him to court...
“ 42ND STREET ” - william kromer
 
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 by Hal Roach to star as Harold Lloyd's leading lady in his "Lonesome Luke" shorts...
“ 42ND STREET ” - william kromer
 
15.
Mary Brian
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 business...
“ THE WORLD GONE MAD ” - william kromer
 
16.
Marie Dressler
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 the vaudeville circuit...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
17.
Jean Harlow
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 stakes and moved to Los Angeles...
“ DINNER AT EIGHT ” - william kromer
 
18.
Fredi Washington
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 talent as an actress couldn't be hidden...
“ IMITATION OF LIFE ” - william kromer
 
19.
Louise Beavers
Actress, Beulah
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 ” - william kromer
 
20.
Billie Burke
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 world)...
“ DINNER AT EIGHT ” - william kromer
 
21.
Elsa Lanchester
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 institution of marriage and being tied to any conventions of legality for that matter...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
22.
Edna May Oliver
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 quit school at the age of 14 to pursue her ambitions in the theater...
“ DAVID COPPERFIELD ” - william kromer
 
23.
Alison Skipworth
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 three screen comedies - none other than W.C. Fields.
“ DANGEROUS ” - william kromer
 
24.
Jessie Ralph
Actress, Camille
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 Kreutzer Sonata"...
“ DAVID COPPERFIELD ” - william kromer
 
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 why she's so funny...
“ A NIGHT AT THE OPERA ” - william kromer
 
26.
Gale Sondergaard
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 director Herbert J. Biberman...
“ 1936 -- ANTHONY ADVERSE

Other Nominees: Gail Patrick (My Man Godfrey), Bonita Granville (These Three), Mary Astor (Dodsworth), Alma Kruger (These Three) ” - william kromer
 
27.
Gail Patrick
Producer, Perry Mason
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 Birmingham...
“ MY MAN GODFREY ” - william kromer
 
28.
Bonita Granville
Producer, Lassie
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. She was regularly cast as a naughty little girl, as in These Three where she played Mary...
“ THESE THREE ” - william kromer
 
29.
Mary Astor
Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel. She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan...
“ DODSWORTH ” - william kromer
 
30.
Alma Kruger
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 ” - william kromer
 
31.
Alice Brady
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 first film was at the age of 22 when she starred in As Ye Sow...
“ 1937 -- IN OLD CHICAGO

Other Nominees: Mayo Methot (Marked Woman), Mary Astor (The Hurricane), Isabel Jewell (Lost Horizon), Claire Trevor (Dead End) ” - william kromer
 
32.
“ MARKED WOMAN ” - william kromer
 
33.
Mary Astor
Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel. She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan...
“ THE HURRICANE ” - william kromer
 
34.
Isabel Jewell
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, poor "white trash" Emmy Slattery in Gone with the Wind...
“ LOST HORIZON ” - william kromer
 
35.
Claire Trevor
Actress, Stagecoach
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 she was 11 years old...
“ DEAD END ” - william kromer
 
36.
Dame May Whitty
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 company...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
37.
Spring Byington
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). Although playing the part of Mrs...
“ YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU ” - william kromer
 
38.
Fay Bainter
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 failures...
“ JEZEBEL ” - william kromer
 
39.
May Robson
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 back to London...
“ THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER ” - william kromer
 
40.
Anita Louise
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. She continued to make films as a child actor, and in 1929, Anita dropped her "Fremault" surname...
“ THE SISTERS ” - william kromer
 
41.
Hattie McDaniel
After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West. Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams. In this one, directed by George Stevens and aided and abetted by star Katharine Hepburn...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
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, who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because he seemed like 'such a nice young man'...
“ THE WOMEN ” - william kromer
 
43.
Butterfly McQueen
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 constantly moving arms...
“ GONE WITH THE WIND ” - william kromer
 
44.
Margaret Hamilton
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 performances in film before she came to her most memorable and astronomically successful role...
“ THE WIZARD OF OZ ” - william kromer
 
45.
Edna May Oliver
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 quit school at the age of 14 to pursue her ambitions in the theater...
“ DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK ” - william kromer
 
46.
Jane Darwell
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 family name)...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
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 throughout the 1930s...
“ REBECCA ” - william kromer
 
48.
Ida Lupino
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. Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson was one of her...
“ THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT ” - william kromer
 
49.
“ ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO ” - william kromer
 
50.
Ruth Hussey
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 companies and was noticed by MGM...
“ THE PHILADELPHIA STORY ” - william kromer
 
51.
Mary Astor
Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel. She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
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. It was an extraordinary performance, justifiably praised by critics and public alike. She was apparently slated to be on the short list for an Academy Award...
“ CITIZEN KANE ” - william kromer
 
53.
Sara Allgood
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 mothers...
“ HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY ” - william kromer
 
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, viper-tongued...
“ CITIZEN KANE ” - william kromer
 
55.
Patricia Collinge
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 Lavinia Penniman in 'The Heiress' at the Biltmore Theatre...
“ THE LITTLE FOXES ” - william kromer
 
56.
Susan Peters
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 Carnahan in Spokane...
“ 1942 -- RANDOM HARVEST

Other Nominees: Agnes Moorehead (The Magnificent Ambersons), Gladys Cooper (Now Voyager), Dame May Whitty (Mrs. Miniver), Betty Field (Kings Row) ” - william kromer
 
57.
Agnes Moorehead
Actress, Bewitched
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 Opera as a dancer and singer for four years...
“ THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS ” - william kromer
 
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 Hicks to tour with his company in "Bluebell in Fairyland"...
“ NOW VOYAGER ” - william kromer
 
59.
Dame May Whitty
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 company...
“ MRS. MINIVER ” - william kromer
 
60.
Betty Field
Actress, Picnic
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 her mother to various Spanish-speaking countries during her childhood...
“ KINGS ROW ” - william kromer
 
61.
Katina Paxinou
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 major roles in Sophocles' "Electra"...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
62.
Elsa Lanchester
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 institution of marriage and being tied to any conventions of legality for that matter...
“ LASSIE COME HOME ” - william kromer
 
63.
Paulette Goddard
Actress, Modern Times
Pauline Marion Goddard Levy was born in Whitestone Landing, New York, on 3 June 1910. She was a beautiful child who began to model for local department stores before she made her debut with Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies at the age of 13. For three years she astounded audiences with her talent. She married Edgar James when she was 15...
“ SO PROUDLY WE HAIL ” - william kromer
 
64.
Jane Darwell
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 family name)...
“ THE OX-BOW INCIDENT ” - william kromer
 
65.
Anne Revere
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, Anne graduated from Wellesley College, then trained for the stage at the American Laboratory Theatre...
“ SONG OF BERNADETTE ” - william kromer
 
66.
Margaret O'Brien
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. Her big moment came when she was cast in Journey for Margaret. This film shot her into instant stardom and also resulted in Angela changing her name to Margaret. Throughout the 1940s Margaret was a major child star...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
67.
Josephine Hull
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 ” - william kromer
 
68.
Mary Astor
Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel. She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan...
“ MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS ” - william kromer
 
69.
Jean Adair
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 vaudeville Orpheum Circuit performing in one-act plays...
“ ARSENIC AND OLD LACE ” - william kromer
 
70.
Aline MacMahon
Actress, The Search
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 107...
“ DRAGON SEED ” - william kromer
 
71.
Signe Hasso
Actress, A Double Life
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 contract with RKO...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
72.
Anne Revere
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, Anne graduated from Wellesley College, then trained for the stage at the American Laboratory Theatre...
“ NATIONAL VELVET ” - william kromer
 
73.
Joan Lorring
Actress, The Verdict
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 ” - william kromer
 
74.
Eve Arden
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 offered her the same minor roles...
“ MILDRED PIERCE ” - william kromer
 
75.
Fay Bainter
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 failures...
“ STATE FAIR ” - william kromer
 
76.
Ethel Barrymore
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 Philadelphia acted in her parents' stage company...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
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 still the hub of the entertainment industry even though the film colony was moving west...
“ THE RAZOR'S EDGE ” - william kromer
 
78.
Lillian Gish
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 a.k.a...
“ DUEL IN THE SUN ” - william kromer
 
79.
Virginia Mayo
Actress, White Heat
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, Illinois...
“ THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES ” - william kromer
 
80.
Virginia O'Brien
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 detectives of the Los Angeles Police Department...
“ THE HARVEY GIRLS ” - william kromer
 
81.
Marjorie Main
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. She repeated her stage role in Dead End as Baby Face Martin (Humphrey Bogart)'s mother...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
82.
Donna Reed
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 girls in western Iowa...
“ GREEN DOLPHIN STREET ” - william kromer
 
83.
Martita Hunt
Actress, Becket
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 ” - william kromer
 
84.
Wanda Hendrix
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 Warner Bros. Her family moved to California...
“ RIDE THE PINK HORSE ” - william kromer
 
85.
Gloria Grahame
Gloria Hallward was born in Los Angeles, California. She was the daughter of Michael Hallward, an architect, and Jean MacDougall, an actress whose stage name was Jean Grahame. Her mother later became her acting coach. Descended from royalty--King Edward III through her father's side--she was bred for acting at an early age...
“ CROSSFIRE ” - william kromer
 
86.
Claire Trevor
Actress, Stagecoach
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 she was 11 years old...
“ 1948 -- KEY LARGO

Other Nominees: Gail Russell (Wake of the Red Witch), Beulah Bondi (The Snake Pit), Jean Simmons (Hamlet), Agnes Moorehead (Johnny Belinda) ” - william kromer
 
87.
Gail Russell
An angelically beautiful leading lady with a demure and melancholy screen persona which reflected a deeper sadness in her real life. She was born Elizabeth Russell in Chicago, Illinois, the second child of George and Gladys (Barnet) Russell. She was painfully, almost disabling shy as a child. When she was a teenager, her family moved to Los Angeles...
“ WAKE OF THE RED WITCH ” - william kromer
 
88.
Beulah Bondi
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 of the Lonesome Pine...
“ THE SNAKE PIT ” - william kromer
 
89.
Jean Simmons
Actress, Spartacus
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, and she went on to make a name for herself in such major British productions as Caesar and Cleopatra...
“ HAMLET ” - william kromer
 
90.
Agnes Moorehead
Actress, Bewitched
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 Opera as a dancer and singer for four years...
“ JOHNNY BELINDA ” - william kromer
 
91.
Ethel Waters
Actress, Beulah
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 dancing; she began performing at church functions...
“ 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) ” - william kromer
 
92.
Mercedes McCambridge
Actress, The Exorcist
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) ancestry...
“ ALL THE KING'S MEN ” - william kromer
 
93.
Ethel Barrymore
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 Philadelphia acted in her parents' stage company...
“ PINKY ” - william kromer
 
94.
Elizabeth Patterson
Actress, Pal Joey
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 studied music...
“ INTRUDER IN THE DUST ” - william kromer
 
95.
Agnes Moorehead
Actress, Bewitched
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 Opera as a dancer and singer for four years...
“ THE STRATTON STORY ” - william kromer
 
96.
Josephine Hull
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) ” - william kromer
 
97.
Hope Emerson
Actress, Adam's Rib
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 the sadistic prison matron in Caged...
“ CAGED ” - william kromer
 
98.
Patricia Neal
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 10...
“ THREE SECRETS ” - william kromer
 
99.
Myrna Loy
Myrna Williams, later to become Myrna Loy, was born on August 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana. Her father was the youngest person ever elected to the Montana State legislature. Later on her family moved to Helena where she spent her youth. At the age of 13, Myrna's father died of influenza and the rest of the family moved to Los Angeles...
“ CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN ” - william kromer
 
100.
Ruth Roman
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 grew up in the poor tenement district of Boston...
“ THREE SECRETS ” - william kromer