list of actresses born between 1894 and 1934 and now gone that were fabulous actresses that never got the right role for an Oscar nomination yet should be remembered for what they DID achieve while here
Joan Greenwood, of the plummy feline voice, was born in the well-to-do London section of Chelsea, the daughter of renowned portrait painter Sydney Earnshaw Greenwood (1887-1949). Dancing from the age of eight, she took ballet lessons and later enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Graduating at age 18...
A fascinating aura of mystery seemed to surround the characters portrayed by blue-eyed blonde actress Susan Oliver, whose trademark high cheekbones, rosebud lips and heart-shaped face kept audiences intrigued for nearly three decades. While her career didn't play out as well as it should have, she nevertheless left a fine legacy of work on stage, film and TV...
trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Her first appearance was as "Juliet" in "Romeo and Juliet" at Stratford-on-Avon in 1936. She followed this with a variety of roles for the Old Vic Company in London. She appeared on Broadway in the 1947 production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde
Kathleen Byron trained for the stage at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, beginning her work in the movies soon after she finished her training. Her early work with Michael Powell
made her name in the UK. She went to Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s but found it difficult to break into the US productions...
Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled the family in Kansas by the time ZaSu was born but relocated to Santa Cruz...
Lilyan Tashman was born on October 23, 1896, in Brooklyn, New York, to Rose (Cook) and Morris Tashman. Her parents were Jewish immigrants, her father from Bialystok, Poland, and her mother from Germany. After toying with some stage work, she made her film debut with Experience
. That was her only film of that year...
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...
Esteemed London-born stage, radio and TV actress Kate Reid was actually born Daphne Katherine Reid in 1930 of Canadian parents. The family moved back to Ontario before she was a year old. An introverted child of delicate health, Kate sought refuge in books and role-playing and began studying drama in her mid-teens...
Linda Darnell, one of five children of a postal clerk, grew up fast. At 11, she was modeling clothes, giving her age as 16. At 13, she was appearing on the stage with little theater groups. Her mother encouraged her to audition when Hollywood talent scouts came to Dallas. She went to California and when the studio found out how young she really was...
A sunny singer, dancer and comic actress, Betty Garrett starred in several Hollywood musicals and stage roles. She was at the top of her game when the Communist scare in the 1950s brought her career to a screeching, ugly halt. She and her husband Larry Parks
, an Oscar-nominated actor, were summoned by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and questioned about their involvement...
The daughter of a well-to-do attorney and a socialite, Bethel Leslie was born on August 3, 1929, in New York City. Ms. Leslie was a 15-year-old student at the Brearley School on the Upper East Side when she was discovered by the legendary producer George Abbott
, for the Broadway play "Snafu" in 1944...
From ingenue to leading lady to character actress, she appeared in Hollywood films from the early 30s through the late 60s.
Barbara Angie Rose Baxley was born on New Year's Day 1923 to Emma A. & C. Bert Baxley in Porterville, CA. She was the youngest of their two daughters and was named after her grandmothers; Angie Sibley-Tyler and Iva Matilda Rose-Baxley. Barbara attended and graduated with honors from the University of the Pacific in Stockton where she was raised...
As a baby, she was winning beauty contests; as a teenager, with good looks and an attractive contralto voice, she was singing with big bands (most notably Enric Madriguera's orchestra in Latin Club Del Rio in Washington, D.C.. She met Rudy Vallee
, her first husband, on the radio where she also enjoyed a brief stint as a singer...
The little "yente" with the big, expressive talent, New York-born Yiddish icon Molly Picon entertained theater, radio, TV and film audiences for over seven decades (from age 6) with her song-and-dance routines while helping to popularize the Yiddish culture into the American mainstream as well as overseas...
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...
Ann Sheridan won the "Search for Beauty" contest which carried with it a Paramount screen test. Signed to a contract at 18, she was put into a number of small roles under her real name of Clara Lou Sheridan. As she got better, her name was changed to Ann. In 1936, after two dozen films, she went to Warner Brothers...
In 1935, after high school and a brief marriage in San Bernardino, California, Frances Ridste ran away to San Francisco to work as a nightclub dancer and band singer under the stage name Carole Landis. She got to Hollywood at age 17 in 1936 and got mostly extra work, but in 1937 she landed a contract with Warner Bros...
Joan Hickson was born in 1906 at Kingsthorpe, Northampton. Her stage career began with provincial theater in 1927, going on to a long series of West End comedies, usually playing the part of a confused or eccentric middle-age woman. She performed at the Regent's Park Open Air Theater, at the time London was subject to World War II bombing...
Australian actress who worked primarily in Britain and specialized in superior, upper-crust sorts. Browne began her stage career in Melbourne but moved to England at the age of 21 and quickly brightened the West End with her sharp delivery and stylish sense of comedy. Her film appearances were sporadic...
Hungarian-born Lili Darvas (pronounced 'Darvash') was a major star first in Budapest, then on the German stage with Max Reinhardt's theatre company during the 1920's, touring Europe with plays by Goethe, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Shaw. She received her education at the Budapest Lyceum and made her acting debut at the age of 20 as Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet"...
Kathleen Freeman's introduction to show business came very early in life. Her parents were vaudevillians, and she made her debut at age 2 in their act. Later she attended UCLA with intentions of becoming a pianist, but was bitten by the acting bug and never looked back. She gained experience on stage in various stock and repertory companies...
Dame Dorothy Tutin's esteemed company of peers included other remarkable dames, including Judi Dench
and Maggie Smith
. Unlike these others, Dorothy had limited screen time over the years and would develop the respect but not the stardom afforded the other two outside the realm of the theatre...
From the grand old school of wisecracking, loud and lanky Mary Wickes had few peers while forging a career as a salty scene-stealer. Her abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor made her a consistent audience favorite on every medium for over six decades. She was particularly adroit in film parts that chided the super rich or exceptionally pious...
Delightfully daffy and an apple dumpling of a darling, wizened character actress Ruth McDevitt was born Ruth Shoecraft in Michigan but raised in Ohio where her father served as a county sheriff. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Art with designs of becoming an actress but married a Florida widower soon after and put full focus on being a wife...
As Disney's lively lass Katie O'Gill she was the freshness of spring. She could inspire you to dance a jig through a field of flowers. Her entrancing green eyes and catchy spirit had that kind of life-affirming effect. Cute, spunky, almond-eyed British actress Janet Munro was deemed to be an actress...
She was in Alabama until age 12, Ann Steely attended high school and college in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, then worked as a stenographer to finance a trip to Hollywood, where fortune favored her with a contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer under Samuel Goldwyn
. Recognizing her talent and appeal through a thick Southern accent...
The attractive daughter of Austrian-Jewish émigrés who fled their homeland to Paris in 1937 before coming to America, "B" actress Vanessa Brown grew up exceptionally fluent in German, French, Italian and English. She auditioned for Lillian Hellman
at age 13 sporting a perfect Teutonic accent and earned...
Margaret "Peg" Phillips was a retired accountant when she began taking acting classes at age 65. In 1990 she was cast in the role of Ruth-Anne Miller, the shop keeper in the series Northern Exposure
. The role was supposed to be only intermittent, but Peg's portrayal won the hearts of viewers, and Ruth-Anne became a regular role...
Born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Fort Worth, Eve Brent began her career in radio and early television and later moved on to the college and little theater stage. Arriving in Hollywood with a husband and infant son in the 1950s, she landed some film (Gun Girls
, Journey to Freedom
, The Bride and the Beast
) and episodic TV roles...
Anne Haney held prominent roles acting on stage, on the screen, and on TV. All these achievements came in her mid 40s, after she had raised a daughter and buried a husband. It wasn't until after she had packed her daughter off to college and "the maid quit", as she said, that she decided to try her hand at acting...
Eminent London and Broadway musical star who appeared in nine films from 1929 through 1950.
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,...
The daughter of a retired sea captain and his much-younger wife, actress Norma Varden was born and raised in turn-of-the-century London. A piano prodigy, she studied in Paris and appeared in concert in England during her teenage years. Acting, however, became her career of choice, studying at the Guildhall School of Music...
This warm and winning, very non-theatrical brunette was born Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter in Portland, Maine, on November 20, 1919. The daughter of Maine Supreme Court Justice Sidney Thaxter, her acting talent came from her mother's side, who was a one-time Shakespearean actress. Phyllis was educated for a time at St...
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...
Phyllis Anne Love was born in Des Moines, Iowa on December 21, 1925. She attended Roosevelt High School in Des Moines along with her close friend, Cloris Leachman
. After performing in various local and regional drama productions, Love enrolled in the Actors Studio in New York in 1948. Her movie debut was a bit as a juvenile delinquent in the 1950 movie So Young So Bad
Betty Garde was a versatile actress, who began in show business after winning a playwriting competition at high school. Joining Actor's Equity in 1922, she became a noted performer on stage in Boston and Philadelphia, eventually making her debut on Broadway in 1925. Betty, at least early in her profession...
Gertrude Michael was born in Talledega, Alabama on June 1, 1911. After graduating from high school, she appeared on radio, as a musician and "Home Arts" advisor. She attended the University of Alabama and Converse College, Spartenburg,SC and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. It was in Cincinnati...