3 items from 2012
Hollywood actor known for playing wholesome wives and Ma Kent in Superman
Although Phyllis Thaxter, who has died aged 92, had a successful career in films throughout the 1940s and 50s, many will remember her for her last movie role, in Superman (1978). It was the small but key part of Ma Kent, the childless farmer's wife who adopts a foundling baby and names him Clark. Together with her husband (Glenn Ford) – both made intentionally to resemble the couple in Grant Wood's American Gothic painting – they bring up the abnormally physically gifted boy until he's ready to fly off "to fight for truth, justice and the American way".
At one stage, she tells him: "We Kents don't like show-offs, ain't that so? A body's got to be humble even if he knows that he's better'n his neighbours." A fragile beauty, Thaxter was never a show-off, but made an impact in a gentle way, »
- Ronald Bergan
According to her daughter, actress Skye Aubrey, Thaxter passed away Tuesday (Aug. 14) at her Florida home after suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Thaxter's debuted on the big screen in the 1944 wartime flick "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" as a contract actress for MGM, where her other notable films include "Bewitched," "Week-End at the Waldorf," 1947's "The Sea of Grass" with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn and "Act of Violence."
She then signed with Warner Brothers, appearing alongside John Garfield and Patricia Neal in "The Breaking Point" (1950); her other credits for the studio include "Springfield Rifle" (1952) with Gary Cooper, "Jim Thorpe -- All-American" (1951), with Burt Lancaster and "She's Working Her Way Through College" (1952) with Ronald Reagan.
Although Thaxter's big-screen career was derailed when she contracted polio in 1952, but she found regular work on television on such series as "Lux Video Theatre, »
Phyllis Thaxter, the wholesome actress who played Ma Kent in 1978’s Superman and the faithful girlfriend to vengeful Pow Robert Ryan in the 1948 film noir classic Act of Violence, has died. She was 90. Thaxter died Tuesday at her home in Orlando after a long bout with Alzheimer's, according to her daughter, actress Skye Aubrey. Photos: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2012 A contract player at MGM and Warner Bros. in the 1940s and ’50s before her career was derailed by illness, Thaxter also starred in the psychological thriller Bewitched (1945), playing opposite Edmund Gwenn as a woman fighting
- Mike Barnes
3 items from 2012
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