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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 5 September 1901Brooklyn, New York, USA
Date of Death 1 August 1988Long Beach, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameFlorence McKechnie
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Versatile character actress Florence Eldridge seemed often better served by the stage than by her roles in motion pictures. On the boards from the age of seventeen as a chorine in "Rock-a-Bye Baby" in 1918, she acted with touring companies and on Broadway and soon found herself playing leading parts. The Brooklyn-born was bitten by the acting bug at an early age and joined the Theatre Guild immediately after graduating from high school.

She first came to note in the play "Ambush"in 1921 and quickly rose to stardom as the heroine Annabelle West in "The Cat and the Canary" (1922), and as the stepdaughter in "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (1922). She also portrayed the fickle Daisy Fay Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby" (1926). While on tour, Florence met the actor Fredric March whom she married after appearing with him on stage in "The Swan"(1927). Thereafter, the couple were no longer permitted to appear together on stage, their repertory company deeming it 'unromantic' for married people to portray lovers. To overcome this problem Florence and Fredric went to Hollywood in 1928, where actors with theatrical training were much in demand since the arrival of talking pictures. From here on, however, Florence would largely subordinate her career to that of her husband.

Florence had been on screen as early as 1923, her first credit being Six Cylinder Love (1923), shot in New York - a role she had previously enacted on stage. In 1929, she appeared in three films, first co-starring with her husband in The Studio Murder Mystery (1929). In the similarly titled The Greene Murder Case (1929), she bested Jean Arthur in a fight to the death on rooftops above the Hudson River. While most of her subsequent roles were small, there were two notable exceptions: Les Misérables (1935), as Fantine (again with March) , and Mary of Scotland (1936) as an implacable Queen Elizabeth I vis-à-vis Katharine Hepburn's Mary Stuart.

The inseparable Marches travelled extensively during World War II, entertaining American troops overseas. In 1942, they also made headlines on Broadway during performances of "Skin of Our Teeth", conducting a much-publicised on-stage feud with co-star Tallulah Bankhead. For the remainder of the decade, Florence alternated between stage and films. At the end of the decade, she was given one of her best screen roles, that of Lavinia Hubbard in Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest (1948), with Fredric March playing husband Marcus. She played his screen wife again for the excellent filming of the Scopes Trial, Inherit the Wind (1960).

Florence's most celebrated performance came late in her career, on Broadway, as drug-addicted Mary, half of the battling Tyrones, in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1956). For this, she won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as Best Actress.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Fredric March (30 May 1927 - 14 April 1975) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (4)

She appeared with her husband, the actor Fredric March, in The Studio Murder Mystery (1929), Les Misérables (1935), Mary of Scotland (1936), Another Part of the Forest (1948), An Act of Murder (1948), Christopher Columbus (1949), and Inherit the Wind (1960). On TV, she appeared with him in Producers' Showcase: Dodsworth (1956).
Fredric March and Florence Eldridge appeared in "Yr. Obedient Husband" in 1938. The play was widely panned, and in response they ran an ad in New York newspapers: a cartoon borrowed from the New Yorker magazine that showed a trapeze artist missing his partner, with a caption reading "Oops! Sorry!".
Was nominated for Broadway's 1957 Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for her landmark performance in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night," in which she co-starred with her husband, Fredric March.
She and her husband Fredric March adopted two children: a daughter, Penelope March (b.1932), and a son, Anthony March (b.1934).

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