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Maureen Stapleton Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (25) | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 21 June 1925Troy, New York, USA
Date of Death 13 March 2006Lenox, Massachusetts, USA  (chronic pulmonary disease)
Birth NameLois Maureen Stapleton
Nickname Mo
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Academy Award-winner Maureen Stapleton was born June 21, 1925 in Troy, New York, to Irene (née Walsh) and John P. Stapleton. Her family was of Irish descent. Maureen moved to New York City at the age of eighteen and did modeling to pay the bills. Already a Tony Award-winner, she made her Academy Award-nominated film debut in Lonelyhearts (1958) supporting four-time Academy Award-nominee Montgomery Clift, and Myrna Loy in Lonelyhearts (1958). Maureen was was nominated for an Oscar again for her performance in Airport (1970). She played the wife of D. O. Guerrero (played by Academy Award-winner Van Heflin). Nine years later she went on to earn another Oscar for her performance as Diane Keaton, Kristen Griffith, and Mary Beth Hurt's mother-in-law Pearl, in the Woody Allen drama Interiors (1978). Apparently, four times worked as a charm when Maureen took the Oscar home for her performance in which she portrayed the Lithuanian-born anarchist Emma Goldman in Warren Beatty's Reds (1981).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: tony.r.vario@gmail.com

Spouse (2)

David Rayfiel (July 1963 - 1966) (divorced)
Max A, Allentuck (22 July 1949 - 1959) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (25)

She did not travel by air or elevator. She traveled by rail across the country, and traveled by ship across the ocean, instead of by plane.
Received the Actors Studio Award in 1980 for her contributions to the theatre.
Inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame on April 5, 1981.
In 1981, Hudson Valley Community College in her hometown of Troy, New York, named their theatre after her.
Received a 1975 Grammy Award nomination in the Best Spoken Word category for her recording of "To Kill a Mockingbird".
Mother of two children by her first husband, Max Allentuck: Daniel V. Allentuck and Katherine Allentuck (Bambery).
Took over the role of Rosa della Rosa because Anna Magnani (who was old enough to be her mother) didn't speak English well enough to essay the role on Broadway, so this young Irish Catholic from Troy played an Italian "Earth Mother" on Broadway to critical and popular acclaim!
In 1981, she became the tenth performer to win the Triple Crown of acting. Oscar: Best Supporting Actress, Reds (1981), Tony: Best Supporting Actress-Play, 'The Rose Tattoo' (1951), and Emmy: Best Actress-Drama, Among the Paths to Eden (1967).
She originated the role of Serafina in Tennessee Williams' "The Rose Tattoo" on Broadway in 1951 and Lady Torrance in Williams' "Orpheus Descending" in 1957. Both roles were played by Anna Magnani in the movie versions. Stapleton appeared in the film version of "Orpheus Descending", retitled The Fugitive Kind (1960), but in a supporting role.
Has won two Tony Awards: in 1951, as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for "The Rose Tattoo," and in 1971, as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "The Gingerbread Lady." She has also been nominated four other times: as Best Actress (Dramatic), in 1959 for "The Cold Wind and the Warm," in 1960 for "Toys in the Attic," and in 1968 for "Plaza Suite;" and in 1981, as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) for "The Little Foxes."
Is the fourth of four consecutive winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to have the initials "M.S.". The others are: Maggie Smith (California Suite (1978)), Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)) and Mary Steenburgen (Melvin and Howard (1980)).
Had a self-admitted drinking problem (her Irish-born father was a heavy drinker) and confessed that she would head for the vodka right after the curtain went down. Liquor was a fixture in her dressing room but claims she never appeared on stage drunk.
Once joined the Actors Studio, whose members included Marlon Brando who sometimes crashed in her one-room NY apartment.
Following her second divorce, she had a long affair with legendary Broadway fixture George Abbott that began when she was 43 and he was 81. It ended 10 years later when the director cheated on her with a younger woman.
Contrary to popular belief, she was not related to All in the Family (1971) star Jean Stapleton.
Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch)
Received a special tribute as part of the Annual Memorial tribute at The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007).
In 1959 she became the first actor to receive an Oscar, Emmy and Tony nomination in the same year (for Lonelyhearts (1958), All the King's Men (1958) and "The Cold Wind and the Warm", respectively).
In 1963 she appeared in "Bye Bye Birdie" as Dick Van Dyke's mother. In fact, she was born the same year as Van Dyke.
She studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
Is one of twelve actresses to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Booth, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Jessica Tandy, Audrey Hepburn, Anne Bancroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith and Ellen Burstyn.
Studied acting under Herbert Berghof and at the Actor's Studio in New york.
Was the 86th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Reds (1981) at The 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982) on March 29, 1982.
Made her Broadway debut at age 22 in the starring role in "The Rose Tattoo.".
Stapleton had an airline phobia and turned down parts that required her to fly. She took a freighter to get to London for "Reds" as passenger boats don't run in winter.

Personal Quotes (12)

[when asked, after winning her Oscar, how it felt to be recognized as one of the greatest actresses in the world] Not nearly as exciting as it would be if I were acknowledged as one of the greatest lays in the world.
[on acting] I do a job. I get paid. I go home.
Watching Manhattan (1979), it almost makes you forget all the dog poop on the streets.
There are many roads to good acting. I've been asked repeatedly what the "key" to acting is, and as far as I'm concerned, the main thing is to keep the audience awake.
[finishing her acceptance speech after receiving her Oscar for Reds (1981)] I would like to thank everyone I've ever met.
When the curtain went up or the camera rolled, I did the best I could . . . [I loved] the challenge and the opportunity to leave reality behind and become someone else.
[referring to her "matronly" casting] I was born old.
[referring to her move to New York] I was 17 years old, I weighed 180 pounds and I had a hundred bucks in my pocket. I was invincible.
[referring to her "beauty"] I never had that problem. People looked at me on stage and said, "Jesus, that broad better be able to act".
[when asked if she thought she was going to win an Oscar for Reds (1981)] Yes, because I'm old and tired and I lost three times before".
Looking back, I don't feel I had a choice. For a fat, struggling kid like me, the only way out was to be someone else -- an actor.
[after eleven years of stagework] I found movies very difficult. I couldn't remember my own name! I kept telling myself, 'You learn three acts in plays. Why can't you can't remember one little passage?' But by the time they got to me for my five minute bit, I was exhausted. I'd been gung-ho on Monday, but Thursday it was another story. But you learn how to pace yourself, how to keep up the necessary energy level, and it's not quite as nerve-wracking as performing on stage because somewhere in the back of your mind you know if you make a serious mistake, they can try again. If you do that on stage, you have to depend on your fellow actors to get you out of it.

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