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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 25 April 1897New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 23 March 1994New York City, New York, USA  (natural causes)

Mini Bio (1)

The delightful twinkle in her eye and that elderly mischievous look coming from the tiniest of frames were unmistakable traits in 70s and 80s lightweight films. One of a slew of popular elderly ladies getting their "fifteen minutes" at the time, character actress Paula Trueman was born around the turn of the century on April 25, 1900 (some sources indicate 1907) in New York City. She was the daughter of Joseph Trueman and his wife Eva Cohn Trueman and was educated at Hunter College before preparing for the stage on a fellowship at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

Long trained in dance, Paula made her first stage appearance as a musical performer at the Hippodrome in a production of "The Thunderbird" in 1922. From there she appeared in revues, particularly the Grand Street Follies of 1924--staying with that annual show until 1929. Dramatic roles were not beyond her as she made her straight-acting debut in "The Little Clay Cart" in December of 1924. For the next four decades she was a theater presence to be reckoned with. Over the years she delighted audiences in such plays as "The Dybbuk (1927), "A Midsummer Night's Dream (as Puck) (1932), "The Merchant of Venice" (1932), "You Can't Take It With You" (1936), "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1949), "The Solid Gold Cadillac" (1954), "Wonderful Town" (1963), "The Music Man" (1965) and "Catsplay (1977).

Paula was first featured in the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur crime feature Crime Without Passion (1934), but it did not lead to any other offers. Other than an unbilled part in One Foot in Heaven (1941), she did not appear again until the musical film version of Paint Your Wagon (1969) with Clint Eastwood. She then got on a roll and appeared as a number of feisty, dotty, careworn grannies. She co-starred in the cult movie Homebodies (1974) and Eastwood handed her a prime featured part in his western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). For the next decade she continued to spring up in a number of comedies, albeit bit parts, including Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977) and Zelig (1983). This adorable little bundle of joy made her last film appearances with Sweet Lorraine (1987) and Moonstruck (1987). She died of natural causes in her beloved New York in 1994.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Harold Sterner (? - ?)

Trivia (2)

Collapsed on the set of Dirty Dancing and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital where she was treated for dehydration and released.
Studied acting and dance at Manhattan's prestigious Neighbborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. Teachers included the legendary Sanford Meisner and Martha Graham.

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