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Oscar-Winning Actress Teresa Wright Dies at 86

8 March 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Teresa Wright, who was the only performer to receive Oscar nominations for her first three films, died Sunday in New Haven, CT of a heart attack; she was 86. Initially a stage actress, Wright was discovered by Samuel Goldwyn in the Broadway hit Life with Father, and the studio head immediately cast her opposite Bette Davis in the 1941 film adaptation of The Little Foxes. The screen newcomer more than held her own among the impressive cast and her demure ingénue looks belied a steely center that gave her performance a fierce emotional strength, and she received her first Academy Award nomination for the film. The next year, Wright became the second actress to receive Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in the same year, for her roles as the wife of Lou Gehrig in The Pride of the Yankees (opposite Gary Cooper) and as a young bride in the World War II drama Mrs. Miniver; she won a Supporting Actress Oscar for the latter film. Wright also starred in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Shadow of a Doubt, for which she received top billing (the film was also reportedly Hitchcock's personal favorite), and the Oscar-winning film The Best Years of Our Lives. As the 40s came to a close, Wright famously clashed with Sam Goldwyn over her image and the promotion of her films. Resisting the glamorous, pin-up image the studio wanted to thrust upon her and eschewing most promotion for her films, the independent-minded Wright was fired by Goldwyn in 1948, and her fame never again reached the heights of her early film career. Undaunted, Wright continued to act both onstage and onscreen, appearing opposite Marlon Brando in The Men (his first film) and in a number of character roles through the 80s and 90s, including her last film role in The Rainmaker; she also had an extensive Broadway career, appearing with George C. Scott in a 1975 revival of Death of a Salesman. Wright was married to screenwriter and novelist Niven Busch, whom she divorced in 1952, and then to playwright Robert Anderson, whom she also divorced. She is survived by a son, daughter, and two grandchildren. --Prepared by IMDb staff »

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