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Judith Anderson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (20)  | Personal Quotes (11)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Died in Santa Barbara, California, USA  (pneumonia)
Birth NameFrances Margaret Anderson
Height 5' 6½" (1.69 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Dame Judith Anderson was born Frances Margaret Anderson on February 10, 1897 in Adelaide, South Australia. She began her acting career in Australia before moving to New York in 1918. There she established herself as one of the greatest theatrical actresses and was a major star on Broadway throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Her notable stage works included the role of Lady Macbeth, which she played first in the 1920s, and gave an Emmy Award-winning television performance in Macbeth (1960). Anderson's long association with Euripides's "Medea" began with her acclaimed Tony Award-winning 1948 stage performance in the title role. She appeared in the television version of Medea (1983) in the supporting character of the Nurse.

Anderson made her Hollywood film debut under director Rowland Brown in a supporting role in Blood Money (1933). Her striking, not conventionally attractive features were complemented with her powerful presence, mastery of timing and an effortless style. Anderson made a film career as a supporting character actress in several significant films including Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940), for which she was Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She worked with director Otto Preminger in Laura (1944), then with René Clair in And Then There Were None (1945). Her remarkable performance in a supporting role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) fit in a stellar acting ensemble under director Richard Brooks.

Anderson was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1960 Queen's New Year's Honours List for her services to the performing arts. Living in Santa Barbara in her later years, she also had a successful stint on the soap opera Santa Barbara (1984) and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in 1984. In the same year, at age 87, she appeared in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) as the High Priestess, and was nominated for a Saturn Award for that role. She was awarded Companion of the Order of Australia in the 1991 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to the performing arts. Anderson died at age 94 of pneumonia on January 3, 1992 in Santa Barbara, California.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (2)

Luther Greene (11 July 1946 - 26 June 1951) ( divorced)
Benjamin Harrison Lehman (18 May 1937 - 23 August 1939) ( divorced)

Trivia (20)

She was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1960 Queen's New Years Honours List for her services to the performing arts.
Received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award (1986).
Attended Norwood Morialta High School in Adelaide, South Australia, where her education ended before graduation. She moved to California, but without success for four months, then she moved to New York, with an equal lack of success.
Made her soap opera debut as the grande dame, Minx Lockridge, on the NBC serial Santa Barbara (1984) (which happens to be her hometown). When asked why, she replied "Why not? It's practically the same as doing a play.".
It is said that conductor Arturo Toscanini was so carried away by her performance in the title role of "Medea" on Broadway that he nearly fell out of his stage box applauding.
Won Broadway's 1948 Tony Award as best actress - dramatic for playing the title role in "Medea" -- an award shared with Katharine Cornell for "Antony and Cleopatra", and Jessica Tandy for "A Streetcar Named Desire". In 1959, she repeated the same role on television. In 1982, she received a Tony nomination as best actress - featured role - play for playing the supporting role of the Nurse in "Medea", repeating that performance in a 1983 telecast of the play.
The first and perhaps the only actress to win two Emmy Awards for playing the same role (Lady Macbeth) in two separate television productions of the same play, the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" on Macbeth (1954) and Macbeth (1960), with the same leading actor, Maurice Evans.
She was awarded the AC (Companion of the Order of Australia) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List on June 10, 1991 for her services to the performing arts.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 17-19. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons (2001).
She was 87 years old when she appeared as the High Priestess in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). She had come out of retirement after being away from motion pictures for 14 years. She was encouraged by her nephew to take the role and received a Saturn Award nomination for that role.
She was friends with poet Robinson Jeffers, who wrote "Medea" which she starred in, and was a frequent visitor to his home Tor House in Carmel, California.
Dame Judith Anderson passed away on January 3, 1992, 38 days from what would have been her 95th birthday on February 10; her body was cremated.
Biography in "Actresses of a Certain Character: Forty Familiar Hollywood Faces from the Thirties to the Fifties" by Axel Nissen.
Appeared in four Oscar Best Picture nominees: Rebecca (1940), Kings Row (1942), The Ten Commandments (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), with only the first being a winner in the category.
Along with Felix Locher, Morgan Farley, Richard Hale, Anthony Jochim, Celia Lovsky, Leonard Mudie, Charles Seel, Bill Borzage, Abraham Sofaer and Ian Wolfe, she is one of only eleven "Star Trek" actors to have been born in the 19th Century. She played the Vulcan High Priestess T'Lar in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). Of the eleven actors in question, she is the only one who did not appear in Star Trek: The Original Series (1966).
She has appeared in three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Rebecca (1940), Laura (1944) and The Ten Commandments (1956).
She was awarded an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'Rebecca'.
An adaption of Euripides' 'Medes' written especially for her won the New York Drama Critics Award and was also produced for television.
After a 14 year absence from the screen she played the Vulcan High Priestess T'Lar in 'Star Trek III'. Leonard Nimoy wanted Judith for the role of T'Lar, the Vulcan High Priestess. Judith had no knowledge of Star Trek, never having previously watched it on TV. Leonard gave her some episodes to watch including Amok Time. After watching Judith was excited about the story, and to be part of the film.
A top classical actress her Broadway appearances include 'The Dove', 'Stange Interlude', 'As You Desire Me', Hamlet(with John Gielgud and Lillian Gish) and Macbeth, which she repeated twice on television wining an Emmy Award both times.

Personal Quotes (11)

I have not myself a very serene temperament.
All of my work is based on nature. I grew up in a rural environment and living in the Bay Area allows for immediate access to wonderful natural environs. Basically, nature is my genius loci, or the place where my spirit resides.
I am inspired by many mediums and use them to express varied aspects of my philosophies and life observations.
Personally, I believe it is important for mankind to respect nature - for homeostasis - and I have volunteered with environmental organizations, I do not attempt to have an environmental leaning regarding my artwork.
There is nothing enduring in life for a woman except what she builds in a man's heart.
I may play demons, but I've never played a wimp!
When I do a part, it's never hard work because I love it.
There are so many strange, alluring, hateful, lovable, weird, tender, ugly women of history and of life. I want to delineate all of them.
People always think of me as playing these terrible, terrible women, but I've really played very few of them - Medea, Gertrude, Lady Macbeth . . . yes, Mrs. Danvers in the movies . . . but no one remembers the pleasant people I've played - Mary, the mother of Jesus, and so many others. I haven't always been an ogre.
If you're born in the theater and wedded to it, the lights go down and your pulse goes up and your stomach won't stay still, and there's nothing like it.
I know it's fashionable now to say that Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca was a spiteful lesbian. Spiteful, undoubtedly. But whoever in the picture called her a lesbian? Tell me that?

Salary (1)

Cinderfella (1960) $60,000 per week

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