Frances Sternhagen

Last updated

Frances Sternhagen
Frances Sternhagen 1962.jpg
Sternhagen in 1962
Born (1930-01-13) January 13, 1930 (age 92)
OccupationActress, former teacher
Years active1951–2014
Spouse(s)
Thomas Carlin
(m. 1956;died 1991)
Children6

Frances Hussey Sternhagen (born January 13, 1930 [1] ) is an American actress; she has appeared on- and off-Broadway, in movies, and on TV since the 1950s. [2]

Contents

Early life and education

Sternhagen was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter and only child of John M. Sternhagen, a U.S. Tax Court judge, and Gertrude (née Hussey) Sternhagen.[ citation needed ] Sternhagen was educated at the Madeira and Potomac schools in McLean, Virginia. At Vassar College, she was elected head of the Drama Club "after silencing a giggling college crowd at a campus dining hall with her interpretation of a scene from Richard II , playing none other than Richard himself". She attended the Catholic University of America as a grad student, where she met Thomas Carlin, her future husband, to whom she was married from 1956 until his death in 1991; the couple had six children. [3] She also studied at the Perry Mansfield School of the Theatre, and at New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse. [2]

Stage career

Sternhagen started her career teaching acting, singing, and dancing to school children at the Milton Academy in Massachusetts, and she first performed in 1948 at a Bryn Mawr summer theater in The Glass Menagerie and Angel Street . [2] She went on to work at Washington's Arena Stage from 1953–54, then made her Broadway debut in 1955 as Miss T. Muse in The Skin of Our Teeth . [4] The same year, she had her off-Broadway debut in Thieves' Carnival , and her TV debut in The Great Bank Robbery on Omnibus (CBS). By the following year, she had won her first Obie Award for "Distinguished Performance (Actress)" in The Admirable Bashville (1955–56). [5]

She has won two Tony Awards, for Best Supporting Actress (Dramatic): in 1974 for the original Broadway production of Neil Simon's The Good Doctor [6] (which also won her a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play);[ citation needed ] and in 1995 for the revival of The Heiress . She has been nominated for Tony Awards five other times, including for her roles in the original Broadway casts of Equus (1975) and On Golden Pond (1979), as well as for Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (1972), the musical Angel (1978), which was based on Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel , and the 2002 revival of Paul Osborn's Morning's at Seven . [6]

She portrayed the title character in 1988's Pulitzer prize-winning drama Driving Miss Daisy , which was originated by Dana Ivey at Playwrights Horizons in New York. Sternhagen took over the role after the show moved to the John Houseman Theatre and played it for more than two years. Her off-Broadway awards include two nominations for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play in 1998, for a revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night (which starred her own son, Paul Carlin, as her character's son, Jamie Tyrone) for the Irish Repertory Theatre [7] and in 2005, for the World War I drama Echoes of the War. [2] She also won Distinguished Performance Obie Awards for The Room and A Slight Ache (1964–65). In 1998, she won the Dramatists Guild Fund's Madge Evans & Sidney Kingsley Award for Excellence in Theater.[ citation needed ]

Sternhagen appeared as the Daughter in the original 1971 Broadway production of Edward Albee's All Over with Colleen Dewhurst and Jessica Tandy. In the summer of 2005, she starred in the Broadway production of Steel Magnolias along with Marsha Mason, Delta Burke, Christine Ebersole, Lily Rabe, and Rebecca Gayheart. She also starred in the 2005 revival of Edward Albee's Seascape , produced by Lincoln Center Theater at the Booth Theater on Broadway.

In 2013, Sternhagen was awarded the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement. [8] She is included in the New Rochelle Walk of Fame.

Film roles

Sternhagen made her film debut in Up the Down Staircase (1967), which starred Sandy Dennis. [9] She has worked periodically in Hollywood since then. She had character roles in the 1971 Paddy Chayefsky's The Hospital , in Two People (1973), and Billy Wilder's Fedora (1978). She appeared in Starting Over (1979); opposite Sean Connery in Outland (1981); and in Michael J. Fox's Bright Lights, Big City (1988). She played Farrah Fawcett's mother in See You in the Morning (1989), Richard Farnsworth's wife in Misery (1990), Lillian in Doc Hollywood (1991) and John Lithgow's psychiatrist in Raising Cain (1992). Sternhagen starred in Frank Darabont's 2007 science-fiction horror film The Mist . She also appeared in the family films Dolphin Tale (2011) and And So It Goes (2014) (her last acting appearance to date).

Television roles

She may be best known to TV audiences as Esther Clavin, mother of John Ratzenberger's Boston postman character Cliff Clavin, on the long-running series Cheers , for which she received two Emmy Award nominations. She also played Millicent Carter on ER ; Bunny MacDougal, mother of Trey, Charlotte's first husband on Sex and the City (another Emmy Award nomination); Willie Rae Johnson (mother of Brenda Leigh Johnson (played by Kyra Sedgwick) on The Closer ; and Law & Order , among other network dramas and sitcoms. She worked for many years in soap operas such as Another World , The Secret Storm , Love of Life and played two roles on One Life to Live . She recorded a voice-over for a May 2002 episode of The Simpsons ("The Frying Game"). She is also recognized as Mrs. Marsh from a series of television commercials for Colgate toothpaste that aired in the 1970s.

In summer 2006, she finished her 24th Broadway role. [10] Sternhagen appeared in 12 episodes of the program.

Voice acting

She read as the title character in the Stephen King novel Dolores Claiborne in a 1995 audiobook recording. She also voiced characters in 13 episodes of CBS Radio Mystery Theater in the 1970s and 1980s.[ citation needed ]

Filmography

Film
YearTitleRoleNotes
1967 Up the Down Staircase Charlotte Wolf
1967 The Tiger Makes Out Lady On Bus
1971 The Hospital Mrs. Cushing
1973Two PeopleMrs. McCluskey
1978 Fedora Miss Balfour
1979 Starting Over Marva Potter
1981 Outland Dr. Marian Lazarus Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1983 Independence Day Carla Taylor
1983 Romantic Comedy Blanche Dailey
1986 Resting Place Eudora McCallister
1988 Bright Lights, Big City Clara Tillinghast
1989 Communion Dr. Janet Duffy
1989 See You in the Morning Neenie
1990 Sibling Rivalry Rose Turner
1990 Misery Deputy VirginiaNominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1991 Doc Hollywood Lillian
1991Walking the DogAntique DealerShort film
1992 Raising Cain Dr. Lynn WaldheimNominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1998It All Came TrueAmy
2000Midnight GospelRuthShort film
2001LandfallEmily Thornton
2001 The Rising Place Ruth Wilder
2002 Highway Mrs. Murray
2007 The Mist Irene Reppler
2009 Julie & Julia Irma Rombauer
2011 Dolphin Tale Gloria Forrest
2014 And So It Goes Claire
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1956 Westinghouse Studio One BettyEpisode: "The Arena"
1957 Westinghouse Studio One MaryEpisode: "My Mother and How She Undid Me"
1957 Goodyear Television Playhouse Elizabeth BarnesEpisode: "The House"
1959 Play of the Week EvaEpisode: "Thieves Carnival"
1961 Play of the Week UnknownEpisode: "In a Garden"
1962The Broadway of Lerner and LoeweTheatre-GoerTV movie
1962 The Nurses Mrs. HarrisEpisode: "The Lady Made of Stone"
1964 The Defenders Louise KileyEpisode: "May Day! May Day!"
1964Profiles in CourageMiss KoellerEpisode: "Mary S. McDowell"
1967 NET Playhouse UnknownEpisode: "Infancy and Childhood"
1967 Hallmark Hall of Fame AbigailEpisode: "Soldier in Love"
1967–1968 Love of Life Toni Prentiss DavisTV series
1970 The Doctors Phyllis CorriganTV series
1971 NET Playhouse UnknownSegment: "Foul!"
1971 Another World Jane OverstreetTV series
1972 Great Performances Wilma AtkinsEpisode: "The Rimers of Eldritch"
1974 The Secret Storm Jessie ReddinTV series
1974 Great Performances PaulinaEpisode: "Enemies"
1977 The Andros Targets Mrs. MasonEpisode: "In the Event of My Death"
1978Who'll Save Our Children?Nellie HendersonTV movie
1980Mother and Daughter: The Loving WarMrs. LloydTV movie
1980 The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg Mary RichardsTV short
1983 Prototype Dorothy ForresterTV movie
1984 The Dining Room VariousTV movie
1985 Spencer Millie Sprague7 episodes
1986–1993 Cheers Esther Clavin7 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
1987At Mother's RequestBerenice BradshawTV movie
1987Once AgainUnknownTV movie
1990Follow Your HeartCloe SixburyTV movie
1991 American Experience (voice)Episode: "Coney Island"
1991 The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd DoraEpisode: "Here's a High Dive Into a Shallow Pool"
1991 Golden Years Gina Williams7 episodes
1991 Law & Order Margaret LangdonEpisode: "The Serpent's Tooth"
1992She Woke UpNoelleTV movie
1992 Tales from the Crypt Effie GluckmanEpisode: "None But the Lonely Heart"
1993Labor of Love: The Arlette Schweitzer StoryMary RaffertyTV movie
1994Vault of Horror IUnknownTV movie
1994 The Road Home Charlotte Babineaux6 episodes
1994ReunionTobie YatesTV movie
1995 The Outer Limits Jean AndersonEpisode: "The Choice"
1997 Law & Order Estelle MullerEpisode: "Legacy"
1997–2003 ER Millicent Carter19 episodes
1998 The Con HadabelleTV movie
1998To Live AgainConstance HolmesTV movie
2000–2002 Sex and the City Bunny MacDougal10 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
2002 The Laramie Project Marge MurrayTV movie
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2002 The Simpsons Mrs. Bellamy (voice)Episode: "The Frying Game"
2004 Becker NaomiEpisode: "Subway Story"
2006–2012 The Closer Willie Ray Johnson15 episodes
2012 Parenthood Blanche BravermanEpisode: "Road Trip"
Theatre
YearTitleRole
1955 The Skin of Our Teeth Miss T. Muse
1955The Carefree TreeWidow Yang
1960Viva Madison Avenue!Dee Jones
1962Great Day in the MorningAlice McAnany
1965–1966The Right Honourable GentlemanMrs. Ashton Dilke
1967 A Doll's House Nora
1967–1969 You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running Harriet / Edith / Muriel (standby)
1968–1969 The Cocktail Party Lavinia Chamberlayne
1969Cock-A-Doodle DandyLoreleen
1970Blood Red RosesVarious (standby)
1971 The Playboy of the Western World Widow Quin
1971 All Over The Daughter / The Mistress (standby)
1971 Mary Stuart Mary Stuart / Queen Elizabeth (understudy)
1972The Sign in Sidney Brustein's WindowMavis Parodus Bryson
1972EnemiesPaulina
1973–1974 The Good Doctor Performer
1974–1977 Equus Dora Strang
1978 Angel Eliza Gant
1979–1980 On Golden Pond Ethel Thayer
1981 The Father Laura
1981–1982Grown UpsHelen
1983–1984 You Can't Take It with You Unknown
1985Home FrontMaurine
1993 A Perfect Ganesh Margaret
1995The HeiressLavinia Penniman
1999The Exact Center of the UniverseUnknown
2002 Morning's at Seven Ida Bolton
2005 Steel Magnolias Clairee
2005–2006 Seascape Nancy
2013The MadridRose

Related Research Articles

<i>On Golden Pond</i> (play) Play written by Ernest Thompson

On Golden Pond is a 1979 play by Ernest Thompson. The plot focuses on aging couple Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond. During the year the story takes place, they are visited by daughter Chelsea with her fiancé Billy Ray and his son Billy Ray Jr. The play explores the often turbulent relationship the young woman shared with her father growing up, and the difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage.

Glenda Jackson English actress and politician (born 1936)

Glenda May Jackson is an English actress and politician. She has won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, receiving the first for her role as Gudrun Brangwen in the romantic drama film Women in Love (1970) and the second for her role as Vickie Allessio in the romantic comedy film A Touch of Class (1973). She also received praise for her performances as Alex Greville in the drama film Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and Elizabeth I in the BBC television serial Elizabeth R (1971), winning two Primetime Emmy Awards for the latter. In 2018, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role in a revival of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, thus becoming one of the few performers to have achieved the "Triple Crown of Acting" in the US.

Laurie Metcalf American actress

Laura Elizabeth Metcalf is an American actress. She has received various accolades throughout her career spanning over four decades, including two Tony Awards and three Primetime Emmy Awards, in addition to nominations for an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and three Golden Globe Awards.

Tyne Daly American actress

Ellen Tyne Daly is an American actress. She has won six Emmy Awards for her television work and a Tony Award, and is a 2011 American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee.

Colleen Dewhurst Canadian-American actress

Colleen Rose Dewhurst was a Canadian-American actress mostly known for theatre roles. She was a renowned interpreter of the works of Eugene O'Neill on the stage, and her career also encompassed film, early dramas on live television, and Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. One of her last roles was playing Marilla Cuthbert in the Kevin Sullivan television adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables series, and her reprisal of the role in the subsequent TV series Road to Avonlea. Dewhurst won two Tony Awards and four Emmy Awards for her stage and television work.

Mercedes Ruehl American actress

Mercedes J. Ruehl is an American screen and stage actor. She is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, two Obie Awards, and two Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Linda Lavin American actress and singer

Linda Lavin is an American actress and singer. She is known for playing the title character in the sitcom Alice and for her stage performances, both on and off-Broadway. After acting as a child, Lavin joined the Compass Players in the late 1950s. She began acting on Broadway in the 1960s, earning notice in It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman in 1966 and receiving her first Tony Award nomination for Last of the Red Hot Lovers in 1970. She moved to Hollywood in 1973 and began to work on television, making recurring appearances on the sitcom Barney Miller before landing the title role on the hit comedy Alice, which ran from 1976 to 1985. She appeared in many telefilms and later she appeared in other TV works. She has also played roles in several feature films. In 1987, she returned to Broadway, starring in Broadway Bound, Gypsy (1990), The Sisters Rosensweig (1993), The Diary of Anne Frank (1997–1998) and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (2000–2001), among others. In 2010, she appeared as Ruth Steiner in Collected Stories, garnering her fifth Tony nomination. She starred in NBC's short-lived sitcom Sean Saves the World as Lorna and the CBS sitcom 9JKL. She currently stars in the CBS sitcom B Positive.

Mary Beth Peil American actress and singer

Mary Beth Peil is an American actress and soprano. She began her career as an opera singer in 1962 with the Goldovsky Opera Theater. In 1964 she won two major singing competitions, the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; the latter of which earned her a contract with the Metropolitan Opera National Company with whom she performed in two seasons of national tours as a leading soprano from 1965–1967. She continued to perform in operas through the 1970s, notably creating the role of Alma in the world premiere of Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke at the Minnesota Opera in 1971. She later recorded that role for American television in 1982. With that same opera company she transitioned into musical theatre, performing the title role of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate in 1983. Later that year she joined the national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I as Anna Leonowens opposite Yul Brynner, and continued with that production when it opened on Broadway on January 7, 1985. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal.

Judy Kuhn American actress and singer

Judy Kuhn is an American actress and singer, known for her work in musical theatre. A four-time Tony Award nominee, she has released four studio albums and sang the title role in the 1995 film Pocahontas, including her rendition of the song "Colors of the Wind", which won its composers the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

<i>The Lady from Dubuque</i>

The Lady from Dubuque is a play by Edward Albee, which premiered on Broadway in 1980 for a brief run. The play ran in London in 2007.

Irene Worth American actress

Irene Worth, CBE was an American stage and screen actress who became one of the leading stars of the British and American theatre. She pronounced her given name with three syllables: "I-REE-nee".

Dana Ivey American actress

Dana Robins Ivey is an American actress. She is a five-time Tony Award nominee for her work on Broadway, and won the 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her work in both Sex and Longing and The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Her film appearances include The Color Purple (1985), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), The Addams Family (1991), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Addams Family Values (1993), Two Weeks Notice (2002), Rush Hour 3 (2007), and The Help (2011).

Lois Smith American actress

Lois Arlene Smith is an American character actress, whose career spans eight decades. She made her film debut in the 1955 drama film East of Eden, and later played supporting roles in a number of movies, including Five Easy Pieces (1970), Resurrection (1980), Fatal Attraction (1987), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), Dead Man Walking (1995), Twister (1996), Minority Report (2002), The Nice Guys (2016) and Lady Bird (2017).

Jayne Houdyshell American actress

Jayne Houdyshell is an American stage, film and television actress. She is best known for her Tony Award-winning role in the 2016 play The Humans.

Linda Emond

Linda Marie Emond is an American stage, film and television actress. Emond has received three Tony Award nominations for her performances in Life (x) 3 (2003), Death of a Salesman (2012), and Cabaret (2014).

Ruth White (actress)

Ruth Patricia White was an American actress who worked in theatre, film, and television. She was an Emmy Award and Obie Award winner and also a Tony Award nominee.

The Heiress is a 1947 play by American playwrights Ruth and Augustus Goetz adapted from the 1880 Henry James novel Washington Square. Two years later the play was adapted into the film The Heiress starring Olivia de Havilland.

Sydney Ellen Lucas is an American child actress with credits in musical theatre, film and television. She is best known for her portrayal of Small Alison Bechdel in both the original Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori's musical Fun Home; she won an Obie Award and Theater World Award and received nominations for a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance. She currently stars in the main cast of AMC's western drama television series The Son as Jeannie McCullough.

Pam MacKinnon is an American theatre director. She has directed for the stage Off-Broadway, on Broadway and in regional theatre. She won the Obie Award for Directing and received a Tony Award nomination, Best Director, for her work on Clybourne Park. In 2013 she received the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for a revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She was named Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California on January 23, 2018.

Johanna Day is an American actress. She was nominated for two Tony Awards for her performances in the 2000 play Proof and the 2016 production of the play Sweat. Her other accolades include a Helen Hayes Award and an Obie Award, as well as nominations for a Drama Desk Award, a Drama League Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and two Lucille Lortel Awards.

References

  1. "UPI Almanac for Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021". United Press International. January 13, 2021. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021. …actor Frances Sternhagen in 1930 (age 91)…
  2. 1 2 3 4 Joy, Cara."Frances Sternhagen in Talks to Join Company of Broadway Magnolias", Broadway.com, November 22, 2004.
  3. Profile, mcall.com; accessed October 6, 2021.
  4. "Frances Sternhagen". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on May 28, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  5. "1950s". Obie Awards. Village Voice and American Theatre Wing. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  6. 1 2 "("Frances Sternhagen" search results)". Tony Awards. Tony Award Productions. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  7. Lefkowitz, David."Brian Murray & Frances Sternhagen Take Irish Journey, Mar. 22" Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Playbill.com, March 22, 1998
  8. "2013 Obie Awards". Obie Awards. Village Voice and American Theatre Wing. Archived from the original on May 28, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  9. "Frances Sternhagen Credits" hollywood.com; accessed August 27, 2011.
  10. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 195. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7.