in the trailer for Dramatic School (1938)
Edith Holm Sondergaard
February 15, 1899
Litchfield, Minnesota, U.S.
|Died||August 14, 1985 86) (aged|
|Resting place||Cremains scattered into the Pacific Ocean|
(m. 1922;div. 1930)
Herbert J. Biberman
(m. 1930;died 1971)
Gale Sondergaard (born Edith Holm Sondergaard; February 15, 1899 – August 14, 1985) was an American actress.
Sondergaard began her acting career in theater and progressed to films in 1936. She was the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her film debut in Anthony Adverse (1936). She regularly played supporting roles in films during the late 1930s and 1940s, including The Cat and the Canary (1939), The Mark of Zorro (1940) and The Letter (1940). For her role in Anna and the King of Siam (1946), she was nominated for her second Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. After the late 1940s, her screen work came to an abrupt end for the next 20 years.
Married to the director Herbert Biberman, Sondergaard supported him when he was accused of communism and named as one of the Hollywood Ten in the early 1950s. She moved with Biberman to New York City and worked in theatre, and acted in film and television occasionally from the late 1960s. She moved back to Los Angeles where she died from cerebrovascular thrombosis.
She was born Edith Holm Sondergaard on February 15, 1899 in Litchfield, Minnesota to Danish-American parents, Hans and Christin (Holm) Sondergaard. Her father taught at University of Minnesota, where she was a drama student.
She studied acting at the Minneapolis School of Dramatic Arts before joining the John Keller Shakespeare Company. She later toured North America in productions of Hamlet , Julius Caesar , The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth . After becoming a member of the Theatre Guild, she began performing on the New York stage.
Sondergaard made her first film appearance in Anthony Adverse (1936) as Faith Paleologue and became the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.Her career as an actress flourished during the 1930s, including a role with Paul Muni in The Life of Emile Zola (1937).
During pre-production of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's classic The Wizard of Oz (1939), an early idea was to have the Wicked Witch of the West portrayed as a slinky, glamorous villainess in a black, sequined costume, inspired by the Evil Queen in Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).Sondergaard originally was cast as the witch and was photographed for two wardrobe tests, both of which survive. One was as a glamorous wicked witch and another as a conventionally ugly wicked witch. After the decision was made to have an ugly wicked witch, Sondergaard, reluctant to wear the disfiguring makeup and fearing it could damage her career, withdrew from the role, and it went to veteran character actress Margaret Hamilton. Sondergaard was, however, cast as the sultry and slinky Tylette (a magically humanized but devious cat) in The Blue Bird (1940).
Around the same time, she played the role of the exotic, sinister wife in The Letter (also 1940), a film starring Bette Davis.She featured in a supporting role in The Spider Woman (aka Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman, 1943), part of the Universal cycle, followed by the non-canonical The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946), also for Universal.
She received a second Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her role as the king's principal wife in Anna and the King of Siam (1946).
Sondergaard's career suffered irreparable damage during the United States Congressional HUAC Red Scare of the early 1950s when her husband was accused of being a communist and named as one of the Hollywood Ten.(In the 2000 movie One of the Hollywood Ten, Sondergaard was portrayed by actress Greta Scacchi while Jeff Goldblum was cast as Biberman.) With her career stalled, she supported her husband during the production of Salt of the Earth (1954).
One of the Hollywood Ten (2000) chronicled Sondergaard's relationship with Biberman and her role in the making of Salt of the Earth. The Bibermans sold their home in Hollywood shortly after they completed Salt of the Earth, and moved to New York where Sondergaard was able to work in theatre.
In 1969, she appeared in an off-Broadway one-woman show entitled Woman. Sondergaard resumed her career in film and television around the same time.Her revived career extended into the early 1980s.
Her younger sister Hester Sondergaard was also an actress who featured in Seeds of Freedom (1943) The Naked City (1948) and Jigsaw (1949) and The Big Break (1953).
Sondergaard first married in 1922 to actor Neill O'Malley; they divorced in 1930. On May 15, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she married Herbert Biberman, a theater director then associated with the Theatre Guild Acting Company; he became a film director and died in 1971.They had two children, Daniel Hans Biberman and Mrs. Joan Campos.
Following several strokes, she died from cerebral vascular thrombosis in the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, in 1985, aged 86. She had been admitted to the hospital in 1982.
|Opening date||Closing date||Title||Role||Theatre||Refs|
|Oct 08, 1928||Nov 1928||Faust||The Witch||Guild Theatre|
|Nov 19, 1928||Jan 1929||Major Barbara||Sarah Undershaft, Lady Britomart's daughter||Guild Theatre|
|Oct 7, 1929||Nov 1929||Karl and Anna||Marie's sister||Guild Theatre|
|Dec 17, 1929||Feb 1930||Red Rust||Nina||Martin Beck Theatre|
|May 11, 1931||May 23, 1931||Alison's House||Elsa - Replacement||Ritz Theatre|
|Feb 21, 1933||March 1933||American Dream||Lydia Kimball, The First Play, 1650||Guild Theatre|
|May 17, 1934||Jul 1934||Invitation to a Murder||Lorinda Channing||Theatre Masque|
|Nov 6, 1933||Nov 1933||Doctor Monica||Anna||Playhouse Theatre|
|Dec 19, 1940||Dec 28, 1940||Cue for Passion||Frances Chapman||Royale Theatre|
|Apr 02, 1980||April 26, 1980||Goodbye Fidel||Prudencia||Ambassador Theatre|
|1936||Anthony Adverse||Faith Paleologus||First winner of Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1937||Maid of Salem||Martha Harding|
|Seventh Heaven||Nana, Diane's Sister|
|The Life of Emile Zola||Lucie Dreyfus|
|1938||Lord Jeff||Doris Clandon|
|Dramatic School||Madame Therese Charlot|
|1939||Never Say Die||Juno Marko|
|Juarez||Empress Eugenie||A historical drama starring Paul Muni and Bette Davis|
|Sons of Liberty||Rachel Salomon||Short|
|The Cat and the Canary||Miss Lu|
|The Llano Kid||Lora Travers|
|1940||The Blue Bird||Tylette (the cat)||A Shirley Temple fantasy|
|The Mark of Zorro||Inez Quintero|
|The Letter||Mrs. Hammond||A Bette Davis drama|
|1941||The Black Cat||Abigail Doone|
|1942||My Favorite Blonde||Madame Stephanie Runick|
|Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen||Mrs. Van Dorn|
|1943||A Night to Remember||Mrs. Devoe|
|Appointment in Berlin||Gretta Van Leyden|
|Isle of Forgotten Sins||Marge Willison|
|The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler||Anna Huber|
|1944||The Spider Woman||Adrea Spedding||aka, Sherlock Holmes and the Spider Woman|
|Follow the Boys||Herself||Uncredited|
|The Invisible Man's Revenge||Lady Irene Herrick|
|Christmas Holiday||Mrs. Monette|
|Enter Arsène Lupin||Bessie Seagrave|
|1946||The Spider Woman Strikes Back||Zenobia Dollard|
|Night in Paradise||Queen Attossa|
|Anna and the King of Siam||Lady Thiang||nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|The Time of Their Lives||Emily|
|1947||Pirates of Monterey||Señorita De Sola|
|Road to Rio||Catherine Vail||A Bob Hope-Bing Crosby-Dorothy Lamour comedy in the Road to ... series|
|1949||East Side, West Side||Nora Kernan|
|1969||Slaves||New Orleans lady|
|It Takes a Thief||Madame Olga Millard||Episode: "The Scorpio Drop"|
|1970||Get Smart||Hester Van Hooten||Episode: "Rebecca of Funny-Folk Farm"|
|The Best of Everything||Amanda Key||2 episodes|
|1971||Night Gallery||Abigail Moore||Episode: "The Dark Boy"|
|The Bold Ones: The Lawyers||Mrs. Marley||TV, episode "The Letter of the Law"|
|1973||The Cat Creature||Hester Black||TV movie|
|1974||Medical Center||Myra||Episode: "Adults Only"|
|Nakia||Bert||Episode: "The Quarry"|
|Police Story||Marge White||Episode: "A World Full of Hurt"|
|1976||Ryan's Hope||Marguerite Beaulac||6 episodes|
|The Return of a Man Called Horse||Elk Woman|
|Hollywood on Trial||Herself||Documentary|
|1977||Visions||Ora Drummond||Episode: "Pleasantville"|
|1978||Centennial||Aunt Augusta||TV mini series|
|1981||The Fall Guy||Mrs. Jackson||Episode: "The Human Torch"|
|1983||Echoes||Mrs. Edmunds||(final film role)|
Carolyn Laurie Kane is an American actress and comedian. She became known in the 1970s and 1980s in films such as Hester Street, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, Annie Hall, and The Princess Bride. She appeared on the television series Taxi in the early 1980s, as Simka Gravas, the wife of Latka, the character played by Andy Kaufman, winning two Emmy Awards for her work. She has played the character of Madame Morrible in the musical Wicked, both in regional productions and on Broadway from 2005 to 2014. From 2015 to 2019, she was a main cast member on the Netflix original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, in which she played Lillian Kaushtupper.
Eve Arden was an American film, radio, stage, and television actress, and comedian. She performed in leading and supporting roles for nearly six decades.
Judy Holliday was an American actress, comedian, and singer.
Kim Stanley was an American actress, primarily in television and theatre, but with occasional film performances.
Rosaura Revueltas Sánchez was a Mexican actress of screen and stage, and a dancer, author and teacher.
Margaret Brainard Hamilton was an American film character actor best known for her portrayal of Miss Almira Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Idina Kim Menzel is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. Menzel rose to prominence when she originated the role of Maureen Johnson in the Broadway musical Rent. Her performance earned her a Tony Award nomination in 1996. She reprised the character in the musical's 2005 film adaptation. In 2003, Menzel originated the role of Elphaba in the Broadway musical Wicked, a performance for which she won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Menzel returned to Broadway as Elizabeth Vaughan in the 2014 musical If/Then, which earned her a third Tony Award nomination.
Janet McTeer is an English actress. In 1997, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play for her role as Nora in A Doll's House (1996–1997). She also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Mary Jo Walker in the 1999 film Tumbleweeds, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Hubert Page in the 2011 film Albert Nobbs. She was made an OBE in the 2008 Queen's Birthday Honours.
Mabel Elizabeth King was an American film, stage, and television actress, and singer. She is best known for her role as Mabel "Mama" Thomas on the ABC sitcom What's Happening!! from its premiere in 1976 until the end of its second season in 1978. King's next most remembered role is that of Evillene the Witch, a role she originated in the stage musical The Wiz and reprised in Sidney Lumet's 1978 film adaptation. She recorded on the Rama Records and Amy Records labels.
Beulah Bondi was an American actress. She began her acting career as a young child in theater and, after establishing herself as a stage actress, reprised her role in Street Scene for the 1931 film version. She played supporting roles in several films during the 1930s, and was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She played the mother of James Stewart in the four films Of Human Hearts, Vivacious Lady, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and It's a Wonderful Life (1946). She continued acting well into her later years, winning an Emmy Award for an appearance on The Waltons in 1976.
Lee Patrick was an American actress whose career began in 1922 on the New York stage with her role in The Bunch and Judy which headlined Adele Astaire and featured Adele's brother Fred Astaire. Patrick continued to perform in dozens of roles on the stage for the next decade, frequently in musicals and comedies, but also in dramatic parts like her 1931 performance as Meg in Little Women. She began to branch out into films in 1929. For half a century she created a credible body of cinematic work, her most memorable being as Sam Spade's assistant Effie in The Maltese Falcon (1941), and her reprise of the role in the George Segal comedy sequel The Black Bird (1975). Her talents were showcased in comedies such as the Jack Benny film George Washington Slept Here (1942) and as one of the foils of Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame (1958). Dramatic parts such as an asylum inmate in The Snake Pit (1948) and as Pamela Tiffin's mother in the Summer and Smoke (1961) were another facet of her repertoire. She made numerous guest roles in American television, but became a staple for that medium during the two-year run of Topper. As Henrietta Topper, her comedic timing played well against Leo G. Carroll as her husband, and against that of the two ghosts played by Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys. Patrick lent her voice to various animated characters of The Alvin Show in the early 1960s.
Patricia "Patty" McCormack is an American actress with a career in theater, films, and television.
Herbert J. Biberman was an American screenwriter and film director. He was one of the Hollywood Ten and directed Salt of the Earth (1954), a film barely released in the United States, about a zinc miners' strike in Grant County, New Mexico. His membership in the Directors Guild of America was posthumously restored in 1997; he had been expelled in 1950.
Clara Blandick was an American stage and screen actress best known for her role as Aunt Em in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Wizard of Oz (1939). As a character actress, she often played eccentric elderly matriarchs.
Megan Kathleen Hilty is an American actress and singer. She rose to prominence for her roles in Broadway musicals, including her performance as Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: The Musical, and her Tony Award-nominated role as Brooke Ashton in Noises Off. She also starred as Ivy Lynn on the musical-drama series Smash, on which she sang the Grammy Award-nominated "Let Me Be Your Star", and portrayed Liz on the sitcom Sean Saves the World.
Amy Beth Dziewiontkowski, known professionally as Amy Ryan, is an American actress of stage and screen. A graduate of New York's High School of Performing Arts, she is an Academy Award nominee and two-time Tony Award nominee.
Rosemary Ann Harris is an English actress. She is a 1986 American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee.
Clare Frances Elizabeth Higgins is an English actress. Her film appearances include Hellraiser (1987), Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988), Small Faces (1996) and The Golden Compass (2007).
One of the Hollywood Ten is a 2000 Spanish and British bio-picture. The film was written and directed by Karl Francis.
Ethel Barrymore was an American actress of stage, screen and radio. She came from a family of actors; she was the middle child of Maurice Barrymore and Georgie Drew Barrymore, and had two brothers, Lionel and John. Reluctant to pursue her parents' career, the loss of financial support following the death of Louisa Lane Drew, caused Barrymore to give up her dream of becoming a concert pianist and instead earn a living on the stage. Barrymore's first Broadway role, alongside her uncle John Drew, Jr., was in The Imprudent Young Couple (1895). She soon found success, particularly after an invitation from William Gillette to appear on stage in his 1897 London production of Secret Service. Barrymore was soon popular with English society, and she had a number of romantic suitors, including Laurence Irving, the dramatist. His father, Henry Irving, cast her in The Bells (1897) and Peter the Great (1898).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gale Sondergaard .|