Kim Stanley

Last updated
Kim Stanley
Kim Stanley.jpg
Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1961
Patricia Reid

(1925-02-11)February 11, 1925
DiedAugust 20, 2001(2001-08-20) (aged 76)
Alma mater Actors Studio
University of New Mexico
Years active1950–1985
Bruce Hall
(m. 1945;div. 1946)

Curt Conway
(m. 1949;div. 1956)

Alfred Ryder
(m. 1958;div. 1964)

Joseph Siegel
(m. 1964;div. 1967)

Kim Stanley (born Patricia Reid, February 11, 1925 – August 20, 2001) was an American actress, primarily in television and theatre, but with occasional film performances.


She began her acting career in theatre, and subsequently attended the Actors Studio in New York City, New York. She received the 1952 Theatre World Award for her role in The Chase (1952), and starred in the Broadway productions of Picnic (1953) and Bus Stop (1955). Stanley was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her roles in A Touch of the Poet (1959) and A Far Country (1962).

Actors Studio organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights

The Actors Studio is a membership organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights at 432 West 44th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded October 5, 1947, by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford and Robert Lewis, who provided training for actors who were members. Lee Strasberg joined later and took the helm in 1951 until his death on February 17, 1982.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, often called New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

New York (state) State of the United States of America

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original Thirteen Colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city in the state with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State.

In the 1950s, Stanley was a prolific performer in television, and later progressed to film, with a well-received performance in The Goddess (1959). She was the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and starred in Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964), for which she won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She was less active during the remainder of her career; two of her later film successes were as the mother of Frances Farmer in Frances (1982), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and as Pancho Barnes in The Right Stuff (1983). She received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie for her performance as Big Mama in a television adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1985. That same year, Kim Stanley was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. [1]

<i>The Goddess</i> (1958 film) 1958 film by John Cromwell

The Goddess is a 1958 American drama film directed by John Cromwell and starring Kim Stanley and Lloyd Bridges.

<i>To Kill a Mockingbird</i> (film) 1962 film by Robert Mulligan

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote is based on Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Mary Badham as Scout. To Kill a Mockingbird marked the film debuts of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley.

<i>Séance on a Wet Afternoon</i> 1964 film by Bryan Forbes

Séance on a Wet Afternoon is a 1964 British film directed by Bryan Forbes, based on the novel by Mark McShane, in which an unstable medium convinces her husband to kidnap a child so she can help the police solve the crime and achieve renown for her abilities. The film stars Richard Attenborough, Kim Stanley, Nanette Newman, Mark Eden and Patrick Magee.

Early life

Stanley was born in Tularosa, New Mexico, the daughter of Ann (née Miller), an interior decorator, and J. T. Reid, a professor of philosophy and education at the University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque. [2] Her father was of Irish or Scottish descent, born and raised in Texas, where he met her mother (who was of German and English ancestry). She had three brothers (Howard Clinton Reid, a psychiatrist; Kenneth Reid, killed in pilot training during World War II; and Justin Truman Reid, a lawyer); and a half-sister (Carol Ann Reid). [2] She was a drama major at the University of New Mexico, and later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and adopted her maternal grandmother's surname as her stage name. [2]

Tularosa, New Mexico Village in New Mexico, United States

Tularosa is a village in Otero County, New Mexico, United States. It shares its name with the Tularosa Basin, in which the town is located. To the east, Tularosa is flanked by the western edge of the Sacramento Mountains. The population was 2,842 at the 2010 census. During the 1990s and early 2000s, the town, north of the much larger Alamogordo, experienced moderate growth and construction as a bedroom community, especially in the housing industry. Tularosa is noted for its abundance of cottonwood shade trees and its efforts to preserve the adobe-style architecture of its past.

University of New Mexico public research university in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

The University of New Mexico is a public research university in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Founded in 1889, UNM offers bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degree programs in multiple fields. Its Albuquerque campus encompasses over 600 acres (2.4 km²), and there are branch campuses in Gallup, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho, Taos, and Los Lunas. UNM is categorized as an R1 doctoral university in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.



Stanley was a successful Broadway actress with only a few film roles. She was singled out by The New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson for her early work. She eventually attended the Actors Studio, studying under Elia Kazan, Lee Strasberg, and Vivian Nathan. [3] She received the 1952 Theatre World Award for her performance as Anna Reeves in The Chase , [4] and starred in such Broadway hits as Picnic (1953), playing Millie Owens and Bus Stop (1955), playing Cherie.

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

Brooks Atkinson American critic

Justin Brooks Atkinson was an American theatre critic. He worked for The New York Times from 1925 to 1960. In his obituary, the Times called him "the theater's most influential reviewer of his time." A war correspondent during World War II, he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for his work as the Moscow correspondent for the Times.

She was nominated for the 1959 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for A Touch of the Poet and the 1962 Tony for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Elizabeth von Ritter in Henry Denker's A Far Country . Stanley also portrayed Maggie "The Cat" in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the original London production of the play.

Tony Award awards for live Broadway theatre

The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan. The awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, and an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are also given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, and the Isabelle Stevenson Award. The awards are named after Antoinette "Tony" Perry, co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

<i>A Touch of the Poet</i> play written by Eugene ONeill

A Touch of the Poet is a play by Eugene O'Neill.

Henry Denker was an American novelist and playwright.


Stanley was a leading lady of live television drama, which flourished in New York City during the 1950s. Among her many starring roles was Wilma, a star-struck 15-year-old girl from the U.S. Gulf Coast of Texas in Horton Foote's A Young Lady of Property, which aired on The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse on April 5, 1953. She was played Masha in the London performance of an Actors Studio production of Anton Chekhov's play The Three Sisters

Albert Horton Foote Jr. was an American playwright and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his screenplays for the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird and the 1983 film Tender Mercies, and his notable live television dramas during the Golden Age of Television. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta and two Academy Awards, one for an original screenplay, Tender Mercies, and one for adapted screenplay, To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1995, Foote was the inaugural recipient of the Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award. In describing his three-play work, The Orphans' Home Cycle, the drama critic for the Wall Street Journal said this: "Foote, who died last March, left behind a masterpiece, one that will rank high among the signal achievements of American theater in the 20th century." In 2000, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

<i>The Philco Television Playhouse</i> television program

The Philco Television Playhouse is an American television anthology series that was broadcast live on NBC from 1948 to 1955. Produced by Fred Coe, the series was sponsored by Philco. It was one of the most respected dramatic shows of the Golden Age of Television, winning a 1954 Peabody Award and receiving eight Emmy nominations between 1951 and 1956.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.


Her first film was The Goddess (1958), playing a tragic movie star. She starred in Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964), winning both the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

A filmed version of Strasberg-directed Three Sisters (1966) opened with Stanley reprising the role of Masha, and is the only time one can see her perform in a film alongside Geraldine Page, Sandy Dennis, Shelley Winters and other well-known names of the Actors Studio. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for her performance as Frances Farmer's possessive mother in Frances (1982). She also played Pancho Barnes in The Right Stuff (1983). Stanley was the uncredited narrator in the drama film To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). As the narrator, she represents the character Jean Louise Finch ("Scout") as an adult. Mary Badham portrays Scout as a child in the film.

She received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her appearance in the episode, "A Cardinal Act of Mercy" (1963), of the television series, Ben Casey (1961–1966), and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special for her appearance in the 1984 television adaptation of Tennessee Williams's Southern melodrama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , this time as Big Mama.

Last years

Stanley did not act during her later years, preferring the role of teacher, in New York City, Los Angeles, and later Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she died.

She was inducted into the New Mexico Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2012.

Personal life

Stanley was married four times: to Bruce Hall (1945–1946), Curt Conway (1949–1956), Alfred Ryder (1958–1964), and Joseph Siegel (1964–1967). All four marriages ended in divorce.

She had three children: one by Curt Conway; one by Brooks Clift (brother of Montgomery Clift), while she was married to Conway; and one by Alfred Ryder (Laurie). During her marriage to Ryder, Stanley converted to Judaism. [5]


Stanley died of uterine cancer at a nursing home in Santa Fe at the age of 76. [6] She was survived by her brother Justin, her three children, and several nephews and nieces. [ citation needed ] A biography, Female Brando: the Legend of Kim Stanley (2006), by Jon Krampner, was published by Back Stage Books, a division of Watson-Guptill. [7] [8] [9]

Stage work

Partial listing of stage work: [10]

Opening dateClosing dateTitleRolePlaywrightTheatreNotes
Oct 29, 1949Dec 24, 1949Montserrat [11] Replacement for Julie Harris as Felisa Lillian Hellman adaptation
original Emmanuel Roblès
Jan 7, 1951Jan 20, 1951 The House of Bernarda Alba [12] Adela Federico García Lorca
Translation James Graham Lujan and Richard L. O'Connell
Apr 15, 1952May 10, 1952The Chase [13] Anna Reeves Horton Foote Playhouse1952 Theatre World Award [14] for Kim Stanley
Feb 19, 1953Apr 10, 1954 Picnic [15] Millie Owens William Inge Music Box
Oct 27, 1954Nov 20, 1954The Traveling Lady [16] Georgette ThomasHorton FootePlayhouse
Mar 2, 1955Apr 21, 1956 Bus Stop [17] CherieWilliam IngeMusic Box
Winter Garden
Jan 10, 1957Feb 9, 1957A Clearing in the Woods [18] Virginia Arthur Laurents Belasco
Oct 2, 1958Jun 13, 1959 A Touch of the Poet [19] Sara Melody Eugene O'Neill Helen Hayes Tony Award nomination, Best Actress
Oct 12, 1959Nov 28, 1959Chéri [20] Léa de Lonval Anita Loos
Apr 4, 1961Nov 25, 1961 A Far Country [21] Elizabeth von Ritter Henry Denker Music BoxTony Award nomination, Best Actress
Jan 31, 1963Mar 02, 1963Natural Affection [22] Sue BarkerWilliam Inge Booth
Jun 22, 1964Oct 03, 1964 The Three Sisters [23] Masha Anton Chekhov
Randall Jarrell English version



1958 The Goddess Emily Ann Faulkner
1962 To Kill a Mockingbird Scout as an Adult – NarratorVoice, Uncredited
1964 Séance on a Wet Afternoon Myra Savage Laurel Award for Top Dramatic Performance, Female (3rd place)
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated-Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated-BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role; [24]
1966 The Three Sisters Masha
1982 Frances Lillian FarmerNominated-Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture [25]
1983 The Right Stuff Pancho Barnes


1950The Magnavox TheatreUnknownFather, Dear Father
1950Cavalcade of StarsSelfEpisode #1.53
1950Sure As FateUnknownThe Vanishing Lady
1950 The Trap UnknownSentence of Death
1950 Escape UnknownThe Covenant
1951 Danger UnknownThe Anniversary
1951 Out There UnknownThe Bus to Nowhere
1952DangerHelenThe System
1954DangerUnknownThe Bet
1953 You Are There CleopatraThe Death of Cleopatra (30 B.C.)
1953You Are ThereJoan of ArcThe Final Hours of Joan of Arc (May 30, 1431)
1953The Gulf PlayhouseUnknownThe Tears of My Sister
1953 The Ed Sullivan Show SelfEpisode #6.36
1952 Goodyear Television Playhouse UnknownThe Witness
1954Goodyear Television PlayhouseUnknownThe Brownstone
1956Goodyear Television PlayhouseKayJoey
1956Goodyear Television PlayhouseUnknownIn the Days of Our Youth
1956Goodyear Television PlayhouseUnknownConspiracy of Hearts
1953 The Philco Television Playhouse UnknownA Young Lady of Property
1953The Philco Television PlayhouseUnknownThe Strong Women
1953The Philco Television PlayhouseUnknownThe Sixth Sense
1954The Philco Television PlayhouseUnknownSomebody Special
1954 Armstrong Circle Theatre UnknownH Is for Hurricane
1954 Inner Sanctum Mystery MaggieThe Hands
1954 Kraft Television Theatre UnknownThe Scarlet Letter
1956Kraft Television TheatreUnknownDeath Is a Spanish Dancer
1957Kraft Television TheatreUnknownThe Glass Wall
1955A.N.T.A. Album of 1955HerselfProduction of American National Theater and Academy
1955Playwrights 56AbbyThe Waiting Place
1955Playwrights 56Martha AndersonFlight
1955 The Elgin Hour LiliThe Bridge
1957 Westinghouse Studio One Georgette ThomasThe Traveling Lady
1957 Playhouse 90 Mae D'AmatoClash by Night
1960Playhouse 90Sarah EubanksTomorrow
1958 Armchair Theatre Georgette ThomasThe Travelling Lady
1960Armchair TheatreUnknownThe Cake Baker
1960 DuPont Show of the Month Sarah Anne HoweEthan Frome
1962Westinghouse Presents: That's Where the Town Is GoingWilma SillsTV Movie
1963 Ben Casey Faith ParsonsA Cardinal Act of Mercy:, Parts 1 and 2
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role [26]
1964 The Eleventh Hour UnknownDoes My Mother Have to Know?:, Parts 1 and 2
1968 Flesh and Blood DellaTV movie
1969U.M.C.Joanna HansonTV Movie, Pilot for Medical Center
1970 NET Playhouse: Dragon Country UnknownTV Movie
1971 Night Gallery Elizabeth CroftA Fear of Spiders/Junior/Marmalade Wine/The Academy
1971 The Name of the Game Veta Marie GossThe Man Who Killed a Ghost
1982 It Takes Two Mrs. TandyDeath Penalty
1983 55th Academy Awards Self
1983 Quincy, M.E. Mrs. Edith JordanBeyond the Open Door
1984 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Big MamaTV Movie
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special [27]
(final film role)
2005The Needs of Kim StanleySelfDocumentary

See also

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