Phyllis Thaxter

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Phyllis Thaxter
Phyllis Thaxter in Bewitched trailer.jpg
Thaxter in Bewitched (1945)
Born
Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter

(1919-11-20)November 20, 1919 [1] [2]
DiedAugust 14, 2012(2012-08-14) (aged 92)
OccupationActress
Years active19401992
Known forMa Kent in Superman ,
Ellen Lawson in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Spouse(s)
Children2

Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter (November 20, 1919 – August 14, 2012) was an American actress.

Contents

Early life

Phyllis St. Felix Thaxter was born in Portland, Maine, to Sidney St. Felix Thaxter, who later became a Justice of the Maine Supreme Court, and his wife, Phyllis (Schuyler), a former actress and member of the Dutch-American Schuyler family. [2]

Portland, Maine Largest city in Maine, United States

Portland is a city in the U.S. state of Maine, with a population of 67,067 as of 2017. The Greater Portland metropolitan area is home to over half a million people, more than one-third of Maine's total population, making it the most populous metro in northern New England. Portland is Maine's economic center, with an economy that relies on the service sector and tourism. The Old Port district is known for its 19th-century architecture and nightlife. Marine industry still plays an important role in the city's economy, with an active waterfront that supports fishing and commercial shipping. The Port of Portland is the largest tonnage seaport in New England.

The Schuyler family was a prominent Dutch family in New York and New Jersey in the 18th and 19th centuries, whose descendants played a critical role in the formation of the United States, in leading government and business in North America and served as leaders in business, military, politics, and society in the United Kingdom.

Career

Phyllis Thaxter in a public press photo from 1955. Phyllis Thaxter in 1955.jpg
Phyllis Thaxter in a public press photo from 1955.

Before appearing in movies, Thaxter was on the stage. When Dorothy McGuire went to Hollywood, Thaxter replaced her in the Broadway play Claudia . [3] In 1944, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her movie debut was opposite Van Johnson in the 1944 wartime film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo . [2] In the 1945 film-noir Bewitched , Thaxter played Joan Alris Ellis, a woman suffering from split personality. In 1948, she played a cattle owner's daughter with Barbara Bel Geddes in Blood on the Moon .

Dorothy McGuire American actress

Dorothy Hackett McGuire was an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for Gentleman's Agreement (1947) and won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress for Friendly Persuasion (1956).

Claudia, a story about a naive young wife's maturing, is a 1941 play by Rose Franken.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer American media company

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

At MGM, she routinely portrayed the ever-patient wife to a number of leading men. She moved to Warner Brothers in the 1950s, but usually played the same type of roles.

Thaxter's career stalled after an attack of polio in 1952. She made a comeback in television series such as Rawhide , portraying Pauline Cushman in the episode "The Blue Spy" (1961), Wagon Train ("The Christine Elliott Story"), and "The Vivian Carter Story ", The Twilight Zone ("Young Man's Fancy"), and Alfred Hitchcock Presents . She also returned to Broadway, appearing in Take Her, She's Mine at the Biltmore in 1961. [4] In 1978, Thaxter was cast with Glenn Ford as Jonathan and Martha Kent in the blockbuster film Superman . The film was produced by her daughter Skye Aubrey's then-husband Ilya Salkind and his father Alexander Salkind.

Polio Infectious disease

Polio, also called poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. In about 0.5 percent of cases there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move. This can occur over a few hours to a few days. The weakness most often involves the legs but may less commonly involve the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm. Many people fully recover. In those with muscle weakness about 2 to 5 percent of children and 15 to 30 percent of adults die. Another 25 percent of people have minor symptoms such as fever and a sore throat and up to 5 percent have headache, neck stiffness and pains in the arms and legs. These people are usually back to normal within one or two weeks. In up to 70 percent of infections there are no symptoms. Years after recovery post-polio syndrome may occur, with a slow development of muscle weakness similar to that which the person had during the initial infection.

<i>Rawhide</i> (TV series) television series

Rawhide is an American Western TV series starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood. The show aired for eight seasons on the CBS network on Friday nights, from January 9, 1959, to September 3, 1965, before moving to Tuesday nights from September 14, 1965, until January 4, 1966, with a total of 217 black-and-white episodes. The series was produced and sometimes directed by Charles Marquis Warren, who also produced early episodes of Gunsmoke.

<i>Wagon Train</i> Western television series that aired 1957-1965

Wagon Train is an American Western series that aired on the NBC television network, 1957–1962 and then on the lower rated newer American Broadcasting Company (ABC), 1962–1965. Wagon Train first aired on September 18, 1957 and would eventually place the TV show in the number one spot in the Nielsen ratings. The series format attracted big name guest stars who would appear in major roles as travelers in the large wagon train or in the settlements they passed by or visited. It initially starred veteran movie supporting actor Ward Bond as the wagon master, later replaced upon his death in 1960 by John McIntire, and Robert Horton as the scout, subsequently replaced by Scott Miller and Robert Fuller.'

Personal life

Patricia Bosworth, in her biography of Montgomery Clift, tells of Thaxter's close relationship with Clift in the early 1940s, writing that they "seemed so close that a great many people assumed they would eventually marry". [3] While at MGM, Thaxter married James T. Aubrey, Jr., who later became president of CBS-TV and MGM. They divorced in 1962. They had two children: Skye Aubrey, an actress; and James Aubrey.

Patricia Bosworth is an American journalist and biographer, memoirist, and former actress. She has been a faculty member of Columbia University’s School of Journalism as well as Barnard College, and is a winner of the Front Page Award for her journalistic achievement in writing about the Hollywood Blacklist.

Montgomery Clift American actor

Edward Montgomery "Monty" Clift was an American actor. His New York Times obituary said he was known for his portrayal of "moody, sensitive young men".

A Republican, she supported the campaign of Dwight Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election [5] . She adhered to Roman Catholicism [6] .

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

1952 United States presidential election 42nd quadrennial presidential election in the united states

The 1952 United States presidential election was the 42nd quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 4, 1952. Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower won a landslide victory over Democrat Adlai Stevenson, ending a string of Democratic Party wins that stretched back to 1932.

In 1962, Thaxter married Gilbert Lea. They were married for 46 years until his death on May 4, 2008. [7]

Death

Thaxter died on August 14, 2012, in Longwood, Florida, after an eight-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. [2] [8] She was 92 years old. In keeping with her wishes, she was cremated, and her ashes were scattered at sea. Her name was added to her husband's tombstone (as a cenotaph) at Saint Mary the Virgin Cemetery, in Falmouth, Maine [9] .

Partial filmography

Selected television appearances

Radio appearances

YearProgramEpisode/source
1952Stars in the Air Christmas in Connecticut [10]
1953 Lux Radio Theatre Close to My Heart [11]
1953Lux Radio Theatre The Bishop's Wife [12]
1955Lux Radio Theatre The Bishop's Wife [13]

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References

  1. "Phyllis Thaxter - 1930 United States Federal Census - Ancestry.com". www.ancestry.com.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Denise Grady (August 18, 2012). "Phyllis Thaxter, Actress Who Played Superman's Mother, Dies at 92". New York Times . Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  3. 1 2 Patricia Bosworth (2004). Montgomery Clift: A Biography. Limelight Editions. p. 80. ISBN   978-0879101350.
  4. Ken Bloom (2004). Broadway: Its History, People, and Places: an Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 71. ISBN   978-0-415-93704-7.
  5. Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 34, Ideal Publishers
  6. Morning News, January 10, 1948, Who Was Who in America (Vol. 2)
  7. "Obituary: Gilbert Lea". Town Topics. May 21, 2008. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  8. Mike Barnes (August 15, 2012). "Actress Phyllis Thaxter, Superman's Mom, Dies at 92". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  9. Wilson, Scott (19 August 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland via Google Books.
  10. Walter Kirby (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved 2015-05-23 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  11. Walter Kirby (March 1, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved 2015-06-23 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  12. Walter Kirby (May 10, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 50. Retrieved 2015-06-27 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  13. "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 42 (3): 32. Summer 2016.