Rosemary Murphy

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Rosemary Murphy
Rosemary Murphy (1970).JPG
Murphy in 1970
Born(1925-01-13)January 13, 1925
DiedJuly 5, 2014(2014-07-05) (aged 89)
Years active1949–2010

Rosemary Murphy (January 13, 1925 – July 5, 2014) was a German-American actress of stage, film, and television. She was nominated for three Tony Awards for her stage work, as well as two Emmy Awards for television work, winning once, for her performance in Eleanor and Franklin (1976). [1] [2]


Biography and career

Murphy was born in Munich, Germany in 1925, the daughter of American parents Mildred (née Taylor) and Robert Daniel Murphy, a diplomat. [3] The family left Germany in 1939 due to the onset of World War II.


Murphy, whose résumé came to include French and German films, attended Manhattanville College and trained as an actress at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and in New York at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio with Sanford Meisner before beginning her career on stage. [4]


She made her stage debut in Germany, in a 1949 production of Peer Gynt . She made her Broadway debut in 1950 in The Tower Beyond Tragedy. She went on to appear in some 15 Broadway productions, most recently in Noël Coward's Waiting in the Wings (1999). [1]

Film and television

Rosemary Murphy with child actor Phillip Alford in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) trailer 1.jpg
Rosemary Murphy with child actor Phillip Alford in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Murphy also acted in films and on TV, most notably portraying Sara Delano Roosevelt in the TV miniseries Eleanor and Franklin (1976) and Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (1977). She played Maudie Atkinson in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) as well as Callie Hacker in Walking Tall (1973). The following year, in 1974, she appeared in the television film A Case of Rape , playing a ruthless defense attorney who brutally cross-examines a rape victim (played by Elizabeth Montgomery) and wins an acquittal for the man who attacked her. In 1974–75, she played high-school principal Margaret Blumenthal in the series Lucas Tanner .

Her first soap opera role was Nola Hollister #2 on The Secret Storm (1969–1970). In 1977, she appeared on All My Children as Maureen Teller Dalton, Eric Kane's former mistress, and the mother of his son, Mark Dalton. In 1988, she played Loretta Fowler for several months, the kleptomaniac mother of Mitch Blake and Sam Fowler on Another World . The following year, she appeared on As the World Turns as Gretel Aldin #2 (a role previously played by Joan Copeland) when her character's son, James Stenbeck, was allegedly murdered.

She also appeared in episodes of Columbo (1974) and Murder, She Wrote (1987). [2]


Murphy won an Emmy Award for her role in Eleanor and Franklin. She also won a Clarence Derwent Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award and was nominated for two Tony awards. [5]


She died on July 5, 2014 in Manhattan, from esophageal cancer. She never married. [6]


1947 Das Ruf Mary
1957 That Night! Nurse 'Chorny' Chornis
1961 The Young Doctors Miss Graves
1962 To Kill a Mockingbird Maudie Atkinson
1966 Any Wednesday Dorothy Cleves
1972 A Fan's Notes Moms
Ben Beth Garrison
You'll Like My Mother Mrs. Kinsolving
1973 Walking Tall Callie Hacker
Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies Hannah
40 Carats Mrs. Latham
1974 A Case of Rape Muriel Dyer
1977 Julia Dottie
1980 The Attic Mrs. Perkins
1981 The Hand Karen Wagner
1987 September Mrs. Mason
1991 For the Boys Luanna Trott
1993 Twenty Bucks Aunt Dotty
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Adoption Coordinator
1999 Message in a Bottle Helen at the B&B
2001 Dust Angela
2007 The Savages Doris Metzger
2008 Synecdoche, New York Frances
2009 After.Life Mrs. Whitehall
2010 The Romantics Grandmother Hayes

Television films

1968A Case of LibelClaire
1972Invitation to a MarchN/A
1974The Lady's Not for BurningMargaret Devize
1977 Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years Sara Roosevelt Nominated - Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
1978Before and AfterHelen, Carole's Mother
1981Mr. Griffin and MeJane Barlow
1993 And the Band Played On Blood Bank Executive
1994 Don't Drink the Water Miss Pritchard
1995 The Tuskegee Airmen Eleanor Roosevelt
1999 The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer Bea Einhorn

Partial Television Credits

1951-53 Lux Video Theatre Various roles3 episodes
1962 The Virginian Pearl Dodd KrauseEpisode: "Big Day, Great Day"
1976 Eleanor and Franklin Sara Roosevelt Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
1984 George Washington Mary Ball Washington
1996-97 EZ Streets Quinn's Mother4 episodes
1997 Cracker Victoria2 episodes
1997-99 Frasier Carol Larkin2 episodes
1998 The Visitor Tour GuideEpisode: "The Trial"

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  1. 1 2 Rosemary Murphy at the Internet Broadway Database
  2. 1 2 Rosemary Murphy at IMDb
  3. Rosemary Murphy profile,; accessed July 10, 2014.
  4. Fox, Margalit (July 10, 2014). "Rosemary Murphy, 89, Emmy Winner Familiar to Broadway, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  5. Mahan, Bill (December 21, 1972). "Rosemary Murphy Moves into Spotlight". Valley News. p. 85. Retrieved May 3, 2015 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. Barnes, Mike (July 9, 2014). "'To Kill a Mockingbird' Actress Rosemary Murphy Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved July 9, 2014.