Trish Van Devere

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Trish Van Devere
Trish Van Devere in Beauty and the Beast (1976).jpg
Van Devere in Beauty and the Beast (1976)
Patricia Louise Dressel

(1941-03-09) March 9, 1941 (age 81)
Alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University
Years active1951–1994
  • Grant Van Devere
    (m. 1963;div. 1964)
  • (m. 1972;died 1999)

Trish Van Devere (born Patricia Louise Dressel; March 9, 1941) [lower-alpha 1] is a retired American actress. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the film One Is a Lonely Number (1972), and won a Genie Award for the film The Changeling (1980). She is the widow of actor George C. Scott, with whom she appeared in multiple films.


Early life

Van Devere was born March 9, 1941 [lower-alpha 1] Patricia Louise Dressel in Tenafly, New Jersey. [4] Her father owned a Pontiac dealership and real estate business, which was inherited by her mother after her father's death when Van Devere was 9 years old. [4] After attending Tenafly High School, [4] she graduated in 1958 from Northern Valley High School [5] before attending Ohio Wesleyan University, where she met and married fellow student Grant Van Devere. [4] The marriage lasted only 8 months, though she retained Van Devere as her stage name. [4]


In 1966, Van Devere moved to New York City and began pursuing a career in acting, [4] studying at the Actors Studio. [6] She co-founded the Free Southern Theater with Scott Cunningham, an African American fellow actor, staging plays in fields and at churches in the Southern United States for indigent African Americans who had never seen live theater before. [4] Two years later, Van Devere and Cunningham founded an offshoot theater company, the Poor People's Theater in New York City, headquartered in the basement of Manhattan's Riverside Church, which held similar theatrical productions in churches, schools, and streets. [4]

Van Devere had her breakthrough portraying the original Meredith Lord in the soap opera One Life to Live in 1968 — the income from which she largely used to help maintain the Poor People's Theater Company. [4] In 1970, she co-starred with George Segal and Ruth Gordon in the comedy Where's Poppa? . She subsequently garnered significant notice for her lead role in the film One Is a Lonely Number (1972), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe award.

Van Devere married actor George C. Scott in September 1972 in Santa Monica, California, after having appeared together in the film The Last Run (1971). [4] The couple subsequently appeared in a number of films together, including The Day of the Dolphin , and The Savage Is Loose (both 1973, the latter film directed by Scott); the television film Beauty and the Beast (1976), Movie Movie (1978), and the supernatural horror film The Changeling (1980). Also in 1980, Van Devere had a lead role in the horror film The Hearse .

Van Devere performed frequently in both television and film until 1994, and appeared in television programs such as Love Story , The Fall Guy , Hardcastle and McCormick , Highway to Heaven and Love Boat . She also starred alongside Peter Falk in a 1978 episode of the detective series Columbo entitled Make Me a Perfect Murder , in which she portrayed a TV producer who murders her ex-lover. She remained married to Scott until his death in 1999. [7]


1970 The Landlord Sally(as Patricia Van Devere)
Where's Poppa? Louise Callanaka Going Ape
1971 The Last Run Claudie Scherrer
1972 One Is a Lonely Number Aimee Brower
1973 Harry in Your Pocket Sandy Coletto
The Day of the Dolphin Maggie Terrell
1974 The Savage Is Loose Maida
1976 Beauty and the Beast Belle Beaumont
1978 Movie Movie Betsy McGuire/Isobel Stuart
Columbo Kay FreestoneS07E03
1979 The Changeling Claire Norman
The Hearse Jane Hardy
Mayflower: The Pilgrims' Adventure Rose Standish
1986 Uphill All the Way The Widow Quinn
Hollywood Vice Squad Pauline Stantonaka The Boulevard
1988 Messenger of Death Jastra Watson

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryTitle of workResult
1971 Laurel Award Star of Tomorrow, Female Where's Poppa? 7th place
1973 Golden Globe Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama One is a Lonely Number Nominated
1980 Genie Award Best Performance by a Foreign Actress The Changeling Won


  1. 1 2 While numerous sources list Van Devere's birthday as March 9, [1] [2] they vary regarding her birth year, with some citing 1943 or 1945; however, the California Marriage Index lists her age as 31, and birth year as 1941 when she married George C. Scott in 1972. [3]

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The 5th National Society of Film Critics Awards, given on 10 January 1971, honored the best filmmaking of 1970.

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  1. "Trish Van Devere". AllMovie. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020.
  2. Willis, John; Monush, Barry, eds. (2002). Screen World 2001. Vol. 52. New York: Applause Books. p. 337. ISBN   978-1-557-83478-2.
  3. California Marriage Index, 1960-1985. George C. Scott and Patricia L. Dressel, 14 Sep 1972; from "California, Marriage Index, 1960-1985," database and images; citing Los Angeles City, California, Center of Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento. Closed Access logo transparent.svg
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Klemesrud, Judy (December 31, 1972). "Trish! Mrs. Scott! Both?". The New York Times . Archived from the original on June 14, 2020.
  5. "Actress Nurses Poppa", The Record , November 27, 1970 via Accessed June 14, 2020. "Miss Pat Dressel, a 1958 graduate of Northern Valley High School, is appearing in the movie Where's Poppa?, stariing Ruth Gordon and George Segal. She plays a nurse, using her stage name of Trish Van Devere."
  6. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio . New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p.  280. ISBN   0-02-542650-8.
  7. Bernstein, Adamdate=September 24, 1999. "Actor George C. Scott Dies at 71". The Washington Post . p. B5. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020.