Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Women We Love: Thelma Ritter

Today, Movie Dearest begins a month long look at our favorite classic character actresses.

Object of our affection: Thelma Ritter, actress.

- One of the most beloved movie character actresses of all time, she was nominated for six Academy Awards in twelve years (all for Best Supporting Actress, naturally): All About Eve, The Mating Season, With a Song in My Heart, Pickup on South Street, Pillow Talk and Birdman of Alcatraz. Alas, she never won.

- With an uncanny eye for quality, she co-starred in numerous future classics, even with her first two (uncredited) roles in Miracle on 34th Street and A Letter to Three Wives.

- More scenes were stolen by her in such other favorites as The Model and the Marriage Broker, Titanic, Rear Window, Daddy Long Legs, The Proud and the Profane, A Hole in the Head, The Misfits, How the West Was Won and Move Over, Darling.

- With the advent of television, she also appeared in many of the episodic drama series of the day, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Goodyear Television Playhouse and The Philco Television Playhouse, appearing in Paddy Chayevsky's The Catered Affair on the latter two (receiving an Emmy nomination for the Goodyear version); when it came time to film the teleplay, her Eve co-star Bette Davis played her role.

- She may never have won an Oscar, but she did win a Tony Award for the Broadway musical New Girl in Town, tying with her co-star Gwen Verdon.

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