Saturday State Post: Classic Movie Actors from Massachusetts
In this week’s actors by state post, I looked to the eastern United States for the first time by the choosing the state of Massachusetts. Today’s list contains two co-stars of the 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses along with two actresses who achieved notable firsts for women in the film industry.
Born: April 15, 1908 in Lowell, MA
Died: October 6, 1989 (age 81)
Married four times including once to her All About Eve co-star Gary Merrill
Known for the Movies: Of Human Bondage, Jezebel, Now Voyager, All About Eve
Interesting Facts About Bette Davis:
- She was nominated for an Academy Award five years in a row from 1939-1943, a record she shares with Greer Garson.
- She was the first female president of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the first female to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.
- Along with John Garfield and Jules Stein, she was instrumental in creating the Hollywood Canteen, a club that offered food and entertainment to U.S. service men and women. In later years Bette commented, “There are few accomplishments in my life that I am sincerely proud of. The Hollywood Canteen is one of them.”
Born: February 8, 1925 in Newton, MA
Died: June 27, 2001 (age 76)
Known for the movies: Some Like it Hot, The Apartment, Days of Wine and Roses, The Odd Couple
Interesting Facts About Jack Lemmon:
- He was a self-taught piano player. He recorded a jazz album in 1958 on which he sang versions of two of Marilyn Monroe’s signature songs, I Wanna Be Loved By You and I’m Through With Love.
- He was a favorite of director Billy Wilder and appeared in seven of his films including Some Like it Hot and The Apartment.
- He directed his good friend Walter Matthau in the movie Kotch (1971). Matthau was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role. It was the only movie that Lemmon would direct.
Born: December 6, 1900 in Clinton, MA
Died: April 30, 1974 (age 73)
Known for the Movies: The Magnificent Ambersons, Citizen Kane, Johnny Belinda
Interesting Facts About Agnes Moorehead:
- Before becoming an actress, she taught high school English and drama for five years and also studied pantomime in Paris with Marcel Marceau.
- She was the first woman to co-host the Academy Awards, which she did with Dick Powell in 1948.
- She was one of about 90 members of the cast and crew of the movie The Conqueror (1956) to contract cancer. Some attribute this to the fact that the movie was filmed near a nuclear test site. Her co-stars in the movie included John Wayne, Dick Powell, and Susan Hayward.
Born: December 14, 1935 in Quincy, MA
Died: July 2, 1991 (age 55)
Known for the Movies: A Face in the Crowd, The Long, Hot Summer, Anatomy of a Murder, Days of Wine and Roses
Interesting Facts About Lee Remick:
- There were plans for her to replace a recently fired Marilyn Monroe in the movie Something’s Got to Give, but Marilyn’s co-star Dean Martin refused to work with anyone but her.
- She was the subject of two different songs called “Lee Remick”, one by the Australian band The Go-Betweens and the other by the British band Hefner.
- She died only 2 months after receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Other notable classic movie actors from Massachusetts include Josephine Hull, Walter Brennan, Wizard of Oz co-stars Jack Haley and Ray Bolger, and Eleanor Powell.