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|Born||Mary Frances Heflin
September 20, 1920
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||June 1, 1994
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress - Motion picture, television, and broadway|
|Spouse(s)||Sidney Kaufman (September 9, 1944 - December 20, 1946)
Sol Kaplan (? - 1990; his death)
Life and career
Heflin was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the daughter of Fanny Bleecker (née Shippey) and Dr. Emmett Evan Heflin, a dentist. She was the sister of Academy Award-winning actor Van Heflin. Heflin made her Broadway debut in her teens and was later featured in the original productions of The Skin of Our Teeth (1942), I Remember Mama (1944), and the U.S. premiere of Bertolt Brecht's Galileo on July 30, 1947 in Los Angeles. She also starred in London's West End and in touring productions, including two shows opposite Farley Granger.
A life member of The Actors Studio, Heflin had varying roles on many television series in the 1950s and 1960s, including small roles on Kraft Television Theatre and The Patty Duke Show, but her most notable and enduring role was of Mona Kane Tyler, mother of Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) on the soap opera All My Children. She played the role from 5 January 1970 until her death in June 1994.
In 1992, when Heflin was first diagnosed with lung cancer, Mona was diagnosed with cancer on the show. In August 1994, the soap aired a special episode, showcasing the best of Heflin's performances in the form of a memorial service for Mona.
She was married briefly to film maker Sidney Kaufman, and then to film composer Sol Kaplan. Their children include Jonathan Kaplan, a film director; Nora Heflin, whose stage and film credits include Chilly Scenes of Winter; and Mady Kaplan, an actress who appeared on the soap operas The Edge of Night, Texas, and As the World Turns.