Herta Ware

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Herta Ware
Born Herta Schwartz
June 9, 1917
Wilmington, Delaware
Died August 15, 2005 (aged 88)
Topanga, California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1978–2000 (film & television)
Spouse(s) Will Geer (1934–1954; divorced) (3 children)
David Marshall (divorced) (1 child)
Children Kate Geer
Chad Geer
Ellen Geer
Melora Marshall

Herta Ware (June 9, 1917 – August 15, 2005) was an American actress and political activist.

Early life[edit]

Ware was born Herta Schwartz in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Helen Ware, a musician and violin teacher, and Lazlo Schwartz, an actor who was born in Budapest.[1] Her mother's brother was activist Harold Ware and her maternal grandmother was labor organizer and socialist Ella Reeve Bloor. Her father was Jewish and her mother was from a Christian background.[2]

Career[edit]

Ware made her Broadway debut in "Let Freedom Ring", co-starring Will Geer, whom she married in 1934. The couple appeared together in other New York plays, including "Bury the Dead" (1936), "Prelude" (1936), "200 Were Chosen" (1936) and "Journeyman (1938).

She made her on-screen debut in 1978, when she appeared in the television film A Question of Guilt. Subsequently, Ware appeared in her first feature film 1980, The Black Marble. What followed was a number of films between 1980 and 2000. Her second feature film was the comedy-horror Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype, which featured English actor Oliver Reed. She starred in the sci-fi film 2010 in 1984 alongside Roy Scheider and Helen Mirren. She is perhaps most recognized for her performance in the classic film Ron Howard's Cocoon, and appeared in the sequel Cocoon: The Return. She may also be highly recognized for her role in the popular sequel Critters 2: The Main Course, as 'Nana', the grandmother of Scott Grimes' character Brad Brown. She received roles in several other well-known films such as, Species, Practical Magic, with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, and Cruel Intentions, with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Philippe. Her role in the 1992 television film Crazy in Love earned her a CableACE Award for Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries.

Ware has made many guest appearances on classic television series including, Knots Landing, Highway to Heaven, Cagney & Lacey, The Golden Girls and ER, to name a few. She and her daughter, Ellen both made guest appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Beauty and the Beast.

Personal life[edit]

In 1934, Ware married actor Will Geer, with whom she had three children. She and Geer were politically-minded and relocated to Los Angeles in the early 1940s and settle in Santa Monica so that Geer could pursue his movie career. In 1951, the passionately liberal Geer became blacklisted by Hollywood for taking the Fifth Amendment and refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. With Geer's film career destroyed, and falling into financial difficulties, the couple lost their Los Angeles home. Ware later married actor David Marshall, with whom she had one child, a daughter, actress Melora Marshall. They later divorced. Ware and Geer reunited in 1973 and subsequently co-founded the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, which was on five acres of land that Ware purchased in Topanga Canyon for $10,000. The burgeoning theater officially opened as a summer theater in 1973. The pair divorced in 1954 but remained close friends. She stayed by Geer's bedside as he passed away of a respiratory ailment in 1978. In 2000, Ware published her own memoir Fantastic Journey, My Life with Will Geer.

Death[edit]

Ware died in 2005, due to complications for parkinson's disease. She resided in Topanga, California at the time of her death.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Title Year Role Directed by
The Black Marble 1980 Grand Duchess
Harold Becker
Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype Old Lady on Bus
Charles B. Griffith
2010 1984 Jessie Bowman
Peter Hyams
Cocoon 1985 Rosie Lefkowitz
Ron Howard
Slam Dance 1987 Mrs. Raines
Wayne Wang
Promised Land Mrs. Higgins
Michael Hoffman
Dirty Laundry Grandmother Verna
William Webb
Critters 2: The Main Course 1988 Nana
Mick Garris
Cocoon: The Return Rose Lefkowitz
Daniel Petrie
Dakota Aunt Zard
Fred Holmes
Soapdish 1991 Old Woman
Michael Hoffman
Lonely Hearts Gran
Andrew Lane
Top Dog 1995 Jake's Mother
Aaron Norris
Species Mrs. Morris
Roger Donaldson
St. Patrick's Day 1997 Aunt Delia
Hope Perello
Practical Magic 1998 Old Lady Wilkes
Griffin Dunne
The Politics of Desire The Radio Listener
Petrie Alexandra
Cruel Intentions 1999 Mrs. Sugarman
Roger Kumble
Held Up Alice
Steve Rash
Beautiful 2000 Clara
Sally Field
Desperate But Not Serious Grammy
Bill Fishman

Television[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
Knots Landing 1983 Ethel Marcus Season 5, episode 14 "Secrets Cry Aloud"
Highway to Heaven 1984 Grandma Season 1, episode 13 "Another Song for Christmas"
Wildside 1985 Mrs. Brinkenhoff Season 1, episode 1 "Well-Known Secret" (pilot)
Scarecrow and Mrs. King Season 3, episode 3 "Over the Limit"
Crossings 1986 Mrs. Emma Zimmerman Television mini-series; episode 1
Amazing Stories Grandma Helen Season 1, episode 24 "Grandpa's Ghost" (season finale)
Sidekicks Mamie Season 1, episode 12 "Grey Belts"
Crime Story 1987 Old Lady Season 1, episode 19 "The Pinnacle"
Beauty and the Beast Sylvia Season 1, episode 3 "Siege"
Star Trek: The Next Generation Yvette Pichard Season 1, episode 6 "Where No One Has Gone Before"
Cagney & Lacey 1988 Wilma Milton Season 7, episode 10 "Old Flames"
The Golden Girls Ida Season 4, episode 8 "Brother, Can You Spare That Jacket?"
Just the Ten of Us 1989 Sister Cyril Season 2, episode 10 "Song of Constance"
The Munsters Today 1990 The Widow Johansen Season 2, episode 24 "That's Gratitude" (season finale)
The New Adam-12 1991 Claire Season 1, episode 20 "221 Pizza"
Eerie, Indiana Mary B. Carter Season 1, episode 8 "The Dead Letter"
Civil Wars 1992 Season 2, episode 3 "Oboe Phobia"
ER 1994 Mrs. Franks Season 1, episode 2 "Day One"
Misery Loves Company 1995 Old Hildy Season 1, episode 5 "The Witches of East 6th" (unaired episode)
Tracy takes on... 1996 Ida Letivz Season 1, episode 6 "Law"
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction 19982000 Old Woman Season 2, episode 9 (story 3 - "The Getaway")
Season 3, episode 3 ("The Find", "The Golden Cue", "The FBI Story", "The Gravedigger's Nemesis" & "Last Rites" - all 5 stories from #3.3)

Television films[edit]

Title Year Role Notes
A Question of Guilt 1978 Miriam's Mother
Child's Cry 1986 Mrs. Hartounian
Miracle Landing 1990 Dorothy Hendricks
Crazy in Love 1992 Pem CableAce Award for Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries
Alien Nation: Millennium 1996 Alana
Co-ed Call Girl Customer

Other appearances[edit]

  • Medieval Theater: The Play of Abraham and Isaac ... Mary Pink, Mother (short documentary) (1974)
  • Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin' (documentary) (1984)
  • When Jesus Was a Kid (video short) (1993)

References[edit]

External links[edit]