Jo Van Fleet
|Jo Van Fleet|
in East of Eden (1955)
December 30, 1914|
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Died||June 10, 1996
Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||William Bales (m. 1946–90)(his death)|
Jo Van Fleet (December 30, 1914 – June 10, 1996) was an American theatre and film actress. Known primarily for playing roles older than she was, her career spanned over three decades, and she won an Academy Award as well as a Tony Award.
Van Fleet established herself as a notable dramatic actress on Broadway over several years, beginning in 1946 in Dorcas in A Winter's Tale, and played Regan in King Lear opposite Louis Calhern in 1950. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play in 1954 for her performance as Jessie Mae Watts in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, costarring Lillian Gish and Eva Marie Saint.
After her success on the stage, director Elia Kazan brought her to Hollywood to work on screen. Kazan, who had directed her on stage in 1952's Flight to Egypt and 1953's Camino Real, cast her as Cathy Ames in his film adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (1955); this was her film debut. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Her subsequent film work was steady through 1960, and included such films as The Rose Tattoo (1955), I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), The King and Four Queens (1956), and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). However, her career did not progress as she had hoped. Her friend and mentor, Kazan, once said "Jo stagnated, and, since she knew it, was bitter. And as she became bitter, she become more difficult."
Her later films included Wild River (1960) -- though only 41, Fleet would spend five hours every morning getting into her make-up and applying wrinkles -- Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (1965), Paul Newman's mother in Cool Hand Luke (1967), and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968).
Van Fleet was married to William Bales from 1946 until his death in 1990, and was survived by her son Michael Bales, and grandson, Arden Rogow-Bales.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jo Van Fleet.|
- Jo Van Fleet at the Internet Broadway Database
- Jo Van Fleet at Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Jo Van Fleet at the Internet Movie Database
- Jo Van Fleet at the TCM Movie Database
- Jo Van Fleet at AllRovi